Every person has their preference for how cold or warm their room temperature is when they sleep. Some people like sleeping in a cold environment, while others prefer sleeping in a warm and cosy bedroom.
The temperature of your bedroom can sometimes impact your quality of sleep as much as the comfort of your mattress, and being too hot or cold can disrupt a good night’s sleep.
No ideal temperature works for everyone, but different room temperatures can affect the quality of sleep.
In this article, we look in-depth at how temperature affects your sleep quality and how you can find the best temperature for your sleep environment.
Your Body Temperature Shifts as You Sleep
Looking into our body’s natural circadian rhythm or sleep cycles, our core temperature drops at least 1-2 degrees Celsius to cool down our system.
The drop in your core body temperature places your body in a state of drowsiness, sometimes a feeling of fatigue, eventually putting your body at rest or deep sleep.
As you enter the deep sleep stage, your heart rate also slows down, contributing to the overall feeling of rest and recovery.
Cooling your body temperature is one of the most critical factors during sleep; straying away from your optimal temperature may disrupt your slumber.
What Happens If the Temperature Is Too Hot?
During hot Aussie summers, your bedroom temperature may become far from ideal. Sometimes, the room temperature might be higher than your core body temperature.
As mentioned earlier, your body has to cool down to enter the natural sleep stages, so sleeping in a hot environment can easily cause discomfort and may keep you awake.
When your room is too hot at night, you may find it harder to fall asleep. You could be sweating or moving around to try and find a cool position, but the general discomfort of the heat tends to keep people awake.
Apart from the general discomfort during the time of wakefulness, the stages of sleep are also affected.
Sleeping in a hot environment may cause you to be restless during your sleep; restlessness may lead to a decrease in your REM sleep (rapid eye movement).
The REM sleep of our sleep cycle is tied to our brain’s stimulation, which generally affects our mental well-being and health.
Another disadvantage of sleeping in a hot bedroom environment is that it causes you to wake up more often in the middle of the night, reducing your sleep quality.
Waking up often during the night may disrupt your sleep and affect your partner’s sleep quality if you share a bed.
It’s best to sleep with the air conditioning and the thermostat set to comfortably cool temperatures during warmer climates to promote better heat loss and more comfortable sleep.
What Happens If My Bedroom Temperature Is Too Cold?
Sleeping in a colder room does not automatically equate to better sleep, but it helps and is easier to adapt to. Generally speaking, low room temperature won’t directly affect your sleep cycle and different sleep stages. But don’t go too cold, as this has been shown to increase blood pressure in the morning when we don’t have enough warmth during sleep.
As your body attempts to go through temperature regulation when you sleep, if your bedroom is cool, this will help the process. But, when it gets too cold, your body will attempt to warm itself up and generate heat – this is why we shiver when we’re out.
Shivering as a warming mechanism may also lead you to wake up in the middle of the night; this may be to look for a warmer blanket or to turn off your air conditioning. Then again, when you compare a room that’s too hot to a room that’s too cold, the cooler room will provide you with a more comfortable sleeping temperature. It’s much easier to add more layers to stay warm than to remove them to keep the body cool.
It’s up to you to figure out what works best for you. Play with heating and cooling temperature settings, mix up your bedding, and you may find what feels right.
What is the Best Temperature for Sleep
Most people feel that sleep is best when the body is cool, and the skin temperature doesn’t feel too hot. This is because the body’s natural thermoregulation process kicks in during sleep and is more efficient when the ambient temperature is lower. This also allows body heat to escape, allowing you to rest with a lower heart rate and for your body to recover your energy.
Research has shown that the ideal temperature range for sleep is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees celsius). Sleep quality deteriorates as the temperature deviates from this range, so keeping your bedroom within these temperature changes is vital for the best sleep possible. Of course, there are other important factors to consider when trying to get a good night’s sleep, but the temperature is one of the most important.
It is also recommended to keep a log of your sleep, and how you feel the next day, this helps sleepers understand better what works best for them and what gives them great or poor sleep.
Tips to Achieve the Perfect Sleep Temperature
Set a Timer for Your Heater or Air Conditioner
Cooling your room is most important right before you sleep; turning your air conditioning on allows your body to lower your internal temperature and lets you fall asleep faster.
Setting a timer for your air conditioner ensures that your room does not get too cold in the middle of the night, which may disrupt your sleep pattern.
Don’t set the timer too soon, as that may cause your nighttime temperature to warm up too soon- the fluctuation in room temperature can cause discomfort during your sleep. Find the perfect balance and duration for your air conditioner to run.
In winter, it works the same – you don’t want your heater on all night to keep you overly warm. Either turn it off on your sleep onset or set the timer to turn off shortly after you fall asleep.
Find the Perfect Sleepwear
What you wear during your sleep can significantly affect how you feel about your bedroom’s temperature. Lightweight cotton or bamboo are preferred materials for sleepwear during warmer nights as they are highly breathable. Flannel pyjamas will be nice and cosy during cold winter nights.
Wearing socks during sleep can also help significantly during winter, which can also be a way to warm your body temperature.
Shower before You Sleep
Immediately after getting out of a shower, your body’s internal temperature automatically goes down, regardless of whether you had a cold or a hot shower.
Lowering your core temperature is similar to how your body lowers its temperature during sleep, thereby creating the association of sleepiness in your brain.
Make Sure Your Bed Cools You Well
Some mattresses and bedding materials may feel warm and non-breathable; these materials aren’t the best in creating the perfect sleeping environment.
Some examples of materials to be avoided are polyesters and synthetic materials, as these materials can warm up your bed unnecessarily.
When purchasing a bed, ensure that the mattress material allows for breathability and cooling, as sweating during the night causes discomfort before sleep.
Some materials, like bamboo fibres, are ideal for bedding since the fabric itself is breathable, and on warmer nights, bamboo fibres perform excellently in wicking away moisture.
Your sleep environment and hygiene directly translate to how you sleep, so ensure you figure out the right temperature for you, as the seasons constantly change here in Australia.
Explore different ways to set your room to temperatures that aren’t too hot or cold, and you will find your sleep quality better than ever.
If you think your bed sheets are too thick and stuffy, check out Ecosa’s bamboo bedding range! The silky material is breathable, keeps you cool all night long, and allows you to sleep better.