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Memory Foam and Night Sweats

Waking up hot and sweaty every night? These are often symptoms of night sweats. But did you know that if you’re sleeping on a memory foam mattress, this could be the cause? While memory foam remains a popular choice, it’s a lesser known fact that this material can make you hot, sweaty and uncomfortable in the night.

Of course, you don’t have to put up with it. We’ve put together some advice and tips for relief if you find your memory foam mattress is uncomfortable.

Why your memory foam mattress is too hot

Firstly, what is a memory foam mattress actually made from? Also known as viscoelastic polyurethane foam, memory foam is a soft, highly energy- absorbent substance, initially designed for NASA aeroplane seats in the 1960s. In theory, memory foam mattresses perfectly support your body, keeping your body moulded and your spine straight in your sleep.

Memory foam mattresses are designed to support you during your sleep – instead of sleeping on springs like a regular mattress, the foam moulds to the unique contours of your body shape instead. To do this, the surface of the memory foam needs your body heat to warm it up, as the memory foam softens in reaction to warmth.

Problems with memory foam mattresses

Reflective Heat
Memory foam mattress too hot in the night? Because this material is completely synthetic, it’s not breathable and instead effectively reflects your body heat back towards you. To give you an idea what this means, your average skin temperature is 32°C, so imagine lying on a 30°C heated surface all night. On top of that, memory foam is also unable to help with moisture management. This means that once you begin to sweat, the moisture remains on the surface, with the result that you wake up feeling hot and clammy. Read on below to learn how to keep cool on a memory foam mattress.

Memory foam and night sweats
This level of heat moulded around your body as you sleep could be the cause of night sweats. This is excessively sweating during sleep, even if the temperature of the room is cool when you wake. Bedclothes and bedding can be soaked in sweat and, although this could be due to other medical conditions, if you sleep on a memory foam mattress it is worth investigating if this is the cause of your night sweats, or even making them worse.

Uncomfortable or disrupted sleep
Even if you’re not experiencing night sweats, memory foam can make you generally uncomfortable at night. The average person needs to toss and turn around 70 times every night in their sleep; however, the way that memory foam moulds to your body means that you need to use a greater amount of energy to move, often waking you out of the important deeper phases of the sleep cycle and also restricting the amount of times you turn in the night. This difficulty to toss and turn can result in you waking up several times a night to get comfortable again.

Solutions to memory foam and night sweats

If you think that hot memory foam may be causing your sleep problems, there are a number of steps you can take to find relief. Some of them may be simpler than you think.
  • Add a wool mattress protector: It’s a little-known secret that wool is an incredibly effective fibre for keeping you cool. As a breathable, natural material, it regulates temperature and absorbs more moisture than other materials such as polyester, down and even cotton. This means that if your memory foam mattress is making you sweat, having a wool mattress protector will help to draw this moisture away from your body, keeping you dry and stopping you from feeling clammy.

Of course, while a wool mattress protector is great, it isn’t a full solution to the memory foam mattress problems and you may want to try some of the other solutions below.
  • Sleep in wool bedding: Another solution for problems with memory foam mattresses is sleeping in wool bedding. While a wool mattress protector is an effective way to improve the heat regulation in your bed, surrounding yourself in wool bedding can enhance your comfort even further. Replace synthetic duvets and pillows with natural, wool-filled alternatives for a breathable, sleep-enhancing environment. As with the mattress protector, it will keep you cool and draw moisture away from your body.
  • Replace your memory foam mattress: This is the ideal solution, of course, and the best way to be sure that you’ve eliminated the problem. When choosing your new mattress, look for natural, breathable fibres rather than synthetic alternatives and remember that some pocket-sprung mattresses come with a built-in layer of memory foam too.

The good news is that you can harness the sleep-enhancing benefits of wool in your mattress too. Here at Woolroom, we offer a range of wool mattresses which are completely chemical free – so you can sleep easy in your all-natural sleep environment.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you solve your memory foam mattress problems – and sleep cool and comfortable each night.

Looking for more sleep help and advice? Take a look at our advice on Night Sweats and Menopause and Hypoallergenic Bedding.
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