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Why am I so hot in bed?
May 10, 2004 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Why am I so hot in bed? [more inside]

It’s getting hot and humid here in Minnesota, and I’m having problems sleeping at night.

I sleep with my boyfriend in a queen size bed with cotton sheets. My mattress has several inches of memory foam material built in, and I have a cotton-poly quilted mattress pad on top of it. I don’t wear pajamas. At night the room is about 75°F.

At night I get so hot that I can’t even have the sheet covering me, and I sweat. Then the fan blows and evaporates the sweat and I have to cover up again. My boyfriend sleeping right next to me is fine. Is there something I can do to stay cool at night?
posted by Coffeemate to Grab Bag (36 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I find if I stick my feet out from under the covers to wave around in the air then I don't feel so hot. I've read that your feet are kind of a thermometer for you body so if your feet are comfortable then the rest of you doesn't feel so hot / cold.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:44 PM on May 10, 2004


I think some people are just naturally hot sleepers. I burn up while I sleep no matter the room temperature, while my boyfriend freezes. Sometimes I'll keep a cool wash cloth by the bed to put on my neck or wrists if I become unbearably hot. I'll second the feet thing, too -- if I sleep with my feet out from under the covers, I feel a lot cooler.
posted by Zosia Blue at 6:52 PM on May 10, 2004


Why am I so hot in bed?

LOL! Coffeemate rarely posts, but when she does, she comes up with some finely worded questions.
posted by Shane at 6:52 PM on May 10, 2004 [1 favorite]


I have the same dilemma...could it be a girl thing? Actually, mine's weirder. I feel cold, but my boyfriend tells me that I radiate heat. It's not an illness thing since it always happens. Very strange, indeed.
posted by amandaudoff at 7:03 PM on May 10, 2004


Why am I so hot in bed?

I must state for the record that this thread is, unfortunately, nothing like I hoped it would be.
posted by quarantine at 7:06 PM on May 10, 2004 [1 favorite]


I'd like to pretend that the wording of the FPP was accidental, but it wasn't. Thanks for all the comments so far.

I was wondering if the memory foam or mattress pad on the bed might be having some effect. What kind of bedding do people in hot climates use to stay cool?
posted by Coffeemate at 7:23 PM on May 10, 2004


I think the point of this thread is for a bunch of female mefites to let us know that they all have boyfriends.

I bet they planned it in the bathroom.
posted by bingo at 7:24 PM on May 10, 2004 [1 favorite]


If I had to point at one thing, I'd say the memory foam. That stuff sucks in the heat and holds it and is evil. Doesn't exactly explain why your boyfriend doesn't suffer the same fate, but it's a start. Try putting something insulative between you and that foam. An eiderdown duvet, for example.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:25 PM on May 10, 2004


People in India use cotton filled mattresses (no springs), in cotton covers, with cotton bed sheets, and cotton shawls, and cotton filled pillows, and cotton pillow covers. You get the drift.
posted by riffola at 7:26 PM on May 10, 2004


I must state for the record that this thread is, unfortunately, nothing like I hoped it would be.
I second that.

I have the same dilemma...could it be a girl thing?
I'm a guy, and I tend to get hotter than my girlfriend, despite the fact that I am from California (generally warmer) and she is from Philadelphia (colder), although maybe the fact that it's more humid here than I'm used to factors into it. I'd second the feet recommendation as well as the converse: sleep with just your feet lightly covered from the get go, thus you don't get sweaty to begin with and the fan won't make you too cold.

[on preview:
I think the point of this thread is for a bunch of female mefites to let us know that they all have boyfriends.
Glad I got to throw it back at them a bit.]
posted by rorycberger at 7:31 PM on May 10, 2004


Try the Chillow! I haven't tried it yet myself (although I've ordered it from Walgreens; it's on the way), but every single review I've read calls it a miracle for us hot sleepers.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:44 PM on May 10, 2004


Both the wife and I are hot in bed, in both senses of the word.

She swears by the feet thing, I mostly just suffer. In the dead of winter in the Northwest we leave the window open and are still hot. For a while I thought it was a low grade infection or something, right before I had my wisdom teeth out far too late in life it was worse.

Even when I'm as fit as fiddle I get hot and sweaty in bed, when sleeping.

Not that that helps, but at least you're not alone, or rather at least you're the only one in the relationship, with the two of us it gets downright unbearable in the summer months.
posted by togdon at 7:46 PM on May 10, 2004


It is punishment for living in sin, obv. Which explains why I have the same problem.
posted by mookieproof at 7:47 PM on May 10, 2004


I'm a guy and I have the same problem. I sleep near the window and have the fan on me. I usually wake up slighty in the middle of the night and cover myself up if I'm cold. It's been going on so long that I'm so used to it by now that I don't even think about it anymore or bother trying to find a better way.

I'm with ya, but I got no magic bullet for the problem.

The worst was when it was -30F here in St. Paul and I still had the window open, that was a cry for help.
posted by graventy at 7:54 PM on May 10, 2004


Have any of you hot sleepers tried a hammock? I realize that, no, they're not particularly good for one's back, but perhaps the occasional use will allow for a good night's sleep.

About this time of year, when it's getting muggy during the day and evening relief is meager (plus I'm too lazy and cheap to instal and turn on the a/c), I make a point of taking a shower before bed. I start the shower steaming, like I like it, and then drop the temp in steps down to what I'd call "cool". It kinda informs my body what it's supposed to be doing, temperature-wise.
posted by notsnot at 8:40 PM on May 10, 2004


Don't eat before going to sleep.
posted by mr.marx at 8:57 PM on May 10, 2004


Or try a waterbed. You can get twin-bag beds so that your boyfriend can have his at a normal sort of temperature, while you can have yours filled with ice.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:28 PM on May 10, 2004


Hammocks are money. Hard to sleep in one with an SO, however.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:35 PM on May 10, 2004


my spouse was always cold, and i am always warm. i like to be covered, but i need to stay cool. over the years, we gravitated to progressively thicker quilts to keep her toasty, while i eventually stepped the ceiling fan up to hurricane levels. i also swear by the feet thing - its as if my feet just wick off the body heat and i could feel comfortable even under that damn quilt! i became so used to this that even though she's gone, i still sleep under the quilt with the fan on full-tilt boogie.
posted by quonsar at 11:04 PM on May 10, 2004


If I had to point at one thing, I'd say the memory foam. That stuff sucks in the heat and holds it and is evil.

Oh my god, dude, you're so right. I'm not alone. The side of my face gets hot immediately when I use the foam pillows, and for some reason even stays slightly flushed for around a minute after, especially my ear.
posted by abcde at 11:21 PM on May 10, 2004


Or try a waterbed.

Bear in mind that if you don't turn up the heater in the waterbed the cold water will draw the heat right out of you during the night. To a very dangerous degree, I might add. Whether or not this fact, reasonably tempered, is useful here is up to you. Before anyone objects to the 'sloshing' effect one gets when sleeping with a mate in bed - bear in mind that modern waterbed mattresses use a system of internal baffles, so the wave effect is mostly negated.
posted by Ryvar at 12:35 AM on May 11, 2004


I like to be cool in bed, but when I slept once in an only slightly underheated waterbed, it really freaked me out. I could feel the heat being sucked from me. I didn't like it at all.

So, I'm very relieved at this thread because even in the winter I slept with my feet sticking out from under the covers at the end of the bed. I'm not comfortable any other way. I also keep a ceiling fan on all the time.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:16 AM on May 11, 2004


I read some research about how people who wear socks and gloves actually sleep better and deeper because their body temperature is lower.

It's counterintuitive, but there is logic to this: when your feet and hands are uncovered (and maybe even sticking out from under the sheets), your body needs to keep producing heat to keep them warm, overheating the rest of the body and causing you to sweat (which then evaporates and cools you off until you wake up).

So maybe you should try wearing socks, and maybe even pajamas as well: it's possible that you're so hot because you're actually cooling down all the time.

The research didn't say anything about those pointy bed hats, but I suppose they work too. And just think how cute you'd look!
posted by NekulturnY at 1:40 AM on May 11, 2004


I keep my apt cold and the SO wears a sweatshirt and pants and uses a blanket. Being relaxed makes me cooler too, possibly because it's easier for the blood to get to my hands and feet.
posted by callmejay at 8:19 AM on May 11, 2004


I read some research about how people who wear socks and gloves actually sleep better and deeper because their body temperature is lower.

Some Chinese and Middle-Easterners recommend drinking hot tea. My Tai Chi instructor recommended this to us, and it works somewhat for me. In the book House of Sand and Fog, the main character, who is Persian, says that you must have a fire inside equal to that outside in order to fight the heat. His American coworkers shake their heads as he drinks hot tea on a sweltering day.

I think the actual logic is, if you heat up your insides, you are making it easier for your metabolism to keep you at 98.6 degrees, thus your metabolism "relaxes" and burns less calories. In any case, I like it. Brilliant logic! Fight heat with heat.
posted by Shane at 8:43 AM on May 11, 2004


Do you notice this more during or shortly after ovulation?
posted by thomcatspike at 8:57 AM on May 11, 2004


my wife puts off about 3,000 BTU's at night. she wakes up sweaty, generally can't wear a pair of pajamas more than one night at a time due to how wet they get. she used to sleep in a waterbed with the heat turned up as far as it will go... she likes to be warm, so we have a thick down blanket, but last few weeks it's been too much. i'll have to tell her about the feet thing... might help. unfortunately we have two cats that just love to sit on feet when we're in bed sleeping. mostly my feet - my wife squirms around too much at night, they like me because i stay put and don't wake them up by excessive wiggling. i like the kitties, but waking up drenched with sweat thanks to furry thermal slippers that whine and complain when you make them move isn't so much fun.

i'm mostly too hot during the day, not sure why. seems to be just the last 6-8 years or so... i'm not good with humidity, but even with that, starting to sweat when it gets up to a whopping 70 degrees doesn't seem like normal to me.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:47 AM on May 11, 2004


Do you notice this more during or shortly after ovulation?
I'm on the pill, so ovulation is not a factor.
posted by Coffeemate at 9:51 AM on May 11, 2004


I'm on the pill, so ovulation is not a factor.

You still ovulate on the pill. It works by preventing implantation.
posted by dame at 10:12 AM on May 11, 2004


That's why your period is lighter. Less tissue=no implantation; less tissue=lighter period.
posted by dame at 10:19 AM on May 11, 2004


i'm not good with humidity, but even with that, starting to sweat when it gets up to a whopping 70 degrees doesn't seem like normal to me.

A cold rinse after showering helps me with this.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:31 AM on May 11, 2004


Dame, Coffeemate, you're both right. The pill supresses ovulation and makes your womb a barren place where seed can find no purchase, just in case ovulation does happen. Oh and it makes cervical mucus thicker so those little buggers have a harder time getting in.
posted by jennyb at 11:17 AM on May 11, 2004


I have the foot issue in reverse. My feet have to be covered or I don't feel warm enough.
posted by bingo at 3:19 PM on May 11, 2004


Here in Australia they actually came out with the "Venus and Mars duvet", which is a comforter with one thick half and one thin half. I have a feeling my boyfriend and I are going to need it in a few years. He sleeps through the dead of winter with only a sheet (and his feet sticking out) and complains that he's hot, while I huddle next to him with three blankets and pajamas. Are you skinny? I blame it on his skinniness. He's got very little natural insulation so his body responds by pumping out heat constantly... which keeps him skinny... and perpetuates the cycle. Bastard!
posted by web-goddess at 4:08 PM on May 11, 2004


Well if it's 75 degrees and humid, it could just be that your bedroom is . . . hot. The ideal sleeping temperature is between 60 and 65 degrees F.
posted by sixdifferentways at 4:51 PM on May 11, 2004


I too am a guy and I used to be able to heat a studio apartment in Chicago with body heat alone. I for a while thought it to do with dehydration, but I never concluded anything with my feeble, hastily done experiments addled with faux insomnia.
posted by codger at 12:38 PM on May 12, 2004


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