Ready for hot summer nights and the restless sleep that comes with it? It’s a strange occurrence 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 as well as difficulty 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. Keeping your room temperature between 18 – 22 degrees while you sleep can help facilitate this. Any lower or higher than this can lead to difficulty achieving deep sleep 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 sleep 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.
- Avoid vigorous exercise before bed. Exercise raises body temperature, and may take longer to cool down.
- Keep a water spray bottle for misting, or keep a glass of cold water next to the bed.
- Use a fan to circulate air.