The temperature of your room can have an impact on the quality of your sleep. If the body is too hot or too cold it has to divert energy to thermoregulate itself while you sleep. Thermoregulation would be either sweating if you are too hot and shivering if you are too cold. These actions disrupt the body from cycling through deep sleep and REM sleep cycles.
The Why: The ideal temperature to sleep in, is between 60-68 degrees. You will need to play around with what temp you sleep best at. A cool bedroom plays two roles with sleep. One, as the body prepares for rest your core body temp starts to drop which brings on sleep. Having a cool room helps facilitate this, while a warm or hot room would counteract this. Two, when the body does not have to thermoregulate itself through the night, you are able to get a higher quality sleep. You won’t be waking up to kick off the covers or add a blanket if too cold. Interruptions like this affect the sleep cycle and you could end up spending most of your night in a light sleep which leaves you feeling tired in the morning. Can you recall trying to sleep on a hot summer night? It’s a rough night of sleep.
There is a study out there that for people that have insomnia tend to have a higher core temp before bed which is delaying sleep. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18603220)
Below are ways to manipulate your temperature at night.
- Set your thermostat to 60-68F. It is a good idea to have a thermometer in the room to confirm the temp. A lot of houses have uneven heating and cooling.
- Wear the right clothing to bed. Wear breathable cotton or go naked. Wearing a bunch of layers to bed traps too much heat and you end up waking up sweating at night.
- Use a breathable duvet or comforter and cotton sheets or high performance sheets like Sheex. As your body produces heat you want it to be able to escape and not be trapped under the blankets.
- Purchase a Chilipad or Perfect SleepPad. This device circulates cooled or heated water through a blanket at a set temperature. This is great for couples who disagree on the temperature of a room and blankets. (https://www.perfectsleeppad.com).Place a cool washcloth on your head before going to bed to bring your body temp down.
- Avoid strenuous exercise 2-3 hours before bed. Exercise increases your core temp and can take a bit to come down.
- Take a cool or warm shower. Either will elicit that temp drop. Avoid taking a long hot shower or bath as these may increase your body temp too much.
- Pets are awesome, but not in bed. This is added heat you do not need.
- No A/C. Place a fan blowing across a bowl of ice to help cool the air.
- Purchase an ice vest and wear it before bed to cool your core. (https://www.icevests.com/#/)
Try This: Do you find yourself waking up sweaty? Try some of these actions to cool down. You should be slightly cool getting into bed. Your body will warm up under the covers. Play around with your temperature settings and sleep wear. Keep track in your sleep log what temps and clothes you slept better in. Keeping data will make it easier to spot patterns instead of trying to remember how you felt 3 weeks ago.