As there are sleep positions, pillow choices, and sheet preferences, your bedroom temperature can also affect how you sleep. When it’s cold outside, we seek heat: we throw on an extra blanket, switch to warmer textured sheets or raise the thermostat. When it’s hot outside, we throw off the blankets, fit our coolest cotton sheets to the mattress and blast that fan speed on high.
Finding that perfect balance could be a challenge, more so, when sharing your bedroom with a partner with different preferences.
Although they can highlight some benefits, studies that reveal the best temperature for sleep are perhaps a futile endeavor. Honestly, sleep temperature is a personal choice. From a scientific perspective, men and women are built differently and use their metabolic energies at different rates when at rest. Women tend to use less when at rest, making them reach for a sweater in an office environment, while men use more and are satisfied with cooler temperatures. This, of course, is not set in stone.
Research gauges that the best sleep temperatures for a comfortable and restorative sleep lie between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 22 degrees Celsius). While we sleep, our body temperature naturally drops for efficient use of energy, so the body can do some restorative work. Our brain knows what temperature the body needs in order to do its thing, so if it is higher or lower, it will struggle to make the adjustment causing sleep disruptions.
Keeping the temperature in the lower range will also reveal savings in your energy consumption bills. Recommendations made by your energy provider should not be ignored – for your own benefit and that of the planet.
If you like the idea of cooler temperatures in the bedroom to save on energy costs, but don’t want to shiver through the night, consider some of the following:
1) Wear comfortable fitting socks to keep your feet toasty.
2) Use flannel or microfiber sheets to have an all-over-body warm experience.
3) Blankets, blankets, blankets! We tend to forget that just grabbing an extra one from your closet and throwing it over your bed can adjust the temperature instantly, efficiently and cheaply.
4) Wear comfortable sleepwear that will keep you warmer than just wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
5) Sip on a warm cup of herbal tea before lights out and you will be asleep before you notice the temperature.
6) Whenever possible, replace old thermostats with “smart” ones to adjust from day to night temperatures further benefiting your energy bills.
If it’s cooler temperatures you need during hot summer nights:
1) If no air conditioner is available, use a fan, or two in your bedroom to help circulate the air.
2) Placing a bucket of ice near the fan will help drop the temperature.
3) Wear loose-fitting sleepwear.
4) Use a multi-season duvet which helps keep you cool in summer and warmer in the winter.
5) Use 100% cotton sheets that can help wick away any perspiration and keep you comfortable.
One thing is clear, everyone has different sleep preferences so studies can only make suggestions and highlight apparent benefits. The key is to find what works best for you. Once you have found that perfect pillow, mattress, sheets and temperature to give you the sleep that is best for you, then you have solved one of the many mysteries of the world – “how does one sleep better”.
Listen to your body while watching the trends and research. Adapt, adjust and keep learning what is out there that can benefit your life! If you sleep with a partner, have a conversation about what your needs are if they are very different and find that middle ground. Ultimately, everyone is always happier after a good night’s sleep!
Angela, Your Sleep Expert