The temperature of your room can seriously affect the quality of your sleep. Therefore, it is essential you pay attention to your room temperature as you consider other sleep hygiene practices. The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll that found that having a cool room temperature is essential in having a good night's sleep, with nearly four out of five respondents stating as much.
For optimal sleep, the bedroom temperature should be 18.3 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit). Indeed, there may be certain variations from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the room temperature between 15.5 and 19.5 degrees Celsius to ensure a good night's rest. The required temperature may be slightly higher in children, but not too high as well.
Why This Temperature? The Science Behind the Ideal Room Temperature For Sleep
The ideal room temperature for sleep was not just haphazardly chosen. There are scientific and health reasons why the temperature of your room should be around 18.3°C (65°F) for a good nighttime sleep. One chief reason relates to your body's internal temperature regulation. Every 24 hours, your body's internal temperature changes - something called a circadian rhythm. So, your body's temperature drops as soon as you go to bed, and it drops further until it reaches its lowest point just before daybreak.
To cool off, your body expands your blood vessels. This causes your hands and feet to become warmer when your body temperature starts to drop at night. They are doing so because heat is escaping from your body through them and lowering your core temperature.
When the temperature in your room is too cold or hot, it could affect how your internal temperature drops and cause sleep disruption. For example, a study of 765,000 survey respondents found that much of the population have abnormal sleeping patterns during the summer when it could be challenging to maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom. In addition, one 2012 study revealed that bedroom temperature is one of the most crucial factors in achieving quality sleep.
The Best Sleep Temperature for Children
Luckily, you don’t have to recreate something significantly different for children. All that is needed could be a slight bump up in the temperature, up to 20.5 degrees Celsius.
The reasons for the extra temperature for kids include:
- Difficulty in regulating their temperature in comparison to adults.
- To decrease the risk of sudden infant death because they sleep with fewer covers.
As a general rule, avoid overheating an infant since it could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). To ensure your baby is not too hot, touch the back of their neck or their stomach when they sleep. Remove a layer of clothing when their skin is hot or sweaty. Furthermore, to promote healthy sleep, provide your baby with a dark, quiet environment.
Effects of Extreme Temperature on Your Sleep and Health
1. When the room is too hot
When your room is too hot, it can cause discomfort and restlessness. If you had attempted sleeping in a stuffy bedroom, you could tell that it is extra hard to get some sleep when you’re sweaty and feeling dehydrated.
Furthermore, a warm bedroom can cause fatigue because the body struggles to regulate its temperature. The result of fatigue is that a person feels physically and mentally exhausted but cannot sleep. The temperature of your body also affects the time you will spend at different stages of sleep and the quality of sleep that you will get. Where the core body temperature is too hot, it leads to a decrease in restorative slow-wave sleep.
2. When the room is too cold
It is unlikely that the cold will disrupt your sleep cycle, but it may make it harder to fall asleep and impair your health in other ways. For example, sleeping in too cold weather may alter your body's cardiac autonomic response.
Tips for Optimising Your Room and Body Temperature
You can optimise your bedroom temperature for sleeping by following these suggestions:
- Reduce heat build-up in the room by closing the blinds during the day.
- During the summertime, move downstairs.
- At night, turn the thermostat down.
- Use breathable bedding, sheets, duvets, comforters, pillows, and loose pyjamas to reduce sweating.
- To encourage a natural cool-down, take a warm bath a few hours before bedtime.
- Use a fan or air conditioner, or a hot water bottle in hot climates.
- Open the windows to allow air to circulate.
- Control the humidity in your bedroom.
Along with adjusting the temperature of your sleep environment, you should take care of your internal thermostat so that you get a good night's sleep. In addition, changing light, diet, or exercise timing can affect body temperature and sleep since the circadian rhythm is sensitive to these changes. Therefore, pay attention to these things and get the proper sleep hygiene and habits to optimise your sleep.
Some sleep hygiene tips that could help include:
- Have a nightly routine. Your preparation for bed can determine how easily you sleep.
- Avoid bright lights because they interfere with the body's production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.
- Set aside 30-60 minutes for device-free time before bed. Tablets, phones, and laptops produce blue light, which disrupts sleep and may reduce melatonin production.
- Endeavour to go to bed at a fixed time each night and get up each morning at a fixed time. You can strengthen your body's sleep cycle (your internal clock) by doing this.
- Drink less alcohol: Alcohol may make you fall asleep more quickly initially, but the effect wears off, disrupting sleep in the middle of the night.
- Limit or Avoid Napping: Napping during the day may make it harder to fall asleep later and multiply the chances that you'll wake up in the middle of the night.
The right temperature ensures quality and refreshing sleep. The right actions create the right temperature both externally and internally. Therefore, it is essential that you practice the best sleep hygiene habits, starting from your sleep schedule to your sleep materials. The best sleep materials complement your habits and promote comfortable quality sleep. An example is our Cooler Weighted Blanket designed with materials in mind for the climate in Asia, facilitating the perfect sleep without making you overheat.