I'm tempted to sleep in the refrigerator.
June 8, 2012 5:06 PM   Subscribe

I sometimes sweat profusely while I sleep and I'm wondering if there is any way to make this stop. If I make it too cold, I can't fall asleep, and if I fall asleep, I wake up drenched in sweat to the point I have to change the sheets. How do I cope with this?

I'm aware that there are various medical explanations for night sweats but I don't think any of them apply to me. They've been happening for years, so I don't think it's menopause (I'm 37). I've had a complete blood panel, a bone scan, and a brain MRI recently (for unrelated reasons) and there's nothing wrong with me. I'm not on medications for which this is a known symptom, and besides this started long before I took these medications. mr. desjardins is not a factor either.

Last night I fell asleep in a t-shirt, under a sheet and a comforter. It was in the 50s outside and there was an a/c with the vent open but it was not turned on. I woke up and the shirt, my underwear, and the sheets were drenched. I took the clothing off, changed the sheets, turned the air conditioner on and tried to sleep with only a sheet on. I was shivering, so I put the comforter on me and fell asleep... only to wake up two hours later in the same situation. This happens in the winter when it's below freezing outside; the heat is set around 60-65 in the house but I close the vent to the bedroom.

Normally my hands and feet are colder than average; I wear socks on all but the very hottest days. I don't suddenly feel hot during the day. I sometimes have to use a space heater in my office because the air conditioning is cranked so high.

Anyway, I'm not looking for a diagnosis per se, I'm looking for ways to cope with being a nocturnal furnace.
posted by desjardins to Health & Fitness (60 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I am The Best Bedwarmer Ever, according to my cats (and ex-girlfriends) and what I do is sleep with layers of relatively light blankets and no clothes. Clothes never work unless it's genuinely freezing in the house (which seldom happens, because I live in Texas - to the point where my furnace hasn't worked in five years but I've never gotten around to having it fixed.)

My feet actually get colder if I wear socks - my theory is that I sweat through them and then they stay damp, chilling me. Cotton clothes, likewise. If I wear shorts to bed (if I have the less-fun kind of company, for example) I use athletic shorts that are designed to do at least some wicking.

So, preferably nude, at least two light blankets within groping distance, at least one foot out at all times. Plus a cat or two - those can't be helped.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:15 PM on June 8, 2012

Try some wicking nightclothes - bamboo or polypropylene maybe. Lots of stuff marketed for menopausal ladies - the wicking helps me keep from feeling frozen when I throw off all the covers soaked.
posted by leslies at 5:20 PM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

My hunch is the sheet/comforter combination which is the key to why things aren't working - a sheet isn't enough, but a sheet plus a comforter might be too much.

I have the same kind of "Goldilocks" problem - if it's too hot or too cold, I can't handle it. But a bunch of different blankets and throws work better than a big comforter, because it's a finer degree of control; you can add just one or two blankets, depending on what you need. A comforter is like adding three blankets all in one.

Oh, and I sleep nekkid as well. I only wear a tee if it's really cold.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:23 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

How about using just a sheet and/or light blanket and putting a heated mattress pad on a timer? Set it to shut off after 30 minutes to an hour. Would solve the need-warmth-to-fall-asleep problem, and not having it all trapped by a comforter once you're asleep.
posted by likeso at 5:24 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does this happen at a certain point in your menstrual cycle, or all the time? I am around your age and I have this happen for 3-5 days at the end of/just after my period, like clockwork every month. Once I discovered exactly what nights this was going to be happening, I was able to at least be prepared for it if nothing else. The fact that it stopped being a surprise was enough to help me sleep a little better through it.
posted by dayintoday at 5:26 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah switch out the comforter (or doona as they're known hereabouts) for blankets etc, gives you a much finer grade for temperature adjustment. For example, my partner sleeps with one or two doonas. I sleep with a sheet, a "hospital blanket" (those cotton blankets you get at hospitals), a thicker blanket on top of that and now it's cold here a doona on that.
posted by smoke at 5:27 PM on June 8, 2012

When it's time to sleep, your body temperature naturally rises slightly. You get sleepy, kick your socks off, and drift off. My totally unscientific suggestion is that you might be trying to transition from being awake! to being asleep... too quickly, so you set yourself in bed at a temperature that is comfortable for someone who is awake! but definitely not for sleepy you. Can you try going to bed 30 minutes before you want to sleep and doing something drowsy-making like reading with a dim light? During those 30 minutes you'll get drowsier, warmer, kick off the appropriate level of comforters/sheets/clothing, and hopefully drift into a comfortable, sweat-free sleep.
posted by telegraph at 5:27 PM on June 8, 2012

I'm like this too. I went and got a lightweight duvet. It's thinner than normal duvets but thick enough that it feels cozy and keeps me warm. (got mine at Ikea) I also changed from t-shirt and pyjama pants to a skimpy short spaghetti strap nightie. Like
this one

We have a window open most nights even in the winter (but I live in Vancouver, BC, so we don't see much below -5 or so and that's REALLY cold for us!)

I'm not sure whether it helped or not but we got a king size bed. Mr. Sadtomato is farther away from me and I don't think I get as much of his heat as I did in a smaller bed.

I still get the night sweats every once in a while but it's greatly reduced.
posted by sadtomato at 5:31 PM on June 8, 2012

I sleep similarly and have been tempted by this....
posted by cecic at 5:33 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

A fan? I overheat in general but I find that because a constant breeze increases the convective cooling rate on exposed skin it lets you much more precisely vary your body temperature by covering and uncovering, at the same air temparature.
posted by XMLicious at 5:35 PM on June 8, 2012

Oh, seconding the fan. There's always a point when the weather warms up where I have an uncomfortable night before I realize I need to reset the ceiling fan to be on when the light is off.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:41 PM on June 8, 2012

Agree that it sounds like you're missing finer temperature control. Going from a sheet to a comforter is kind of hard. I'd be alternately sweating and freezing too. A nice lightweight wool or a cotton blanket might give you a little more control--it sounds like you might be missing a 'medium'.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:43 PM on June 8, 2012

And try natural fibers if you don't already -- polyester blankets can be like sleeping under thick garbage bags. They trap everything.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:45 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

I don't think sleeping naked is an option. Most partners don't particularly enjoy being sponges. I sleep with a fan running, one normal comforter. Try to gauge your "temp" when you get into bed, also after getting up to pee. If you feel a bit sweaty getting in, make your partner sleep facing away from you. That way he doesn't control the space, and can't snuggle his whole body against yours. If you get cold, switch positions. I usually hop outside for a bit to cool down if I need too, and clear my head, as I like to blame intense dreams on excess sweating.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:48 PM on June 8, 2012

Do you have a waterproof mattress protector, or a memory foam mattress pad? Is your comforter down? Is it light or heavy?

This happened to me, and my husband, about a year ago. We ditched the waterproof mattress pad and got a lighter down comforter and the night sweats went away for both of us.
posted by Seppaku at 5:52 PM on June 8, 2012

Did you definitely have your thyroid levels checked? I have Hashimoto's disease (my levels fluctuate enough so that meds are generally unhelpful or push me into the dangerous levels of hyper when I do fluctuate in that direction) and I have a really hard time with temperature control. I agree that a lighter wool blanket in between a sheet and sheet+comforter is necessary, as well as a fan (ceiling, window, standing). I hope you don't have thyroid issues but this is definitely a symptom.

Also, I don't see how sleeping naked is NOT an option... or at least I don't know how you would know that about the OP's relationship? I sleep naked all the time. I find it really helpful for when I'm right on the tipping point of being too warm/cold. My husband is never sad to find me nude in bed next to him... :)
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:56 PM on June 8, 2012

I have random night sweats, and for me it's not particularly related to how hot/cold it is. (Mine are mostly hormonal, though, and have been related to pregnancy/breastfeeding/etc.) I would frequently wake up absolutely freezing and totally soaked with cold sweat.

I just started keeping a biiiig bath towel and a change of PJs near the bed, and when I woke up in the night soaked, changed my pajamas, put the towel down on the sheets, and went back to sleep. (My husband uses 8 million blankets and I use one, so I'd just throw off the soaked blanket and pull over one of his.) In the alternative, if I'd been having a string of night sweats, I'd put down the towel before bed, and just throw it off the bed at 3 a.m.

It doesn't solve anything, but it helps not to have to change the sheets in the middle of the night, and towels are easy to launder.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:58 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: To answer several questions:

- I don't wear socks to bed, but almost always wear them during the day (I never wear sandals or go barefoot). My point was that during the day I have a normal/below-normal temperature.

- The bed is a Sleep Number, the comforter is down, maybe medium-heavy, my pillow is memory foam (but my head isn't sweaty; it's 90% my torso).

- I already end up sleeping nude or near-nude most nights. I usually wear wicking fabrics like capilene or a cotton t-shirt if I wear anything.

- A big part of the problem is that I do not wake up in time to put on/kick off a blanket. By the time I wake up it's way too late.
posted by desjardins at 6:03 PM on June 8, 2012

- A big part of the problem is that I do not wake up in time to put on/kick off a blanket. By the time I wake up it's way too late.

Right, but if the comforter is too much, maybe the blanket would be the Goldilocks 'just right' standard and there wouldn't be a problem, is what I think.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:09 PM on June 8, 2012

Response by poster: Okay, I'm sold! Specific blanket suggestions for a queen size bed?
posted by desjardins at 6:15 PM on June 8, 2012

Right now I've got a Target one that works fine - it's a thin quilted thing - and a woven cotton one from Ikea that's rough and thinner and very handy as either a super-light layer or an extra bit of insulation. Previously I had an Ikea duvet (might well be the same as sadtomato's) that I loved the stuffing out of, literally.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:20 PM on June 8, 2012

Have you been tested for sleep apnea? When i don't use my CPAP I wake up in a puddle
posted by spicynuts at 6:25 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

We had the sweating problem with mr needled when we used down comforters. Last summer I got a comforter from Ikea labeled as a warm-weather comforter to try it out, as the queen-size was only $10. No more drenched in sweat mr needled! And I still have a comforter that keeps me warmer than just a sheet.
posted by needled at 6:28 PM on June 8, 2012

We bought one of the light cotton blankets from Target in queen size (Room Essentials? It's their cheap line, just comes with a cardboard thing around it) and have used it for years. When it gets really cold, we have another, heavier blanket we toss on top for layering. I don't think we've ever actually used the heavy one.

Have you considered covering only the parts of you that get cold? I'm a cold sleeper that doesn't like to get TOO cold or too hot, so I often wind up with the blanket draped over my torso with my lower legs and feet uncovered.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:28 PM on June 8, 2012

nthing a fan and a blanket. i am a warm sleeper, and the down comforter wakes me up a lot (the bf is always cold and needs it) because i find it stiflingly hot. now, he gets the sheets and the comforter, and i have a blanket and find it is all i need. i also bought a remote control fan - we don't have a/c, and the remote is awesome for when i want the fan off, but getting out of bed wakes me up too much.
posted by koroshiya at 6:30 PM on June 8, 2012

a very very lightweight comforter recommendation:
this one from ikea.
posted by calgirl at 6:37 PM on June 8, 2012

I have a microfiber kind of thing that I got from Target. It's two layers of almost fleece-like material quilted together. It is super warm, but it also (via magic) is breathable and not "too" warm.

And yeah, the sleep apnea thing.
posted by gjc at 6:45 PM on June 8, 2012

There is nothing like a wool fleece mattress pad. That and a light wool blanket should do the trick.

I got one as a wedding present and had it on a bed that houseguests used, one of whom had a terrible night sweating problem. They bought one for their own bed immediately after getting home as it made such a difference.
posted by readery at 6:48 PM on June 8, 2012

I think wool blankets are best for regulating body temperature. I get very sweaty under synthetics.
posted by Orinda at 6:50 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

My favoritest blankets in the world are Target's microplush. They are made, essentially, of the pelt of very expensive teddy bears. They're thin, really thin, but are dense and weigh a ton (if you like the weight of a comforter) but still breathe a little and DO NOT SLIDE OFF THE BED. In fact, you have to use fabric softener on them and even then you will be able to watch a tiny light show of sparks in the dark moving it around, they are so sticky and staticky. In Texas and California I've used it year round, though in Texas I needed a second blanket Dec-Feb and none at all in July-Aug.

A note on bed-sharing and preferences: we sleep under separate sheets and blankets. The sheets are staggered - each of us has a King sheet all the way to the floor (heavily overlapping in the middle), because we both sleep with body pillows and we have big dogs who pin down the sheets in the middle and you need a lot of slack for all that. But also, my husband sleeps year-round under a massive down comforter, which is madness. It stays on his side of the bed, and I use the Teddy Bear Blanket by myself.

Another vote for naked sleeping here. It's just too many layers. If you must wear something, stick to a form-fitting tank rather than a loose t-shirt.

We don't have A/C, just a window fan and nights that are no hotter than 68 degrees, but when it's only 68 at night, I need an extra fan blowing on the middle of my body. I put a stand fan where it doesn't blow on our faces.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:51 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree that sheet and comforter are too extreme! Try a sheet and a lightweight blanket

Have you tried a timed warming blanket? I got a blanket a while ago that I could program to stay heated for an hour (or two, or four) and it would help me stay warm enough to fall asleep.

Alternately, a space heater in your room that you can crank up when you go to bed (so you don't need a comforter) but over time the room will cool?
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 6:51 PM on June 8, 2012

100% cotton sheets, cotton thermal blankets, 2 cotton mattress pads over the foam pad. This solved my night sweats problem. I still very occasionally have them but nothing like as often or as badly. The foam "egg crate" is wonderfully comfortable on my extra firm mattress and keeps me from having those pressure points at hip and ankle. I need this because I tend to not move when I sleep but, experimenting, I found I needed the cotton thermal layers on top of it in order to stay cool enough.

Good luck. I struggled with this as a young woman (hormones, they said), as a middle-aged woman (menopause, they said), and now that I'm old and nobody knows. (This is fanciful, I know, but I sometimes suspect I am having a tiny battle with some infection or other--all under the radar--but my body is in there fighting for me so I try to be tolerant of it.) I also am very sensitive to temperature--often have cold feet, can't breathe if it's too hot, etc.
posted by Anitanola at 7:01 PM on June 8, 2012

I used to struggle with this and finally discovered that, paradoxically, I get warmer when I'm wearing nothing. Now I sleep in a t-shirt and shorts in the winter (in Massachusetts), and a pair of thin cotton PJ's in the summer. No more sweating! It's mysterious, but seems to work. In the winter I have flannel sheets, a down comforter, and a quilt on my bed. In the summer I just have a sheet and a light down comforter. Sometimes I switch out the comforter for a quilt if it's really how.
posted by apricot at 7:09 PM on June 8, 2012

Coming in to suggest a warm shower or bath before bed. This way you fall asleep warm under just a sheet and light cotton blanket (or two) and my the time you have cooled off from the bath you are at a perfect sleeping temp.
posted by saradarlin at 7:18 PM on June 8, 2012

We have a lightweight cotton quilt that we put inside our duvet cover during the summer, which seems to work for us (and the bed looks nice). My hubs and I also wake up drenched in sweat this time of year if we haven't switched out our comforter.
posted by elizeh at 7:19 PM on June 8, 2012

One thought -- memory foam insulates really well and, while your head may not be sweaty when you wake up, cooling off your head will go a long way toward cooling the rest of your body (much like putting on a hat when it's cold will help warm you up). Your body works very hard to keep your head at a consistent temperature and a big part of that is managing heat with your torso and legs.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 7:25 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have the same problem. On our bed is a top sheet, a light cotton woven blanket (I think of it as a thermal blanket but that may be the wrong term) folded in half (it's just for me, not the mister) and a duvet in a cover. I usually start out with the sheet and the blanket folded in half (so two layers, three including the sheet). As I get warmer at night I'll flip off half of the blanket or even the whole thing. Only in the winter do I want the duvet on me (and it's a summer weight duvet).
posted by deborah at 7:30 PM on June 8, 2012

Another vote for cotton and wool, plus maybe a natural pillow, too. My life improved with:
- cotton mattress pad
- cotton flannel sheets -- they feel warmer when dry and also don't feel so cold if they get damp
- light wool blanket
- a second wool blanket kept on hand if necessary
- buckwheat hull pillow
posted by ceiba at 7:47 PM on June 8, 2012

Do you drink alcohol? That's what does it to me. Stop drinking for a week or two, and see if the night sweats stop.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:51 PM on June 8, 2012

Seconding the suggestion of a wool mattress pad. I bought mine from Overstock.com. I now switched to a different sized mattress, can't use it any more and I'm going to buy another one that fits the new mattress. It made such a difference.
posted by Majorita at 8:15 PM on June 8, 2012

I have this problem too. I get in bed with a heating pad that shuts off after 30 minutes. Works like a charm!
posted by pazazygeek at 8:51 PM on June 8, 2012

My favorite blanket which works well in warm climates (SoCal) is this bamboo one I bought from Amazon: Elite Home Panda Collection Natural Cotton/Rayon from Bamboo Blend Blanket It was a bit linty at first, but really, it's perfect for the situation you are describing. Also, I have a queen bed & it fits quite nicely.
posted by katemcd at 9:03 PM on June 8, 2012

I usually wear wicking fabrics like capilene or a cotton t-shirt if I wear anything.

I can't speak for capilene, but I have found (when going through night sweats during chemoradiation and for months afterwards) that cotton t-shirts actually compounded the problem -- they absorb all that moisture, but then cling to your skin, which results in feeling really clammy and awful.

What helped for me were to get t-shirts or sleep shirts made specifically for keeping cool at night, usually in modal or a modal/cotton blend (such as these t-shirts from Hue).

Also, another trick that helped pretty well was keeping my feet uncovered at night -- that is, sticking out from under the sheet/blanket, either without socks or with only very thin ankle socks. If they stayed cool (especially if I could get them right in line with the fan or A/C), it seemed to mitigate the worst of the night sweats quite a bit.
posted by scody at 9:41 PM on June 8, 2012

This happens to me when I run too late in the day or extremely hard (or twice a day).
posted by small_ruminant at 10:03 PM on June 8, 2012

As a Type 2 diabetic, this happens when I'm not controlling my blood glucose well.

What I try to do is a) get back on track overall and b) in the short term, having a good day without overeating and stopping eating much earlier, replacing food with water. This means my body has less work to do during the night to process carbs and such.

My experience is that it has everything to do with my metabolism, in other words, and nothing at all to do with what I'm sleeping on or in or other environmental factors like airflow.
posted by dhartung at 11:28 PM on June 8, 2012

For what it's worth, I used to get really bad night sweats, and then I figured out I was gluten-intolerant. When I stopped eating gluten, I stopped getting night sweats. Whenever I get glutened again accidentally, I sweat like a pig for one night.
posted by colfax at 1:41 AM on June 9, 2012

Alcohol does this for me but if that's not the cause rethink your bed covers.

Amazingly the lightest feather comforter I could find actually keeps me warm in winter but also in the sort of temperatures you describe at the moment - without feeling too hot.

But when it starts to get warmer I start with a sheet. I place a couple of blankets of varying thickness over my feet, ready to pull up if I feel too cold. If the sheet feels too cold I pull up the thin fleece blanket. If that still feels too cold after a little while I pull the other blanket (a thicker cotton one) to hip level. Normally the fleece blanket does it when it is really warm. If it is a colder night pulling the other blanket half way up normally is enough to be comfortably warm. If I need both blankets pulled up fully for a few nights in a row I'd go back to the comforter.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:43 AM on June 9, 2012

For a warmer wool one, I love LL Bean's washable wool blankets. For light cotton ones, we just get whatever is 100% cotton and in the right color and on sale at JC Penney or Macy's or wherever. I think it's a little more tricky to get wool blankets right.

But we have one of each and a down comforter, which retires sometime in June and comes back into rotation in early September in our area.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:59 AM on June 9, 2012

I've had problems with this only when staying the night in a specific bed - horribly, horribly sweaty and enough so that it sets off my "did I just pee the bed?" reflex which wakes me up repeatedly. If you haven't already done some sleeping in a different bed, try it out and see if it is the mattress.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:47 AM on June 9, 2012

We recently got bamboo blankets for our bed for summertime use and I love the hell out of them. They're designed to wick moisture, so they'd be ideal for sweatiness. They're also super soft and cozy and warm without being *too* warm. I don't remember the brand - Panda or something? Anyhow, search "bamboo blankets" on Amazon. Ours were <>
(On preview: Yes, the ones katemed recommends.)
posted by sonika at 4:50 AM on June 9, 2012

I do the same thing as Eyebrows McGee - keep a big towel, a change of pajamas and an extra pillow by the bed, because every month like clockwork I'm going to have a couple horrible, drench the bed and pillows nights. My theory is that everything you can do to stay as asleep as possible on those nights is better for your mental health. It helps a lot to not actually have to wake all the way up and change the sheets and all that misery. I find I can change pajamas and toss a towel down without ever waking up all the way. I use a big sheet (I sleep alone in a queen size bed) so I can just turn it and sleep under the dry part. I wear big baggy t-shirts to sleep in, mostly because they're so easy to change in and out of and I don't care that they're soaked. I use a sheet/blanket combination with three blankets: a thermal cotton blanket, a wool blanket and, in the winter, a strange blanket/comforter combo thing that was my daughters in elementary school and I think I layer and unlayer them all night long without even noticing it. Layering is key, though - I loved my down comforter but I had to give it up.
posted by mygothlaundry at 5:43 AM on June 9, 2012

I discovered accidentally (when I started a diet) that my night sweats were reduced almost to nil when I eliminated sugar from my diet. I can eat a little goodie at lunchtime but if I have something sweet after dinner, I am doomed to a night of dripping sweat. It only took about three days of no sugar for me to see the difference so you might want to try this.
posted by eleslie at 6:28 AM on June 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

restless_nomad: " at least one foot out at all time"

There have been recent studies with athletes that suggest that the soles of our feet & hands play a larger role in temperature control than expected. Try sleeping with your feet out. It helps for me.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:56 AM on June 9, 2012

I'm pretty sure the down comforter is causing your problem. I have switched mine out for a few quilts made by Nautica - they're cotton and have a nice weight but are also light. Also, I recommend sleeping sans clothing.
posted by k8lin at 9:05 AM on June 9, 2012

From the woman who shares my bed:

Oh please please please let me help you! I’m 41, fairly healthy, not menopausal, and have to wear a sweater whenever it dips below 70. Like you, the bedroom a/c vent is closed (dries out my sinuses) but that’s okay because the house is generally cool. And I love crawling into a warm bed in a cool room…and hate waking up wet and roasting three hours later. I realized that by the time I awoke because my chest was too warm, my thighs had been sweating long enough to soak the bottom sheet. What I’d discovered is that when snuggling in, rarely did my whole body crave more warmth…rather, just the fleshier parts of me. In my case, it’s usually my butt and legs…you know, those insulate-y parts that just get warmer and warmer when they stay wrapped up, even though we all know your body cools as your metabolism slows as you sleep, blah blah blah, so why am I sweating like I ran just five miles, Einstein? It’s beyond annoying, it’s so frustrating you turn to strangers on the internet. Anyway…

I sleep in a long-sleeved lightweight sweatshirt and undies. If I need to feel wrapped up I can pull up the sheet (cotton jersey btw), but most nights I fall asleep with the sheet/lightweight comforter combo below the waist and stay clothed but uncovered on top.

And it makes all the difference in the world, it really does, I promise. Having half of my body outside the insulating tent means less heat generated inside the cocoon, but it’s enough to keep me sufficiently warm all over without overheating.

Cold weather means a thicker shirt, the addition of socks (it takes FOREVER for my feet to warm otherwise, and I can kick them off if necessary) and an electric blanket with the timer and one-hour boost function, where it will blaze on high for an hour then drop to whatever level you want for the rest of the night. In my case, it’s the lowest, because my body heat by that time will be enough to keep the bed-cave warm.

So before you go out and buy new sheets and moisture-wicking garments, try this:
-Aim for a cool room
-Address only the body part saying “I need more warmth” when you you’re lying in bed, and realize if you wrap up everything in the same space it will continue to heat up and subsequently melt into a puddle after you fall asleep. Hope this helps.
posted by Max McCarty at 9:05 AM on June 9, 2012

A lot of this happens to me, for different reasons (city that gets really hot in the summers, no A/C) but with the same results.

The fan's been mentioned, and it can't be mentioned enough - when I had a ceiling fan I needed that motherfucker on EVERY NIGHT, even in dead-cold winter. But something that hasn't been mentioned is where the fan's located. Across the room doesn't always cut it for me; there are nights where the only way I can fall asleep is to put the fan directly on my bed blowing straight at me. Obviously, if you share your bed this will be much more of an issue, but if not, and it works, well....
posted by dekathelon at 1:57 PM on June 9, 2012

I'd recommend using a fan that's on a timer. This way, it won't cool you down too much as you're trying to fall asleep, and can hopefully catch up as your comfort level changes during the night.
posted by germdisco at 3:26 PM on June 9, 2012

I run hot when in bed, and my solution is to use a light fleece blanket while my wife sleeps under the full down duvet. Works for me, I don't get as sweaty and because it's light, I unconsciously move the blanket as needed to regulate temperature.
posted by arcticseal at 4:09 PM on June 9, 2012

I get night sweats every time I'm exposed to disease--colds, flu, anything else. It took me a while to figure out the correlation. I finally notice that it happened every time there was a cold going around at work.

On the positive side, I rarely get sick (knock on wood), and if I do get sick, it is very mild case .
posted by eye of newt at 9:36 AM on June 10, 2012

I went through this for many years, starting when I had my tubes tied at age 35 in 1999. Went off the pill, of course, and went from a size 8 to a raging mood-swinging night sweating perimenopause unhappy camper.

Wish I had had this bed fan, as I have found air circulating, a ceiling fan, etc. or a fan, not even pointed directly at me (unless it's very hot, as humidity is not my friend and I can take heat but humidity brings on the sweats and the grumpies).

Another trick is taking a warm bath or shower before bed. You may want to get some of those hospital chucks, the pads they use for bed accidents, or at least a cotton topped mattress pad.

My husband found some lovely Egyptian cotton sheets at our local discount store for $20 US (Queen size, I got the twin size for our guest beds too!). If you want, I will send you some, memail me. No skin off my back, the store is just down the way about 3 miles and I pass by all the time. They are 1200 thread count (yes, 1200) and I don't sweat anymore. I actually sleep through the night. I also got rid of the comforter and use a lightweight blanket and an afghan that my sister made. Hubs cocoons in the afghan and I do the horsey thing:

Stick one leg out and the other in and the sheets and blankies are your "saddle." Then if I get cold I put my leg back inside. We used to do this as kids all the time, me and my sister. And I have a down pillow. My husband was using the memory foam and he woke up with his head drenched in sweat all the time. Ruined my pillow cases!

Dunno if you have a Target store by you but they sell organic cotton sheets so I use those when the other ones are in the wash. Think they were $40 or $50 US tho'. Cotton, cotton, cotton. I won't even wear day clothes if they are not comfy, breezy and cottony and loose. Do you wear a bra? I stopped wearing one at home and even when I go out, lots of times I have a fleece vest, which is very lightweight but I can zip and unzip as I get warm or cool. And I keep a desk fan with a high/low setting. Too cool? I point it the other direction but the air is still FLOWING.

There are some herbal things, Evening Primrose oil and such, that you may want to look into, lots of studies on EPO for ladies' troubles. I had a girlfriend who was taking an essential oils class and she made me a lovely blend with clary sage and some other EO's. I now favor Rose Geranium oil and lavender (good quality lavender not the medicinal smelling kind).

I would ask for more tests, as I was told by one doctor that it was all in my head and did I want a ZOLOFT for my MENOPAUSE. The other doctor sold me vitamins for $60 and told me to take fish oil. Yuck! Doctors will treat it like a disease because they are trained to look at women's issues as either mental (i.e. hysteria) or physical (nothing in the blood tests, go back to mental and offer an SSRI). That's it! You are a normal woman probably going through perimenopause (and definitely have the thyroid and blood sugar tested as I am only relating my experiences). I use an herbal warming pack and heat it for 1 or 2 minutes in the microwave, snuggle with that, OR I sleep with a stuffed dinosaur, and that lets me keep the covers down below torso without being too chilled. Or I will sleep hugging a second down pillow.

Good luck! Been there, done that and it is not fun, hope you get some relief soon.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:55 AM on June 19, 2012

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