I took it as normal when my 4 year old son would wake up covered in sweat. Even in the middle of the night when the ambient room temperature was low, he would lie in a pool of sweat. I made sure he was not over dressed and removed most of his bed covers, just leaving a cotton sheet over him. However this did not seem to help.

The excess sweating would cause him to scratch and he was obviously missing out on some quality sleep as he was very tired in the mornings. I wasn’t too concerned about it and thought that it was just one of those things that young boys go through as they grow.

I then overheard a parent making a similar comment so I decided to investigate to see how I could help him.

I learnt that a young child’s ability to regulate their temperature was not as mature as adults and as they have a higher proportion of sweat glands compared to the size of their bodies they sweat more than adults.  Kids Sleeping Sweaty!

In my research I also came to understand that most night sweating is not related to medical conditions (you should seek professional advice if you are concerned) however related to the environment. I saw many suggestions including:

  • Make sure room temperature is approximately 22 degrees Celsius
  • Dress them in light pyjamas and only use pure cotton sheets
  • A ceiling fan on low may help to regulate their temperature.

These recommendations did not consistently help. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when I was changing his bed that I realised something. The waterproof mattress protector under his sheets has a thin plastic layer (they all do). I then had a quick thought that if I wrapped myself in a plastic bag, I too would sweat uncontrollably.

How do I retain the waterproof feature of the mattress protector whilst moving my son as far away from the plastic as possible? I did more research and found an alternative to the waterproof mattress protector. A quilted protector, usually with a cotton cover and filled with a natural material) would remove him further away from the plastic layer. I purchased one and placed it over the top of the waterproof protector.

Wow – What a difference. Since that day (about 8 months ago) his night sweating has dramatically reduced. We all sweat in our sleep (that is normal) however he no longer scratches all night and he wakes up a much happy kid.