A woman lies awake on a blue bed due to hot sleep
Sleep Health

Guide for Hot Sleepers: 23 Tips for Cooling Down at Night

    Last Updated
    October 3, 2023
    min read

    If you're a hot sleeper, you’re likely familiar with kicking off your covers off in search of a cool breeze or needing to sit in front of your fan for a few middle-of-the-night minutes. While you may chalk this up to simply being warm-blooded, in truth, hot sleep can lower your sleep quality — causing a number of unforeseen consequences. 

    But why do you get hot when you sleep, and what can you do about waking up hot at night? Sleeping hot is often caused by a warm environment and can lead to restless or interrupted sleep, making it impossible to stay asleep all night.

    Regulating your body temperature is key to maintaining high sleep quality. Your circadian rhythm is closely in tune with your body’s internal temperature, meaning higher temperatures tend to wake our bodies up, while lower temperatures help us feel more tired and relaxed. 

    Luckily for you, there are ways to cool down and get quality sleep despite sweltering temperatures. Read on to learn 23 tips for staying cool during the night. 

    1. Sleep on a Mattress Designed to Sleep Cool  

    Your mattress plays a major role in your sleep temperature, and sometimes a new mattress is all you need to sleep cooler at night. 

    The best mattresses for hot sleepers have heat-regulating qualities that help you stay cool. For example, Purple’s GelFlex® Grid uses over 1,400 individual air channels to dissipate excess body heat – naturally drawing it away from the body to keep sleepers cool all night long.

    When mattress shopping, be sure to keep your sleep temperature in mind. If you experience night sweats and sleep hot on your current mattress, look for a mattress equipped with cooling technology. 

    2. Opt for Natural Fiber Bedding 

    Bedding can also help regulate the body’s internal temperature and help you sleep cooler at night. If you find that you’re regularly sleeping hot, look for cooling bed sheets, typically made from natural cotton or linen.  

    Natural fiber bedding, like  Purple’s Complete Comfort and  SoftStretch® Sheets,  helps regulate body temperature. While microfibers are known for trapping heat, natural fiber bedding works to control temperature for cooler, drier sleep.

    3. Adjust Your Thermostat 

    When it comes to getting cooler sleep, sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. Try setting your thermostat to a chilly but comfortable temperature before going to bed. 

    The best temperature for sleep is between 66 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This may be cooler than what you keep your home at during the day, so make sure you’re adjusting your thermostat before you go to sleep. Remember that it may take a while for the temperature to set in, so reduce your thermostat a few hours before you plan on going to bed. 

    4. Use an Electric Fan

    Air conditioning is great, but it can only do so much if you tend to sleep hot. Electric fans are a cost-effective way to bring down your bedroom temperature and provide a nice breeze during the night. 

    Look for a fan that’s designed to cool entire rooms, so your space is properly set up for comfortable sleep. Tower fans and pedestal fans work well for circulating cool air throughout the room. Simply set your fan to oscillate, and you’ll quickly begin to feel a breeze. 

    5. Experiment With a New Sleeping Position 

    It’s easier said than done to alter your usual sleeping position, but certain positions lend themselves to cooler sleep than others.  Sleeping flat on your back with your limbs spread out, for example, can help dissipate heat over a wider area, keeping you cooler.

    If you tend to sleep in a more curled-up position, your body traps heat more easily, which can lead to hotter sleep throughout the night. 

    6. Avoid Exercise Too Close to Bed 

    Aerobic exercise can be excellent for helping you rest if you’re too stressed to sleep or have trouble falling asleep. However, this kind of exercise gets the blood pumping and your heart rate up, which can cause you to get hot when it’s time to go to sleep. 

    As a result, try to space out exercise and sleep by at least two to three hours. If you need to squeeze in a workout right before bed, try incorporating meditation so you can wind down quicker.

    7. Mind Your Diet 

    A lesser-known sleep tip is to avoid spicy food before bed. Spicy food can increase your core body temperature, resulting in poor sleep quality. If you had a spicy dinner, give yourself a few hours to digest before bed — and be sure to drink lots of water. 

    8. Find External Cooling Solutions  

    Physically cooling your body down is a great way to decrease internal temperatures and prepare your body for sleep. This could mean:  

    • Sipping a cold glass of water before you go to bed
    • Placing an ice pack on your forehead around bedtime
    • Taking a cold shower before getting into bed

    If you combine these tips with a cool sleeping environment, you’ll be much more likely to maintain a comfortable body temperature all night long. 

    9. Keep Your Blinds Shut 

    Natural light is great for your overall mood, but remember that sunlight can heat a room throughout the day, leading to hot sleep at night.  

    If you’re a hot sleeper, consider closing your bedroom blinds during the day. You can still enjoy natural light in your living room and other rooms in your home, but you may want to darken your bedroom for cooler sleep. Investing in blackout curtains is a good way to ensure your room stays dark and cool throughout the day. 

    10. Consider Your Sleepwear   

    You may have a favorite pair of pajamas, but make sure they’re not contributing to your hot sleeping. Certain fabrics like polyester trap more heat during the night than others. Instead, opt for more breathable fabrics, like natural cotton and linen.

    11. Stay Hydrated   

    Part of staying cool while you sleep relates to maintaining healthy sleep habits, like drinking water regularly throughout the day. According to the CDC, water helps you keep a normal temperature throughout the day, which in turn can lead to healthier and better sleep at night.  

    Be sure you’re drinking the recommended amount of water during the day, but stop an hour before bed to avoid unexpected bathroom trips. 

    12. Remember Your Pillows   

    Hot sleepers generally look to replace their sheets and mattresses first, but your pillows can also cause your internal body temperature to increase. For some, replacing their pillows can be a game-changer for sleeping cooler at night. 

    The best pillows for hot sleepers are those that remain cool throughout the night without abandoning comfort and support. The Purple Harmony Pillow, for instance, uses a ventilated Talalay latex core and proprietary GelFlex® Grid to provide stay-cool, supportive comfort all night long. A breathable, moisture-wicking cover further fends off heat – so you can sleep at a perfect temperature.

    13. Avoid Cuddling   

    If you sleep with a partner, it can be nice to fall asleep in each other’s arms. However, if you find you’re struggling to sleep due to being too hot, it may be time to rethink bedtime cuddling. 

    Instead, try experimenting with different couples’ sleeping positions that involve less contact or cut-out cuddling altogether. 

    On the other hand, cuddling has many benefits, such as:

    • Releasing anxiety and tension 
    • Strengthening your relationship 
    • Improving overall well-being 

    If cuddling is beneficial for your well-being and your relationship, consider cuddling with your partner earlier in the evening so you can avoid sleep disruptions. 

    14. Try a Weighted Blanket

    While a weighted blanket may sound like a recipe for more heat during the night, the opposite may be the case. Some weighted blankets are designed specifically to cool you off and regulate your temperature throughout the night.  

    By providing the added comfort of extra weight, a cooling weighted blanket can be an excellent investment if you’re constantly kicking your covers off to cool down.

    15. Use a Dehumidifier 

    Humidity is a common cause of hot sleeping, especially during the warmer months. If you live in an area with high humidity, consider investing in a dehumidifier. These tools are designed to remove water vapor from the bedroom, leaving you with drier air and making your room cooler for sleep. 

    16. Take a Warm Bath

    If cold plunges aren’t your jam, you can also prepare for sleep with a warm bath or shower.

    While it might seem counterintuitive, warm baths lower your core temperature and cool you down for sleep. And an added bonus? They also lower your heart rate and help you relax — prepping your body for a healthy night of sleep. 

    17. Bring an Ice Pack to Bed

    When all else fails, you may need to bring reinforcements to bed. Keeping an ice pack by your bed is an excellent way to cool off during the night if you’re constantly waking with night sweats. 

    If you have a mini fridge or freezer in your bedroom, consider storing an ice pack in your room in case you need a quick cooldown during the night.  

    18. Ditch the Nightcap

    Avoiding alcohol before bed has lots of benefits for healthy sleep. The warm feeling that one can get from alcohol is actually the result of fluctuating body temperatures. When your body temperature fluctuates during the night, it can result in night sweats, increased blood pressure, and poorer sleep in general. 

    19. Change Your Sheets Regularly 

    If you’re a hot sleeper, it’s critical to change your sheets regularly. Especially if you’re prone to night sweats, you should wash your sheets more than once a week. Dirty sheets can cause humidity that can enhance hot sleep. And not only will fresh sheets keep you cooler at night, they’ll also help eliminate the bacteria, mites, and other allergens that are attracted to sweat. 

    For Purple products, we recommend the following washing cadences:


    Purple Product 

    How Often You Should Wash

    Purple SoftStretch® or Complete Comfort sheets

    Once a week

    Purple PerfectStay Duvet Cover Set

    Once a month 

    Purple TempBalance Duvet

    Every 4-6 months

    Purple Mattress Protector®

    Once a season (wash with your sheets to protect the lining and prolong the lifespan)

    20. Keep Electronics in a Separate Room

    While it may make a minuscule difference in the overall temperature of your room, electronics, especially computers, emit heat. Consider shutting down electronics entirely at night or keeping them in a separate room from where you sleep. 

    Separating your electronics from your bedroom can benefit your overall sleep quality as well, as it keeps you from looking at blue light screens too close to bedtime.

    21. Prepare Your Room Earlier in the Day

    If you regularly sleep hot, try prepping your room earlier in the day, so it’s nice and cool by the time you’re ready to go to sleep.

    Running your fan and turning on your dehumidifier while you sleep is certainly helpful, but starting this process earlier in the day will ensure a cool sleeping environment when you’re finally ready to go to bed.  

    22. Lower Your Bed Frame

    If you're still struggling, try turning to science for help sleeping cooler at night. Heat naturally rises, so you may find cooler air if you’re sleeping lower to the ground. If you have an adjustable bed frame, consider lowering it for a cooler night's sleep. 

    If you can’t lower your current bed frame, explore low-platform beds like the Purple Premium Plus Smart Base® – which has an adjustable base that can be lowered to your desired height.

    23. Avoid Caffeine 

    Like alcohol and spicy food, caffeine and sleep do not play nice. Drinking coffee or soda too close to bed can cause your body temperature to fluctuate during the night, potentially leading to hotter sleep. 

    If you’re cramming for a test or working late, be careful using caffeine to fuel yourself. You may end up experiencing unexpected night sweats or lack of sleep entirely. 

    6 Major Causes of Hot Sleeping 

    Hot sleeping stems from many factors, like the temperature of your room, how much body heat your covers retain, and your mattress.

    If you want to have the most comfortable night of sleep possible, you’ll likely need to make some adjustments to your sleeping environment. Here’s a list of some common reasons for hot sleep, and what you can do to fix them.

    1. Overly Hot Rooms

    Homes trap a lot of heat over the course of the day, which makes sense considering the number of electronics we own and the natural light coming in throughout the day. 

    Switching on an electric fan and opening a window is an easy way to ensure your home isn’t gradually warming and trapping more heat over the course of the day. 

    2. Clothing or Bedding

    Clothing and bedding can make all the difference when it comes to sleeping cool or hot, so be mindful of the materials yours are made of. Certain fabrics can serve as insulators when you sleep, including:

    • Wool 
    • Polyester 
    • Microfibers 

    If you’re feeling hot as you sleep, try opting for sleepwear and sheets made from light, breathable fabrics like the bamboo-blend found in our SoftStretch® Sheets

    3. Your Mattress 

    Different mattresses have different properties that make them easier or harder to sleep on — especially if you’re a hot sleeper. Some mattresses aren’t built with increasingly hot summers in mind, and it becomes evident when your high core body temperature results in poor sleep quality.

    Memory foam mattresses work by reacting to heat and molding to a person's body. Unlike memory foam or traditional spring mattresses, Purple mattresses adapt instantly, thanks to the technology of the GelFlex® Grid. Instead of storing heat to gradually mold to the body, this proprietary hyper-elastic grid has over 1,400 air-ventilating chambers, so you can sleep cool and enjoy comfort that moves with you.

    Take our mattress quiz to find the perfect mattress for you.

    4. Not Sleeping Alone

    Cuddling with a loved one can benefit your relationship and mental well-being, but it may also result in hotter sleeping. 

    While people have individual preferences for their sleeping arrangements, you may want to consider two options:

    • Spacing out on the bed
    • Getting two separate blankets

    5. New Medication

    If you’ve recently started a new medication, you may want to read the included literature if you start breaking out into sweats around bedtime. 

    Certain medications, especially antidepressants, aspirin, and certain steroids, can oftentimes lead to night sweats. If night sweats are a problem for you, we recommend setting an appointment with your doctor to share your concerns, identify any potential risk factors, and explore your options for treatment.

    6. Hormone Disorders

    Hormone disorders can also play a role in excessive sweating, particularly if you’re receiving too little or too much of a hormone. These disorders can cause fluctuations in body temperature – leading to night sweats. 

    If you’re regularly experiencing night sweats, talk to your doctor about adjusting your treatment or finding other options. 

    Best Products for Hot Sleepers 

    At Purple, we know how frustrating hot sleep can be. Whether you're kicking your covers off or splashing cool water on your face in the middle of the night, there’s nothing worse than losing sleep to heat. 

    We keep hot sleeping in mind for all of our products — because every factor matters when it comes to finding temperature balance at night. Here are some top performers when it comes to fending off heat.

    Three Purple products that are the best products for hot sleepers.

    1. Purple RestorePremier™ Hybrid Mattress

    Named the best overall cooling mattress by Men’s Health and Good Housekeeping, the Purple RestorePremier™ Hybrid Mattress uses Purple’s signature GelFlex® Grid to ensure nothing stops heat from moving through the mattress.

    With Ultra Comfort Foam sitting on each coil, the RestorePremier™ is able to offer targeted support and motion isolation — while simultaneously working to dissipate heat away from the body. This advanced cooling technology separates the RestorePremier™ from major competitors. 

    2. Purple Harmony™ Pillow

    Remember, if you’re a hot sleeper, you’ll likely want to address more than just your mattress and bedding. Your pillow also plays a role in your body’s internal temperature, so make sure you find a pillow that offers both neck support and coolness. 

    The Purple Harmony™ Pillow checks all the boxes. Made with a breathable, moisture-wicking mesh cover and proprietary GelFlex® Grid, you’ll never have to flip this pillow over to the cool side. Designed to stay cool all night while supporting your neck, the Purple Harmony Pillow can be an integral piece of the puzzle if you’re searching for cooler sleep.

    3. Purple SoftStretch® Sheet Set

    Like we mentioned earlier, bamboo fabric is key for staying cool during the night — and that’s why we used it for our sheets. The Purple SoftStretch® Sheet Set uses a moisture-wicking bamboo blend to keep you cool throughout the night. With a sheet set designed for cool sleep, you’ll never kick your sheets off the bed again. 

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    Still have questions about what to do if you’re a hot sleeper? We’ve got you covered. Here are some common questions and answers about how to avoid nights of hot sleeping. 

    What Should Hot Sleepers Sleep With? 

    Hot sleepers should sleep with a cooling pillow, a mattress designed for hot sleepers, and breathable sheets. Beyond that, if you’re still experiencing heat during the night, consider keeping an ice pack nearby and a fan in your room. 

    How Do I Stop Being a Hot Sleeper? 

    If you want to stop being a hot sleeper, you should first reevaluate your sleeping environment. You can make small changes like:

    • Running a tower fan in your room 
    • Closing your blinds during the day to limit heat from sunlight
    • Reducing the temperature in your room a few hours before you go to sleep 

    What Causes a Person To Be a Hot Sleeper? 

    Being a hot sleeper can boil down to a few bad habits or stem from medical causes. A few common reasons for hot sleeping include:

    • Medications 
    • Hormone disorders 
    • Drinking alcohol or caffeine too close to bed 

    What Is the Best Material to Stay Cool While Sleeping? 

    Natural fibers are the best materials for staying cool while sleeping. This includes materials such as: 

    • Cotton 
    • Linen
    • Bamboo 

    Some heat-trapping materials to avoid if you’re a hot sleeper include:

    • Microfibers 
    • Polyester 

    Sleep Cool With Purple

    Hot sleeping can generally be solved by making a few small changes to your sleep environment and lifestyle. When you put these small changes into action, you’ll likely see better sleep, and as a result, more energy during the day. 

    Purple has been reinventing comfort for decades. With the proprietary GelFlex® Grid dissipating heat as you snooze, you’ll stay cool and comfortable all night long. 

    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.