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How to stay cool while you sleep

Night sweats are no fun. Beat them with these tips and products.

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Sleeping in the fridge feels like a viable option when you have night sweats.

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Night sweats seriously suck. It doesn't get much worse than abruptly waking from sleep to find yourself glued to your bedsheets with your own sweat. Not to mention the whole hokey-pokey game you play with your feet while trying to fall asleep -- right foot out of the covers, right foot in, left foot out. If you struggle to stay cool while you sleep, try these 12 tips and product recommendations for keeping night sweats at bay.

Read more: 8 products to help you stop snoring

1. Talk to your doctor about night sweats 

First things first: Rule out an underlying health condition. Night sweats can happen in response to some medical conditions, including anxiety disorders, neuropathy, hyperthyroidism, Hodgkin's lymphoma, tuberculosis and many more, according to the Mayo Clinic

Certain medications, such as those for diabetes and depression, may also cause night sweats. If you're waking up hot and sweaty every night, it's worth looking into with your doctor, regardless of the weather.

2. Turn down your thermostat

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Turn that temp down for better sleep.

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This probably seems obvious, but many people are hesitant to turn the thermostat down past a certain temperature. Turning your home into an arctic tundra via air conditioning definitely jacks up your electricity bill, after all. 

But, if you feel like you've tried everything and you still wake up a sweaty mess, you might just need to nudge your nighttime temp down a few notches. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most experts agree that 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal sleeping temperature because it helps your body maintain its natural core temperature at night. 

3. Add a window unit or box fan

Again, obvious -- but it works. If you don't have central AC in your home, consider buying a window unit to keep you cool at night. This costs far less than installing a central AC unit and it saves on energy costs because you're only cooling one room. Alternatively, a box fan in the window can push hot air out and circulate cooler air. 

4. Try a floor fan or mini nightstand fan

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This small Honeywell fan is surprisingly powerful.

Honeywell

No space for a window unit or box fan? Many companies make impressively powerful floor fans and mini fans these days. The Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan has served me well, as has the Honeywell Dreamweaver Sleep Fan, which doubles as a white noise machine

5. Use fans to create a cross-breeze

Speaking of fans, grab two while you're at the store. Placing two floor fans facing each other on opposite sides of your room creates a cross-breeze, keeping you cool all night long.  

6. Take a hot bath a couple hours before bed

Your body temperature fluctuates in a cycle. Every evening, as the sun begins to set and your eyes perceive darkness, your body starts to produce melatonin and triggers your brain to prepare for sleep. At the same time, your core body temperature begins to dip and continues to drop throughout your first two stages of sleep. 

Taking a hot bath one to two hours before bed can simulate this natural process and promote restful sleep. When you sleep, your body temperature hovers around 2 degrees lower than its daytime temperature before gradually rising back to normal levels shortly before you wake up. 

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It might sound like the opposite of what you want to do, but it just might work.

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7. Try bedding made from natural fibers

Synthetic sheets tend to cost less than natural sheets, but investing in some au naturel cotton, linen, silk or bamboo bed sheets might be your ticket to cool sleep. These fabrics promote breathability, and as a bonus, they don't put off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like many synthetic fabrics do (we could all use fewer VOCs in our homes). 

8. Sleep nude or semi-nude

Simply ditching your pajamas might help you stay cool while you sleep. This works for some people but not for others, though. Many people prefer to wear pajamas even if they get sweaty at night, because some fabrics wick moisture away from your skin.

9. Choose natural fibers and loose fits for pajamas

If you don't feel comfortable sleeping nude, be smart about your pajamas. Just like natural bedding can help keep you cool, so can natural clothing. Loose-fitting cotton, silk or bamboo-based pajamas offer more breathability than pajamas made from synthetic fibers. 

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Pajamas made from natural fibers, like this bamboo fabric set from Cozy Earth, might help you stay cooler at night.

Cozy Earth

10. Use blackout or thermal curtains during the day

It's always nice to let sunlight into your home during the day, especially during the winter, when days are short and many people struggle with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). However, keeping the curtains -- specifically blackout or thermal curtains -- drawn in your bedroom during the day can keep your room cooler so it's ready to sleep in at night. 

11. Don't run electronics in your bedroom

Electronics such as televisions, radios and video game consoles emit heat when they run. Avoid using electronics in your bedroom at night if you really struggle to stay cool while you sleep. 

Read more: Dim or kill your devices' bright LED lights once and for all

12. Freeze your pillowcases and sheets

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Pop your pillowcase in the freezer for a few hours for bedtime bliss.

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This sounds strange, but it really works -- I can attest to this as someone who lived in California through several heat waves with no AC. This won't keep you cool all night long, but it will keep you cool for 30 minutes to an hour, giving you plenty of time to fall into a deep slumber. 

Simply stick your pillowcases and bedsheets in your freezer for a couple of hours before bed. Put them back on your bed and snuggle into your own personal igloo.  

13. Turn to tech

OK, so none of the above have worked for you in the past. Luckily, there are plenty of products out there specifically designed to help people avoid the dreaded night sweats. The products below all utilize some sort of cooling technology that promotes uninterrupted rest for hot sleepers. 

This mattress topper uses Reactex technology, which pulls heat away from your body and channels it through memory foam cubes and fiber fill. 

The ChiliBlanket features hydroponic cooling. The control unit cools water and sends it through the channels within the weighted blanket, so you can get all the anxiety-reducing comfort of a weighted blanket without feeling like you're drowning in sweat. 

Purple products feature a gel gridded design that keeps air moving through internal channels, preventing hot air from building up beneath your body. 

The BedJet system works with existing bedding -- just position the fan arm beneath your fitted sheet for near-instant cooling. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.