The ideal temperature for sleep

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Room temperature can make or break your slumber. Find out the right temperature to keep you snoozing for longer.

 

Summer is now in full swing and that means long, hot sunny days and warmer nights. We have all experienced a restless night when the mercury soars in the middle of summer, but temperature can affect our sleep all year round.  It’s a strange phenomenon that excessive heat can make you feel tired and fatigued, while at the same time making sleep at night harder to achieve.

So, what exactly is the relationship between body temperature and sleep? Your circadian rhythm (internal body clock) regulates many functions of the body including heart rate, blood pressure, hormone release, and body temperature; all which act together to help you stay awake during the day, and sleep at night.  However, in either hot or cold sleep environments our bodies struggle to reach the optimal body temperature for sleep which leads to restlessness, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

For optimal sleep, your ideal room temperature should be between 18 – 22 degrees. Body temperature starts to fall as bedtime approaches, paving the way for a good night’s sleep. Maintaining your environment between 18 – 22 degrees can help facilitate this. Temperature settings lower or higher than what’s recommended could lead to restlessness and can also affect the quality of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep – the stage of sleep with the highest brain activity.

How do you achieve the ideal sleep environment?  It can help to think of your bedroom as a cave—it should be quiet, cool, and dark for the best chance at getting enough rest. If you don’t have climate control to maintain your ideal room temperature, there are many other ways which you can keep cool.

Here are some of our top tips:

  • Experiment with different bedding and nightwear options to help you sleeping comfortably.
  • Close blinds/curtains during the day to block out heat from the sun
  • Keep your bedroom door open, and open other windows in the house to allow air to circulate freely to cool the house.
  • Cool off before bed. Try bringing your core body temperature down by taking a bath or a shower.
  • Don’t vigorously exercise before bed. Exercise raises body temperature, and may take longer to cool down. Late night exercise is especially unhealthy for those suffering from insomnia.
  • Keep a water spray bottle for misting, or keep a glass of cold water next to the bed.
  • Use a fan to circulate air.

Sources:

https://sleep.org/articles/temperature-for-sleep/

http://www.alaskasleep.com/blog/body-temperature-and-sleep-how-to-maintain-best-temperature-for-sleep

 

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