If asked to cite factors that contribute to a good night’s sleep, most people would probably list things like a supportive mattress, comfortable pillow, darkened room, and quiet environment. They might even go so far as to include on the list various lifestyle choices such as refraining from alcohol and caffeine consumption in the few hours before bedtime and banishing screens (smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions) from the sleeping room.
But while all of those variables are indeed important to getting restful sleep, the most crucial part of the equation is ambient temperature. That’s because the ambient temperature in the sleeping room has a direct influence on body temperature, which in turn plays a major role in the sleep cycle. Your body temperature fluctuates throughout the day and begins to drop to a lower set point when your circadian rhythm indicates that it’s time to sleep. If the sleeping environment is too warm your body temperature will also remain elevated, thus making comfortable sleep more difficult to achieve.
So how can you find your perfect sleeping room temperature? Sleep experts advise settling on a “thermally neutral” ambient temperature (one in which your body neither shivers nor sweats) that is comfortable for you. For most people this typically falls between 60 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Since that’s a fairly wide range, the best way to determine your personal number is to test different temperatures and record the results.
Furthermore, if you live in an area where temperatures vary significantly with the seasons, then you’ll likely need the help of specialized products to regulate room temperature, including some or all of the following:
- Thermostat adjustable heating and cooling units, such as central heat/air conditioning, window AC units, and ceiling fans
- ChiliPad heating and cooling mattress pad that warms or cools your body based on custom temperature settings
- Heated mattress pad, electric blanket, or heated foot-of-the-bed warmer for wintertime use
- Cool Pad breathable cooling body pad for spring and summer use
- Temperature regulating pillow that either heats or cools in response to the skin’s microclimate
If you’re having trouble getting restful sleep night after night, your bedroom temperature might be to blame. Try controlling the ambient temperature using one of the methods suggested above until you succeed in creating the perfect sleep environment for your tastes.