Nap sweats

Manny times after taking a nap on the couch in the family room, I will wake up covered in sweat. This only happens when I actually fall asleep on the couch. If I’m just lying or sitting there watching TV, or even moving around cleaning the place, I’m perspiration-free. Also, I can sleep in my bedroom without breaking a sweat, but it’s about 4 degrees cooler there. Any ideas as to why I would sweat while taking a nap? Seems like I should be least likely to sweat while snoozing, but that just ain’t the case.

I have an appointment with a cardiologist in a couple of weeks. There is a good possibility that I’ll be diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse, which, while benign, is characteristic of dysautomnia, a mis-wiring of the autonomous nervous system. That being said, I wonder if nap sweat is just another symptom of dysautomnia.

“I wept because I had no shoes, then I met a man with no feet. So I took his shoes” - Dave Barry

…um, what’s a WAG?

Take a wild ass guess. As opposed to SWAG (sophisticated wild ass guess).

Strainger, I sure hope that is not the case, because I to sweat when I nap on the couch, or easy chair or most anywhere.

There is something about the temperature changes that your body goes through during sleep. Usually between 2-4 in the morning, people get cold, this is usually when I pull up the covers. Then you get warmer as you get closer to waking. It is supposed to be like an internal alarm clock. So, my WAG is, if you are taking a nap, you do not reach the low temp that you do during normal sleep in the early hours. For example, lets say your normal daytime temp is 98.5, in the early morning time of the low temp you might go to 96 or 97 and upon waking you might go to 99 or so. However, for a nap, you do not get down to 96 or 97, so maybe when you start waking from a nap you temp rises to 100+.

Anyway, I hope this is common and not due to the “problem(s)” you are experiencing.


don’t know if this is related, but napping in the daytime (unless I am so exhausted that I literally cannot stay awake) is always a mistake for me. I wake up feeling feverish, sick to my stomach, icky, and basically no good to anyone – worse than went I went to sleep. 4 hours seems to be my minimum.

I don’t know anyone else that gets this way. In somewhat related news, I always heat up suddenly when I wake up in the morning. I always thought this was god’s little way of getting me out from under the covers each morning.

Thanks, Jeffery. I’d say your WAG about sleep cycles is on the right track and has a lot more credence than mine. The MVP thing is sort of in the front of my mind lately (it doesn’t worry me now that I’ve been researching it). Then again, is your heart beating OK lately? :wink:

“I wept because I had no shoes, then I met a man with no feet. So I took his shoes” - Dave Barry

Strainger writes:

It seems to be beating okay. I have had this phenomena for quite some time. I usually take a nap on the bed and under a ceiling fan so I don’t notice it as much there, but when I do take one on the couch I sweat more. Also, now that I think about it, It also may have to do with the fact that the couch has a back. When on the bed, there is free air flow from three sides. On the couch it is reduced to two. The back may add to the build-up of heat, I hope it does not result in Spontaneous Human Combustion ;). I think both may play a part. Couch may also hold heat better/longer than bed due to different material.


It could be that when awake, you move around more. The air circulates and you don’t sweat so fast as to feel it. When asleep, you are immobile and the part of you in contact with the couch cannot sweat efficiently; you heat up and your body makes the difference by sweating more.

This happens to me too! What is your couch made of? If it’s that fake-leather plastic junk, the sweat can’t evaporate or be absorbed into the fabric. Check it out!

My couch has fabric upholstery. I’m going to combine Jeffery and APB’s answers and say that it’s a combination of the couch back and my motionless state during slumber that cause me to sweat. I thought of the couch back thing earlier but dismissed it until APB made his(?) point. When I’m lying down on the couch and awake, I’m definitely moving around a good bit.

As far as the MVP, I’ll just blame that for my crappy athletic coordination and the occasional sensation that my heart is going to explode while on the stationary bike.

Me too, especially the icky (and spacey) part ! I thought I was the only one who experienced this.

I get the sweats also while napping on the couch. Don’t seem to have the problem late at night though. Could it be that the temperature averages a bit higher during the day than at night?


A point in every direction is like no point at all

For those who wake from naps feeling cranky, try sleeping for a shorter time. I think what may happen is that you are napping long enough to get into a sort of sleep (REM, perhaps?) where you need, as one of the posters points out, several hours to make you feel rested.

Try setting an alarm, or traing yourself to sleep for, say, 20 minutes. You may find it’s the pause that refreshes. My grandmother could nap for – literally – 5 minutes, and wake up feeling like a new woman.


Referring to Dorothy’s post, I too have found that shorter naps are better in the long run. I had a teacher that used to allow 10-12 minute naps for the extremely exhausted. She was the bio teacher. She claimed that studies had shown that, after 15 minutes a person went into a deeper sleep and would wake up feeling more groggy. So fifteen (her pref. was 12) was the max. And it actually did work better. I find that if I do nap over 20 minutes that I wake up hot and cranky. So shorter naps are better. :slight_smile:

tipi :slight_smile:

Two thoughts: Most fabric on couches is made from petroleum derived fibers and so definitely pronounce the amount one sweats. So any perspiration would be more noticeable than when sleeping on cotton sheets.

Secondly, I awoke ;ast night about 45 minutes after I had fallen asleep. I was soaked in sweat. Perhaps we sweat more when in the initial state of REM? I wonder if we simply sweat a bit during the first hour of sleep and then it slows down.

Strainger, try taking a nap on your bed and see if you still sweat. Sofa fabrics are pretty weird.

Also, anyone know why people drool when they take a nap but not when they sleep at night?

I don’t know about you Handy, but I often drool big time when I sleep. Sometimes I have to turn my pillow over due to the dampness. Probably dreaming about the K7 chip. :slight_smile:


I too, drool mainly during naps or when I’m sleeping lighly. (the feeling of cold drool has woken me up on more than one occasion)

I heard that your salivary glands shut down during a stage of sleep(?) anyone else heard this? This is also why your mouth tends to taste less than fresh in the AM?

I may be WAY off here, but it seems to me that when you take a nap, as opposed to a nice long sleep, your mind stays more active and doesn’t take a break like it does at night. Keeping this in mind, my theory is that your brain is still functioning at the normal rate, probably resulting in more “action” in the form of dreams, and thus the sweat. Same thing with the (ugh) drooling… your mouth is still producing the same amount of saliva that it normally does during the day, only you are not constantly swallowing to keep it in your mouth. Another theory I have is that your body doesn’t have time to drop its temperature, which might also explain the sweat. Do I have any backers here?

Here’s a way to eliminate head sweating during sleep:

Get a buckwheat hull pillow

The buckwheat hulls allow for the flow of air beneath your head. Besides, they are more comfortable and supportive than foam, feathers, or polyester stuffing.

You may have seen one brand of a buckwheat hull pillow advertised on a TV infomercial. It was called the Soba-kawa pillow. I got mine from and upscale department store (can’t remember the brand name) and it was a large one and cost around $50. Best $50 I ever spent.

Contestant #3

I’ve noticed before that if I sleep with my shoes on, they feel really tight and warm when I wake up. It feels to me as if sleeping makes my body heat up and my feet swell.