The Best Room Temperature for Sleeping
The best room temperature for sleeping… is this something you have spent time thinking about? Or do you just hop into bed each night, no matter what the season, and hope for the best? Perhaps you’ve gone to bed nice and cozy, only to wake up sweating a few hours later and aren’t sure why. Maybe you do everything in your lifestyle to help you get good sleep, but still wake up feeling tired. Could the temperature of the room be playing a part?
It turns out that yes, the temperature of our bedroom is very important and closely related to the quality of the sleep we get each night. Read on to find out exactly what the ideal sleeping temperature is and how you can improve the temperature of your sleep space.
Please note the information is based on what an average healthy adult needs. There may be different requirements for children, or adults with specific medical conditions.
Why is room temperature important?
Our body temperature actually decreases by on one or two degrees to help us go to sleep. Having your room at the right temperature to start with can help you fall asleep faster. Your body temperature will stay lower across the night, and start to rise again towards wake up time in the morning. Experts believe our bodies drop in temperature at night to provide energy for all the processes the body does while we are asleep, rather than directing so much energy towards maintaining our daytime body temperature (which is a big job).
If your room is hotter or colder than the recommended temperature range, you will probably end up having a restless night’s sleep. Even if you don’t remember it, you’ll probably be tossing and turning all night, and the quality of your sleep will be lower if this happens. You will wake up feeling less refreshed.
What is the best room temperature for sleeping?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best room temperature for sleeping is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. For those of you that prefer to work in degrees Celsius, that is about 15 to 19 degrees.
It has been shown that this temperature range is that which best helps our body fall asleep and cycle through the different stages of sleep most smoothly.
How to achieve the best temperature
The most obvious answer here is going to be to change the temperature of the room using your electricity. Sometimes we can be hesitant to turn the heating on overnight in winter or put the cooling on in summer, if we’re trying to save money. I know I’ve certainly felt that way in the past; electricity is expensive! BUT: Sleep is now an absolute top priority in my life. It is so important for our health and well being that comfortable sleep has gone to the top of the list and I turn the heating up or down accordingly.
Ongoing poor sleep can actually make us unwell, which could have an impact on your life and end up costing you money. So if there is wiggle room in your budget to adjust the temperature of your room using your heating or air conditioning, I highly recommend you do that. It’s going to be the simplest and most effective way to control the temperature of the room. If you want some other ideas, I’ve collected a few you might find helpful. And some that might surprise you!
Bedroom too hot?
- Close the curtains or blinds during the day to block out the sun. This will help to keep the room cooler. We do this in our own house and it helps quite a lot.
- Take a warm bath or shower 60-90 min before bed. This may sound strange, because it’s going to be warm, right? It is, but getting out, drying yourself, and having water evaporate off your skin will actually help to start cool you down in preparation for bed.
- Avoid eating a big meal or exercising close to bedtime. Both of these will make your body feel hotter. Furthermore, the exercise could give you a wakeful buzz, or too much food could make your stomach feel uncomfortable.
- If you like to wear clothes to bed, choose ones made from bamboo, flannel or silk as these will help wick any moisture from sweating away from your skin to help regulate your temperature better.
- Spread your limbs out. If you’ve got the space in your bed, lying like a starfish will help with transferring heat away from your body.
- If you feel like your mattress is trapping heat, you could invest in a mattress with better airflow around it to keep you cool throughout the night. I’ve written a comprehensive review of a mattress with double cooling technology, which you can read here.
- My favorite: if you have a fan, open a window and run the fan pointing out the window! This will blow hot air out of the room, which will be replaced by cooler air from outside. Obviously this only works if the temperature outside is cooler than inside, so I usually do it in the evening.
Bedroom too cold?
- Check the room for any drafts, and stop them up.
- If your bed is sitting under a window, move it if you can.
- If you have a hard surface floor in your bedroom try adding a nice soft rug to provide a little more insulation.
- Wear socks to bed, or place a hot water bottle at the end of your bed (such a great old fashioned trick). Keeping your feet warm will open up the blood vessels in them, and allow blood to flow more efficiently around your body. This will lead to better heat distribution.
- Layer up the clothing and bedding. This sounds kind of obvious right? But do you know what materials are best? Go for layers of natural clothing such as flannel or wool, and a nice down filled comforter or duvet.
- Have a hot drink before you get into bed. Warm milk or a chamomile tea can be good choices that encourage sleep. I drink a herbal tea before going to bed myself each night. It’s a herbal blend that includes chamomile that can be made hot or cold depending on what I need at the time.
Do you have a handy tip or trick you use to keep your sleeping temperature comfortable? Please leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you.