So, you’re hot, and you want to sleep better, so you bought a new mattress topper home. You’re tired of tossing and turning at night, sticking to the sheets, and waking up in a pool of sweat. Ready for some tips, tricks, and ideas for making the most of that new topper, and sleeping cooler than ever before?
We’ve got you covered (or, should we say, we’ve got you supported)!
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First of all, we should spend a few moments explaining why it’s good to sleep cool. Besides the fact that sleeping too warm is just, well, sticky, a cool room can actually help you sleep better.
The Center for Disease Control reports that as much as a third of all adults in the United States aren’t getting the necessary amount of sleep each night. This is alarming, as lack of sleep has been connected to diabetes, depression, heart disease, and obesity, all of which are dangerous.
Fortunately, research has found ways to help us sleep better. One of those findings is the importance of a cool room. Temperatures between sixty and sixty-seven degrees Fahrenheit are considered ideal for sleeping, as that is the temperature range your body falls into naturally.
Good Health Starts With Great Rest
The idea is that when the room starts out at this temperature, your body is more likely to start the sleep cycle, rotating through the stages of sleep. If you’re interrupted by higher temperatures, your most important sleep stages may be ended early or never reached, which means you may suffer from all the symptoms of a bad night’s rest.
Cooler temperatures can even help us speed up our metabolisms and help babies avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If you’ve felt guilty for wanting cooler temperatures, we’re happy to tell you that you’re not high-maintenance; you’re simply health conscious!
Now that we’ve talked you into cooler sleeping habits let’s talk about how to get a cooler night’s sleep–and how to take advantage of your new mattress topper!
Get the Right Sheets
Sheets and bed covers come in a very wide variety of materials, but the material you choose can make a huge difference in your quality of sleep. First, you’ll want to get rid of flannel or heavy cotton sheets, and any heavy blankets should be removed or place to the side for use later if you get too cold.
Instead, try natural linens, such as linen or bamboo for your bed. Both are extremely breathable and feel great on your skin. Bamboo has the added benefit of being sustainably harvested, and it has superior moisture-wicking properties.
Plus, it’s deliciously soft, though we have to admit there’s nothing quite as cool as crisp linen sheets! Don’t neglect your pillowcase, either, as it can be an important source of heat retention. You’ll want to make sure you equip your pillow with the same natural fibers as the rest of your bed.
Try a Buckwheat Pillow
Speaking of pillows, buckwheat pillows might be worth trying out. Filled with buckwheat hulls instead of down, synthetic down, or foam, air circulates much more freely, allow hot air from your body to move away in exchange for cooler air.
As it turns out, buckwheat pillows have been used since ancient times in Japan and, in addition to their cooling properties, are also loved for their ability to conform to your neck and head. Here’s a pro tip, however: be prepared for a little noise. The buckwheat makes a sort of swishing sound when moved!
Did You Get the Right Kind of Mattress Topper?
We’re sure you did your research and selected the best possible mattress topper your budget allowed, but indulge us for a moment while we make sure you chose the right topper to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Whether you are working with an old mattress or a foam mattress (especially a low-quality foam mattress), there’s a good chance you find your bed hot to sleep on. Mattress toppers, as you well know, can help, especially if they’re made with cooling memory foam, which is foam infused with a gel layer that helps to wick heat away.
What you don’t want to do is top your mattress with more foam that doesn’t have gel. While soft and comfortable, this can simply add another heat-trapping layer. Even better, look for a mattress topper that helps to create a layer of air to flow between you and your mattress.
The more air that is flowing, the cooler you’ll be.
Turn on the Fan
Speaking of air flowing, a fan can make a huge difference in how cool your room is, and how readily you drop off to sleep. While you might or might not have an air conditioning unit (and you might or might not want to use it), taking advantage of a ceiling fan or a portable fan should be a no-brainer.
You can find fans on the market today that are powerful and yet extremely quiet. You should also position your fan so that it helps with maximum airflow. Opposite an open window, for example, would be perfect.
Use a Cooling Pad
A cooling pad works like an electric heating pad. Instead of making you warmer, however, it can help you lower your temperature by a few degrees. We will admit, electric cords in bed make us a bit jumpy, but if you purchase your cooling pad from a reputable manufacturer and follow the instructions carefully, there should be no cause for alarm.
When combined with some of the other tips and tricks for maximizing the cooling properties of your new mattress topper that we’ve mentioned in this guide, a cooling pad could be just the thing to launch you into sweet dreams.
Check Your Mattress Cover
It’s not just your sheets that will make a difference in the temperature of your mattress; your mattress covers will impact things, as well. Mattress covers are must-haves because they help protect your mattress and increase its lifespan, but make sure you’re using one that is designed to increase airflow, especially if you’re using a foam mattress.
You should also look for a cover that will whisk away moisture to prevent you waking up from a deep sleep in a puddle of sweat.
My Pillow is the Coolest
No convinced a buckwheat pillow is going to solve your heat problems? How about a cooling gel pillow! Just like gel foam mattresses or mattress toppers, gel foam pillows consist of ultra-comfy and neck-conforming foam infused with gel.
The gel is like magic when it comes to cool us off, and since, as we’ve mentioned, your head retains most of the heat in your body, it’s worth paying a little extra attention to your pillow. Pair with a natural linen pillowcase for best results!
You can put a lot of effort into your fan or air conditioning, your mattress, your sheets, and your pillows, but the best way to keep heat out is to make sure it never enters. Keeping your blinds or window treatments closed during the day means less opportunity for your room to heat up.
Blackout curtains are especially effective; because they block the sun’s rays from hitting your room, they black heat. In the summer, this is the best thing ever!
Lift Your Bed
You’ve probably noticed how much we’ve talked about airflow, but that’s only because of how important it is. As it turns out, airflow underneath your body is clutch, so if your bed is on a flat surface, now is the time to lift it up!
You can either use bed risers (you might have used these in your college dorm to provide extra storage space under your bed), or you can purchase a new bed platform. Either way, that extra room for a breeze will enable you to sleep cooler at night.
It’s the Little Things
Still fighting the heat? Sometimes you have to get desperate. This is not the time for your flannel pajamas; now is the time for a few clothing layers as possible and what’s there should be light, not constricting, and breathable (again, natural fibers are key).
Try using a sleep mask that you can pop up in the freezer for a delicious, cooling feeling and keep water by your bed so you can keep yourself from getting hot and parched. You can even try going to bed with wet hair if you need to cool things down!
A mattress topper is a great investment and thanks to these tips and tricks you’ll be sleeping more cooler–and healthier–than ever before. Sweet dreams!