Find the Right Temp for You
If you’re like most folks, it probably makes intuitive sense that room temperature affects your sleep. But which temperature is best for sleeping? Well, health experts generally say that setting your thermostat to 65 degrees is optimal. Don’t get too wrapped up in the exact number, however, because up to 72 degrees falls within the recommended range. Sound a little chilly for your taste? Try thinking “of a bedroom as a cave: It should be cool, quiet, and dark,” like in Neanderthal times. Cool temps and dark rooms help your body relax.
- Set your thermostat somewhere between 65° and 69°
- Keep your room dark like a cave
Help Your Body Play It Cool
As it would turn out, your body naturally cools when you sleep. Most people, in fact, hit a low temperature of around 96 degrees at about 5 in the morning and then slowly heat up as they wake up. Keeping your bedroom temperature in the mid to high 60s helps your body get to a lower temperature that happens to be perfect for better sleep.
You may be thinking, that’s great, but I sleep too hot no matter what. Well, lowering the ambient temperature isn’t the only way to stay cool and comfortable. To aid your quest for the perfect night’s sleep, there are at least three other variables that you can tweak to improve your chances: sleep gear, airflow, and physical activity.
- Adapt your sleepwear, airflow, and physical activity
1. Try on some sleep gear for the hot blooded
First and foremost, keep your sheets light and your blankets sparse. The more you trap your body heat, the more difficult it’ll be to cool your body down and relax. Likewise, mattresses that hold heat, such as memory foam, can be problematic for optimal sleep.
There’s also several routes you can go when it comes to sleepwear. Much like bedding, you’ll want to keep things light by using breathable fabrics or wearing less clothes. If sleeping in your undies or light clothing is too chilly, try wearing socks to feel a little toastier while still allowing your limbs to breathe.
- Use light, breathable sheets and pajamas
- Wear socks if you’re feeling too chilly
2. Feel the airflow
Airflow can help, too, especially during warmer spring and autumn nights. (Unfortunately, summer months may require the heavy use of your air-conditioning unit.) Specifically, don’t be afraid to crack your windows to get some cross ventilation going, or fire up the ceiling fan to cool things down a touch.
- Crack your windows during the spring and fall
- Crank your ceiling fan for increased air flow
3. Don’t get physical before bedtime
If all else fails, you might consider taking a warm (i.e. not hot) bath before bedtime. Why? As you dry off afterward your skin naturally cools. Similarly, if you exercise in the evening, your physical activity might be making it harder for you to cool down naturally. If this is the case, try switching your workout routine to the morning time when your body is naturally trying to warm up for the day.
- Take a warm bath before bed
- Exercise in the morning instead of the evening
Go to Couples Sleep Therapy
Okay, that’s a ton of simple hacks that you can personally control. But what if you and your partner disagree about the best temperature for sleeping? Well, there are a couple of quick fixes that may help even the direst of situations. Start with bed position—move the partner that sleeps cool away from the window or air vent, or next to the heat vent, whichever works best.
Next, consider how you place your covers—maybe one of you could stand to benefit from having an extra blanket or using a dual-control electric blanket. (You don’t have to share everything, just saying.) If all else fails, think about sleeping apart. Yes, we know it’s taboo, but a lot of happy couples are coming around to the idea.
- Move your bed near heating/cooling vents
- Buy a dual-control electric blanket
- Try sleeping in separate rooms
With a little bit of planning, you can cool off and sleep better. For information on how to save energy while cooling down at night, read more on Powerline.