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What's the Best Temperature for Sleep?

Updated June 15, 2020

We’ve all encountered this situation before. You’re getting ready for bed and you feel that it’s a little cold, so you go ahead and turn the air conditioning up. In the middle of the night however, you start to feel a little warm. You try to avoid getting out of bed, so you kick away the bedsheets, toss and turn, maybe remove some clothing, but nothing works. With very little choice left, you end up getting up from the bed and manually turning down the temperature.

Moments like this may make you wonder, what exactly is the ideal temperature for sleep? Here, we’ll take a closer look at what the ideal temperature is, and how you can achieve the ideal sleep environment.

Let’s Dive In!

Before answering the question, why exactly do we feel restless or have difficulty staying or falling asleep when we’re feeling too cold or too warm?

It’s common knowledge that sleep affects our overall physical, emotional, and mental health. Extreme temperatures can disrupt our sleep and cause us to feel groggy and fatigued in the morning. Why does this happen? Well, our circadian rhythm helps regulate multiple functions in the body including our blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and more. During overly hot or cold sleep environments our bodies struggle to reach that optimal body temperature, and that eventually leads to difficulty sleeping.

What Exactly is the Best Temperature for Sleep?

Generally, for optimal sleep, your ideal room temperature should be between 15 and 22 degrees Celsius or 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. As bedtime approaches, your body temperature generally starts to sleep to pave the way for a good night’s sleep so it’s better to sleep in a cooler room than a warmer one. Temperatures do vary depending on individual preferences however, so don’t beat yourself up if you prefer to sleep a few degrees warmer or colder than the recommended optimal temperature.

There is some variance in temperatures for elderly people as well as babies/toddlers. The list below gives you a good reference for ideal temperatures:

  • Adults: About 60-72 degrees Fahrenheit or 15-22 degrees Celsius
  • Elderly: About 66-70 degrees Fahrenheit or 19-21 degrees Celsius
  • Babies/Toddlers: About 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit or 18-21 degrees Celsius

What’s the Best Way to Achieve an Ideal Sleep Environment?

While an optimal sleep temperature is important to having a good night’s sleep, so is having an ideal sleep environment. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Experiment with various bedding and nightwear options. Some individuals prefer to sleep without a shirt, while others prefer to have a giant fluffy blanket. There isn’t a right or wrong answer just as long as it works for you.

  • Close all blinds and curtains. You’ll want to block out any heat or sunlight that could potentially peek through the cracks and wake you up in the morning.

  • Reduce your body temperature before bed. Avoid doing any vigorous exercises. Instead, take a bath or a shower or do some meditation or light yoga before bed.
  • Ditch electronic devices. Most of these devices emit blue light that’s not great for sleep. There’s also a chance you’ll lose track of time from consuming content.

  • Keep your room dark. Artificial light is just as harmful as natural light as it’ll keep you from getting good quality sleep. The best thing to do is eliminate all light and flip your cell phone screen-side down during the course of the night.
  • Invest in a proper mattress. If you wake up feeling fatigued and sore, you may not have the right mattress. You spend a decent amount of time sleeping in bed, so you’d need to choose a proper mattress that suits your needs.

Is Sleeping in a Cold Environment Better?

While there isn’t a right or wrong answer, sleeping in a cooler room does come with its own health benefits. Not only can it help you in falling asleep faster, a colder room can also help in burning excess fat as well as regulating your hormone system and metabolism. A cooler room can also affect the REM stage of sleep – the stage where you’re dreaming, and where your body is in the process of restoration.

Sleeping in a hot environment can affect the amount of time that you’ll be in deep sleep, which can cause you to feel fatigued and groggy in the morning.

What’s the Best Way to Keep Your Bedroom Cool During the Summer?

If you don’t have an air conditioning unit in your room, here are some tips on how you can keep yourself cool during the summer:

  • Close all blinds or windows. Closing the blinds prevents sunlight from coming in during the morning. You should only close your windows if the temperature outside is warmer than that of your room.

  • Purchase a fan. Try not to point the fan at yourself when you’re sleeping. Instead, you should be using the fan to circulate air within your room.
  • Purchase cooling sheets. Yes, such a thing does exist. There are sheets and pillows that can help you sleep cooler during the night.

What’s the Best Way to Keep Your Bedroom Warm During the Winter?

During winter, some parts of the world can get really cold. To accommodate nighttime drops in temperature, it’s best to keep the room slightly warmer. Some tips include:

  • Layering up. Wear long-sleeved pajamas and ensure that you have a thick and comfortable comforter to keep you warm during the course of the night.

  • Purchase an electric blanket. Once you’ve bought an electric blanket, you can never go back. Electric blankets are great at keeping one warm at night, or even during the course of the day.

  • Wear socks. Once your feet are warm, it’ll be much easier for the rest of your body to warm up as well.

  • Have a warm drink before bed. Hot chamomile tea or hot chocolate is the best thing to consume before bed. Avoid drinking coffee or any tea with caffeine in it.

Conclusion

Having a good night’s sleep is important, and this vital component of anyone’s overall health and well-being is often neglected. Having good sleep not only means that you’ll have enough energy to conquer the day ahead, but it’ll also minimize your risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

With that in mind, ensure that you’re sleeping at an optimal temperature that works best for you. Invest some time in your sleep environment to make sure that it’s cozy and comfortable. Finally, you’ll need to have a proper mattress that’ll keep your body feeling rested throughout the night.

Please comment below if there are any questions or recommendations!