Have you ever thought about temperature when it comes to sleep? If you haven’t, you definitely should. It’s one of the most overlooked factors that influence your sleep.
Maybe you belong to those people who can’t go to sleep because they are freezing or you belong to those who wake up during the night feeling hot. If you belong to either, you should check the temperature in your bedroom.
Usually, most people sleep better in cooler rooms. Most professional athletes hate sleeping in a warm room.
On a physiological level, there’s a reason for this. Your body temperature changes during a 24-hour period. Usually your “peak temperature” occurs in the late afternoon, while your lowest body temperature occurs around 5 am so prior to waking up.
One of the body’s triggers to onset sleep is a lower body temperature which is caused by decreased heat production and increased heat loss.
Researchers found out, that the optimal temperature for your bedroom lies between 16-19°C (60-67°F).
A higher temperature has been associated with less deep sleep, which is, as you maybe read before, a very restorative phase of your sleep.
Sleeping in a cooler environment resulted in longer sleep periods and more wakefulness in the morning, according to many studies.
A trick to get the most out of your cool bedroom is to warm up your body beforehand, i.e. by taking a warm shower. A study, conducted with older people, showed that warming the body, prior to going to sleep, helped in reducing sleep insomnia symptoms. Although this method works, it’s not 100% clear whether it’s the warming itself or the consequent cooling down of the body that benefits sleep.
In case you want to experiment with the temperature in your bedroom, which you should do there are several ways you can try:
- Before changing the temperature, it is helpful to know what the temperature actually is. A simple thermometer will do the trick. Having a hygrometer will give you the ability to measure usually both, temperature and humidity, which will come in handy.
- The most obvious way is to adjust the thermostat or heater in your bedroom accordingly.
- If you don’t have a thermostat, you can try opening or closing the windows, but be aware of loud noises that might wake you up.
- You can also try using thinner or thicker blankets or wearing lighter or heavier pyjamas.
- There are also several companies that create products that help you go to sleep, i.e. Chilipad, Sheex or CoolGelmat.
Depending on your personal preferences you might like to sleep in a cooler or warmer room, but don’t see it all black and white. If you are usually sleeping in a warmer room and have been doing this for all your life, just try it for a few nights and turn down the temperature.
Maybe you’ll feel more rested after all and the experiment worked. There’s no need to turn down the temperature if your sleep worsens, but give it, at least, a try.
The temperature is one of the easiest things to change and manage and is also one of the biggest overseen influencers of your sleep.
Steps to take:
- Get a hygrometer.
- Measure the temperature
- Adjust it accordingly & see how you sleep.