Do you wake up in the middle of the night freezing or sweating?
It’s probably because you’re trying to sleep while your room is at the wrong temperature. Below, we’ll cover the relationship between sleep and temperature, and share some tips for sleeping at the optimal temp.
What is the optimal sleeping temperature?
Like most things, the answer is, “It depends.”
According to the Sleep Foundation, doctors say that the ideal temperature for sleeping is somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. But of course, there’s additional wiggle room outside of this suggested range.
But why is the general temperature advised by experts so much lower than our normal body temperature?
There’s an easy answer, actually.
When we fall asleep, our bodies actually cool down a bit. So, what would otherwise feel like a comfortably warm temperature will ultimately feel a little too warm when we’re asleep. That excessive heat will cause our bodies some trouble as it tries to get a full night’s sleep.
What happens when your room is not at the optimal sleeping temperature?
Let’s think about it for a minute.
Your body wants to lower its body temperature, the environment around you is either too warm or too cold.
So what does your body have to do?
It has to adjust.
If your room is too hot, your body has to expend extra energy cooling itself down. That means it has fewer resources to help your body recover from your day. In addition, you won’t sleep as well because your body is too warm and that’ll make it easier for your sleep to be disrupted.
If it’s too cold, your body is going to have to use energy to warm it back up. And that’s what your body is supposed to do when it’s waking up. So your body is doing the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to do to get good sleep, making your sleep less restful still, all while you feel cold.
Either way, it’s not good.
The effects of a bad night’s sleep
There’s a wide variety of negative side effects associated with poor sleep.
For example, when you’re sleeping poorly, it can lead to overeating. That’s because your body is in desperate need of energy, and since it can’t get that energy from the sleep you should be getting, it’ll seek it out through your food. When you’re constantly tired, your body seeks out fat and sugar as both ingredients can be great sources for quick energy.
Additionally, collecting a lot of sleep debt (long-term lack of sleep) can cause issues with memory retention, your ability to focus on the task at hand, general cognitive function, your emotional resilience issues, and a long list of other problems on top of that.
Tips for keeping your room at the optimal temperature?
If you’re looking to keep your room at a sleep-friendly temperature consider the following ideas.
Sleep with layers - Most people love to be nice and snugly when they crawl into bed, which means they want a big heavy blanket to soothe them to sleep. The problem is, that blanket might make you too hot to fully enjoy your sleep. So sleeping with multiple, thinner blankets makes it easier for you to discard the unnecessary layers that are making you too hot without abandoning your blankets altogether, making you too cold.
Have a bedtime and set your thermostat to it - It’s really easy to doom scroll on social media late into the night, but it’s important to make sure you don’t. Not only is blue light bad for your sleep schedule, but creating an evening routine makes it easy to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep, increasing the chances that you’ll actually fall asleep. Additionally, automating your thermostat to drop down in temperature will help you cool your room to the ideal temperature right around bedtime.
Take a shower at night - First, it’s a good idea to shower before bed for hygienic reasons. It’s also a good idea to shower before bed because the hot water will warm you up, forcing your body to cool itself down. That cooling down effect can help signal to different parts of the body that it’s time to go to sleep.
Tuft & Needle can help you get the sleep you need
Tuft & Needle has created a line of quality sleep products from mattresses to bedding and more.
We might not be able to help you schedule your thermostat, but we can help make sure you feel as comfortable as possible when you’re down to sleep.