With night sweats or hot flashes, of if you have a child that gets hot during the night, it's not easy to get a good night's sleep, especially if the bedding adds to the problem. Some sheets work better than others at helping you stay cool at night. When you want to avoid sweating while you sleep, choose sheets and bedding that help wick moisture away from your body -- an average person can lose up to a pint of perspiration per night.
Cool and Dry Sheets
Bed sheets made from natural fibers breathe better and help to pull moisture from your body as you sleep.
Cotton, Percale, Sateen and Jersey Sheets made from cotton in a percale, sateen or jersey weave can keep you both cool and dry as you sleep.
Silk and Linen While fabrics made from silk and linen also breathe well, these fabrics often come with higher price tags -- and they wrinkle more easily.
- While it may seem as if lightweight sheets in silk or satin-type material offer a more comfortable sleep, these sheets have a tendency to wrap around the body, creating an insulating layer of heat.
- Percale sheets, on the other hand, offer a crisper feel that seems heavier on first glance, but these sheets don't cling to the body, allowing more air circulation as you sleep.
What Doesn't Work
Synthetic Fabrics just don't have the breathability that natural fibers do because many of these fibers are made from petroleum, chemicals or plastic fibers.
Lower Thread Counts are Cooler
Natural cotton sheets with lower thread counts are not as tightly woven as sheets with higher thread counts. Thread counts are measured by the number of threads per inch, which means they have more microscopic openings to allow air to pass through and heat to release than sheets with more threads per inch.
- Ideal lower thread count -- ranging from 250 to 350 -- offer better sleeping conditions.
- Save the sheets with higher thread counts for the winter and fall months when you typically need the added warmth; use lower thread count sheets for spring and summer.
Light colored cotton sheets in a percale weave offer a crisp, cool surface to sleep on. Dark-colored sheets absorb light and heat, providing a hotter sleep surface.
Remove the Comforter
Change out the heavy down comforter that works well in the winter months with a soft cotton comforter for the summer. The other option is to remove the comforter altogether as you sleep, folding down the bedspread before you go to sleep each night. A well-placed fan, cotton bedclothes and the right sheets can make the difference between a hot, sweaty restless sleep and a cool, dry, but comfortable one.
Mattress Pads and Toppers
When you have a tendency to perspire as you sleep, a cotton mattress pad can help wick moisture away while protecting the mattress at the same time. Combining a 100 percent cotton mattress pad with the right sheets can make a marked difference in how comfortable you sleep.
A memory foam mattress topper on your bed contributes to the heat factor when sleeping. Memory foam is notoriously hot; new technological advances in mattress toppers known as gel pads -- some even have temperature controls -- can increase your chances of a cool night's sleep.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.