Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
If you’ve ever found yourself kicking the blankets off of you in the middle of the night, trying to cool down, chances are you’re a hot sleeper. And as recent research on the power of sleep has shown, if there’s anything specific keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, it’s worth solving.
Getting a good night’s sleep is foundational to your overall health and well-being. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Sometimes insomnia is triggered by anxiety or blue light from your screens. Those can be hard problems to tackle. But in other cases, the solution may be closer than you think. If it’s the heat keeping you up at night, there may be a relatively easy solution in the purchase of a cooling blanket. According to Health.com, “a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that people get lower quality sleep when their body can’t cool itself at night.”
What is a Cooling Blanket?
Cooling blankets are duvets or quilts explicitly designed to regulate your body temperature at night and keep you sleeping soundly for eight or more hours. Different cooling blankets use different approaches to temperature regulation. Some use natural or synthetic fabrics that are breathable and/or moisture-wicking, and others are more actively regulating temperature through hydropower or phase change fabric technology. Some blankets take it a step further and plug in, using electricity to keep you nice and cool. You can think of these calling blankets as the opposite of a heated blanket.
Cooling Blankets We LoveAmazon product
What Happens to Your Body Temperature at Night?
As your body winds down in the evening, your circadian rhythms will signal your body temperature to drop. This will help tell your body that it’s time for sleep and allow you to conserve energy for daytime activities.
As you get cooler, you might turn up the thermostat or bundle up under covers to stay warm. However, if blankets or bedding keep you too hot, your body will think it’s time to wake up and make you restless, tossing and turning throughout the night.
If you’ve ever gone camping or had a night in a woodstove heated cabin, you will know how well you can sleep in a cold room, as long as you aren’t *too* cold. You may also be familiar with the Scandinavian practice of letting babies sleep outside in subzero temperatures. According to a study by Pubmed, babies in Finland napped longer when placed outside in the winter than when they napped indoors.
Cooling Blankets for Menopause
Cooling blankets can benefit people who get night sweats due to hot flashes from menopause or perimenopause (the time leading up to menopause).
What are Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause and can occur before, during, or after a woman is actively experiencing menopause. Hormonal changes in the body cause them. Research indicated that decreasing estrogen levels in a woman cause a more intense reaction to slight changes in body temperature. Hot flashes are caused by your body thinking that it is too warm and causing you to sweat so that you will cool down. Hot flashes often occur at night, so menopause is frequently associated with night sweats.
In addition to feeling hot, hot flashes can be combined with anxiety, rapid heartbeat, perspiration, and flushed skin.
Can a Cooling Blanket Help?
While there is still a lot of formal research to be done on cooling blankets and adults, anecdotal evidence shows that they can be highly beneficial to many. Cooling blankets use temperature-regulating technology to keep you sleeping better for a more extended period. An informal study showed that 8 out of 11 babies slept, on average, four hours longer over five days when covered with temperature-regulating blankets.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that cooling blankets can help immensely with hot flashes. Since they regulate body temperature, your system will not have a chance to overreact to changes in body temperature because you will be kept consistently cool.
Different Types of Cooling Blankets
The Best Natural Fabrics for Cooling
Mother nature can offer a variety of great solutions for overheating. If you prefer natural to synthetic fabrics, there are still many material options available.
Bamboo – You might think of bamboo as those tall thin sticks that pandas eat at the zoo, but bamboo can be turned into a great fabric, which is naturally moisture-wicking and breathable.
Linen – There is a good reason why everyone likes to wear linen in the summer! Linen is one of the most breathable fabrics available, as it is made from the flax plant. It will allow your skin to cool down while still helping you feel snug naturally.
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus offers so much as a plant. Not only do its’ leaves smell heavenly, but its’ bark can also be turned into a beautiful fabric that has natural air circulating properties and can allow you to stay cool throughout the night.
Cotton – My grandmother was notorious for only ever wearing garments that were 100% cotton, and now I know why! The fabric offers moisture-wicking properties and feels so good against your skin.
In the 1980s, NASA began researching special textiles to keep humans cool in space. One idea that was developed to launch astronauts through scorching temperatures was called phase-change technology. The idea was that a fabric could absorb heat through changing states much like an ice cube might do in a glass of water, taking in the heat while moving from solid to liquid.
Phase-change technology was never used to manufacture space suits, but it was later licensed and developed for commercial use by a company called Gateway Technologies/Outlast. If you’re a hot sleeper, you can now benefit from this spacesuit research right here on earth through cooling blankets.
Choose Your Temperature
A company called Chilisleep offers a wide variety of cooling blankets, sheets, and mattresses, which regulate temperature using hydropower technology. These products allow you to select the specific temperature you want to sleep. They even have mattresses that enable partners to sleep at different temperatures from one another. If you are wondering, this also means that you can use these products to warm up if you’re cold.
What To Consider When Choosing Your Blanket
If you’re looking to purchase a cooling blanket, numerous options are available. One thing to consider is if you want something specifically designed with cooling technology or if you feel that a naturally breathe-able fabric will suffice.
If you are an extremely hot sleeper, prone to night sweats or hot flashes, you might want to go for something engineered with synthetic heat-absorbing fabric. If you simply get a little warm, then a bamboo blanket or linen blanket might be the ideal cooling blanket for you.
Additionally, you might have a natural affinity towards sleeping with certain fabrics and find the natural fabrics most comfortable against your skin compared to the synthetic cooling blankets.
If you are concerned with the look of your cooling blanket in your home, you will also want to examine the design and aesthetic of the different versions available. Some blankets, such as the Bearaby Tree Napper (a cooling weighted blanket), have a fashionable woven design that will look great in your home. Others may be more functional than beautiful.
Cooling blankets come in all different sizes. Make sure you consider where you sleep most often, and if you want this blanket to cover just you, or you and a partner as well. You can purchase cooling blankets in twin sizes through king sizes, although the price will fluctuate accordingly. Not every cooling blanket has every size available, so make sure you check sizing before getting your heart set on one model.
Some cooling blankets are electric and need to plug in or use wifi and Bluetooth capability to connect with your phone. If you love intelligent features, there are blankets available that can automatically start cooling at a specific time set by your phone and can be adjusted as needed on your phone as well.
Washing and Drying
Another aspect to consider is how you will wash your cooling blanket. Some cooling blankets have removable duvet covers, making washing very convenient. Others may need to be washed as one piece, which means that drying time will be extensive.
Do you have allergies? After sneezing my way through the last few years, I recently took an allergy test and found out that my body has a strong aversion to dust mites. When it comes to dust mites, your bed is the biggest culprit since these disgusting creatures feed on your dead skin. Luckily, some cooling blankets offer hypoallergenic fabrics in addition to cooling properties, so you don’t have to choose between overheating and sneezing all night.
As someone who travels constantly, I have to consider weight and bulkiness with any item I buy. Some cooling blankets can be easily packed into a suitcase, while others, such as the electric or weighted models, might be more difficult for traveling. Make sure to consider your lifestyle before making your purchase because once you fall in love with a blanket, you won’t want to sleep without it! There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a product, only to have to leave it behind for the majority of the time because it won’t travel.
Most Popular Cooling Blankets
The experts at Good Housekeeping ranked the Sleep Number True Temp Blanket to be the best overall cooling blanket. This blanket uses special 37.5 fibers to absorb body heat into the product and keep even the hottest sleepers comfortable all night long.
According to the experts at Real Simple, there are a couple of other blankets to check out if you prefer a specific fabric. They suggest the Brooklinen Linen Quilt for linen, and for bamboo, the Dangtop Bamboo Cooling Blanket.
For Amazon junkies, there is also the Elegear Cooling Throw Blanket, which is the top-rated cooling blanket available with Prime shipping. If you’re someone who trusts Amazon reviews over all else and values a quick delivery, this may be the choice for you.
According to Gadgets-Review, the best blanket to invest in is the EvenTemp Temperature Balancing Comforter. This cooling blanket is more expensive than some other options and is currently out of stock on Amazon but may be worth the wait. Like some other options, this blanket is designed for both warming and cooling, so it’s used more for temperature regulating than simply cooling, but it can still help you if you’re a hot sleeper. A bonus here is that the blanket is made of hypoallergenic fibers, so if you have a lot of trouble with dust mites like I do, you may find this to be a great option.
Bobvila.com ranks the Slumber Cloud Cumulous Comforter as the top choice in the cooling blanket market. This blanket uses Thermocules beads and ClimaDry fiberfill to absorb your body heat when you’re too warm and then distribute it back to your body once you cool down. It is also easily machine washable and dryable, which seems incredible for a blanket with so much technology inside of it!
Weighted Blanket vs. Cooling Blanket
What is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket, designed to imitate deep pressure stimulation, creates a feeling of calm through controlled and consistent pressure on the torso. A weighted blanket is like a regular blanket, except that weight has been distributed throughout it using dense yarn or filler, ball bearings, glass, or plastic beads.
Weighted blankets have been shown to reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia and improve sleep quality. They might also benefit those who have Autism, ADHD, and Depression.
Weighted blankets will not necessarily keep you cool. In fact, they can sometimes make you too warm. However, that problem has now been addressed by creating cooling weighted blankets.
Cooling Weighted Blankets
A weighted cooling blanket is exactly what it sounds like. Combining the technology of cooling fabrics with anxiety-reducing weight, they can provide hot sleepers with an option for weighted blankets. According to New York Magazine’s The Strategist, the very best of the cooling weighted blanket options is a knit style quilt called the Bearaby Tree Napper.
The weight of this Bearaby Tree Nappper comes from a heavyweight Tencel Lyocell fiber yarn, but the woven design allows air to flow through it while simultaneously making you feel cozy and swaddled.
Another popular consumer choice is the Gravity Cooling Blanket, which uses moisture-wicking fabric to pull sweat off your body and keep you cool as you sleep. The Gravity Cooling Blanket uses glass beads distributed with a stitched grid to add weight to the garment. Its removable cover makes washing easy since you don’t have to attempt to put the entire heavyweight blanket into the machine.
Other Options for Staying Cool in Bed
In addition to cooling blankets, you can also find cooling mattresses, cooling pads, and room coolers. Depending on your specific sleeping habits and lifestyle, you may find these different products more or less helpful than cooling blankets.
One thing that can be tricky is if you sleep with a partner and only one of you gets too hot. Chilisleep offers a Cube Sleep Chilipad system, which allows you to control the temperature of your bed on either one side or two, making it an ideal situation for partners who have different ideal sleep temperatures.
Keep it Cool
When it comes to your sleep routines, there’s no way to overstate the importance of getting it right. Sleep can be the difference between a great day and a terrible one, and if your sleep hygiene is off, you could be looking at a string of terrible days.
Cooling blankets offer one great option to keep you sleeping better for longer. With so many options available in today’s market, it’s hard to imagine that you wouldn’t be able to find a product that works for your needs.
From the most advanced space-age technology to the most basic use of age-old materials like bamboo, your cooling blanket options are endless. And now you can combine your desire to keep cool with other blanket needs, such as hypoallergenic fabrics or anxiety-reducing weight. There’s never been a better time to sleep well!