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The hotter it gets, the harder it can be to fall asleep. Rising temperatures can interfere with the body's natural thermoregulation progress and make it feel impossible to get comfortable enough to go to sleep.
First things first: Rule out an underlying health condition. Night sweats can happen in response to many medical conditions, including anxiety disorders, neuropathy, hyperthyroidism, Hodgkin's lymphoma and tuberculosis, 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.
This probably seems 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.
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.
5. Take a hot bath a couple of 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.
Synthetic sheets tend to cost less than natural sheets, but investing in some natural cotton, linen, silk or bamboo bed sheets might be your ticket to staying cooler while you sleep. These fabrics promote breathability, and as a bonus, they don't put off volatile organic compounds like many synthetic fabrics do (we could all use fewer VOCs in our homes).
7. Choose natural fibers and loose fits for pajamas
If you don't feel comfortable sleeping nude, be smart about your pajamas. Just as bedding made from natural fibers can help keep you cool, so can clothing. Loose-fitting cotton, silk or bamboo-based pajamas offer more breathability than pajamas made from synthetic fibers.
8. 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. 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.
9. 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.
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 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.
11. Turn down your thermostat
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.
OK, what if none of the above have worked for you in the past? There are plenty of products out there specifically designed to help people avoid the dreaded night sweats. The products below all use some sort of cooling technology that's supposed to promote uninterrupted rest for hot sleepers.
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.
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.