Experts Corner

The Connection Between Room Temperature & Sleep; By A Naturopath

June 21, 2021   By Jade Williams
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Are you struggling to find that perfect temperature as you sleep? Maybe you wake up hot and sweaty, or you’re the opposite, and you feel like your limbs will freeze off. We’ve brought in Jade Williams, a Naturopath based in Geelong, Victoria, to teach us how our bedroom temperature can affect our sleep.

Although the desire for sleep time is to be warm and snuggly in your bedroom, this isn’t always particularly beneficial for sleep quality. Studies suggest that an optimal room temperature does exist for that perfect sleep. This is because of our circadian rhythm and our adrenal glands, the “battery pack” of the body, controlling specific releases of cortisol and melatonin (sleep hormone) at certain times in the day, correlating with day and night.

As well as light exposure and exercise, the adrenal glands also rely on temperature to function correctly. Throughout the evening, the body needs to cool itself down to enter the therapeutic waves of sleeping.

No time for overheating

Suppose heaters are on all night, and you are covered up with a stack of blankets. In that case, the body struggles with this internal thermoregulation, resulting in cortisol (wake hormone) being released earlier than it should be, and ultimately reducing the amount of time spent in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) & delta wave sleep. These patterns of sleep are crucial for health. The analogy I love to use is that rest is like a mop and bucket at the end of the day, cleaning and repairing things as it goes. To not enter this restorative sleep can have implications on our overall health.

According to these studies, the optimal bedroom temperature is 16-19°C.

To achieve this, consider turning your heater temperature down to this range, reducing a few layers of pyjamas or avoid pilling up your blankets. And vice versa, if you wake up freezing, layer up or adjust the external environment accordingly.  

About the Author

Jade is a qualified Naturopath with a passion for women’s health, focusing on pregnancy, PCOS and endometriosis. You can find her at @jw_naturopath on Instagram, or https://www.jadewnaturopath.com/


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