Counter night sweats by sleeping cool

Night sweats are surprisingly common (41% report them on a regular basis according to one study), and can be caused by a number of conditions, both medical and nonmedical.

If you regularly find yourself awakened in the night sweating, a check up with your doctor is probably a good idea.  Night sweats may be caused by a nonmedical problem like excessive levels of stress and anxiety experienced during waking hours, or they can be associated with a serious medical issue like obstructive sleep apnea, which must be treated by a healthcare professional.

Treating the root of the problem will not only help reduce night sweats, but also help you sleep better and awaken more refreshed.

In any case, if you are one of the millions who do experience night sweats, there are number of things you can proactively do to help yourself fall back asleep and stay asleep.

The first order of business should be to stay cool.  Good sleep is associated with a lower body temperature — body temperature generally drops about 2 degrees during sleep.  So a cool bedroom that enables your body to naturally reduce its temperature is therefore conducive to a good night’s rest.

Many experts suggest around 65 degrees is an ideal overnight bedroom temperature for sleep, but this can be adjusted to best fit your personal preference.  If in doubt, we suggest starting first with a lower temperature as it’s usually much easier to warm up under the covers than it is to cool down once in bed.

Use sheets and blankets to adjust your sleeping environment to your personal comfort level.  If you share your bed with a sleeping partner, that person can also do the same with sheets and blankets on his or her side of the bed.

If your bedroom doesn’t cool off at night at least into the lower 70s, try opening a window or using a fan.  Be creative and do what you can to cool off for a good night’s sleep.

If you awaken with night sweats, this is a sure sign that you’re just too hot.  Kick off the covers and let yourself cool down.  You will, and soon.  When you start to feel a bit of a chill, get back under the covers and be confident that cool feeling is a good sign your body temperature is coming down and you’re headed back toward drowsiness and sleep.

Keeping a cool bedroom is one part of good sleep hygiene, which is a collection of methods to help support better sleep.  Sleep hygiene in turn is one of the core components of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), the gold standard for effectively treating insomnia permanently and without drugs.

For more information on using CBT-I to treat insomnia, or to ask a sleep question, please feel free to visit us at

Explore posts in the same categories: Health, Insomnia, sleep

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One Comment on “Counter night sweats by sleeping cool”

  1. Haralee Says:

    Wicking sleepwear can help. The fabric transports the moisture away from the skin and quickly evaporates so no longer trying to sleep in wet pjs!

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