If you’ve been curious about how to optimize your bedroom for sleep, adjusting the temperature is one of the most obvious and most straightforward fixes to improve sleep. Below, we’ll dive into the best temperature setting for sleep, why it affects your sleep in the first place, and how to adjust your sleeping temperature.
What is the Best Temperature for Sleep?
The best temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Your perfect temperature might be slightly lower or higher. Sleep experts agree that a range between 60 degrees and 67 degrees is ideal for the majority of sleepers.
How Temperature Impacts the Human Body
During the course of a day, your body temperature will go up and down in relation to your circadian rhythm. A subsection of your brain, called the hypothalamus, is responsible for keeping your body’s temperature relatively consistent between 96.8 degrees and 100.4 degrees.
When you exercise, the warmth and energy surge you feel during physical activity is related to a higher core body temperature. Your temperature rises during activity because your muscle tissue is expending energy. Your body sends more blood closer to your skin, so the excess heat can be expelled through sweat. It takes around thirty to forty-five minutes for your body to fully cool down after you’ve elevated your temperature through exercise.
That higher temperature also makes you feel more alert, whether you’re running, cycling, or walking. Scientists have discovered that higher internal body temperatures are correlated with better reaction times, more alertness, and an enhanced memory.
But your body’s internal thermostat isn’t the only factor that can affect how you feel and function. External temperatures also have a significant impact. For example, one study found that indoor employees had a decrease in their executive brain functions (aka working memory, mental flexibility, and higher-level cognitive skills) when they worked in a room with a very high or a very low temperature. These employees performed best in a room around 70 degrees.
You may not think about temperature much beyond “I’m too hot” or “I’m too cold,” but it’s an internal and external variable that influences large portions of your daily life. And for your sleep, the temperature can determine if your night of slumber is restful and refreshing or full of tossing and turning.
How Temperature Affects Sleep
Your sleepiness and sleep propensity are strongly tied to your circadian rhythm. (Note: Sleep propensity refers to the ease of transition from being alert and awake, through drowsiness, to sleep.)
When you start to feel sleepy in the evening, your body temperature decreases to its lowest point somewhere near dawn. As the morning begins, your temperature will increase slightly as your body readies itself for waking.
The cooling down period before you fall asleep is critical to high-quality sleep. If your body doesn’t cool down enough when you’re about to go to sleep, you might have trouble falling asleep. In fact, insomnia symptoms have been tied to abnormal patterns in body temperatures.
If it’s too hot in your room, your body will struggle to cool down and can mean you’re more restless at night. As a result, you won’t go into the deeper sleep phases for as long and you may feel groggier in the morning.
Ideal Sleeping Temperature for Babies
Infants have similar sleep temperature needs as adults. With that said, you might want to bump up the thermostat ever so slightly by one or two degrees. A baby will sleep well in a room set to 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, provided that the child is dressed properly.
It’s important not to overheat the baby’s room because it may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A degree or two warmer, however, can be beneficial for infants since they can’t regulate their temperatures well and don’t sleep with as many covers compared to adult sleepers.
To check if a baby’s overheating, you can touch the back of their neck or stomach while they’re sleeping. If their skin is hot or sweaty, you can take off a layer of cooling to help them lower their body temperature.
Tips for Adjusting Your Sleeping Temperature
Creating the perfect sleep temperature can be as simple as getting familiar with your bedroom thermostat. But, what if you don’t have a thermostat? Many Americans don’t have any air conditioning, although heaters are more common. If you don’t have a way to fine-tune control over your bedroom’s temperature, we’ve gathered some solutions below.
Bedroom Too Hot?
If you’re feeling restless at night, you’re likely tossing and turning. A hot room typically means that you’re waking up at night frequently. As a result, you might experience a decrease in your REM sleep. Humidity is another common culprit of sleeping issues.
Choose a Different Mattress
To deal with a hot bedroom that you can’t easily cool down, one of the best fixes is by researching the different types of mattresses available to you. Believe it or not, your mattress can act as a huge heat sink, leaving you uncomfortably warm.
For example, an innerspring mattress or inferior foam mattress, can easily hold onto your body heat and make sleeping impossible. Luckily, there are mattresses available designed to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
Layla’s memory foam mattress and hybrid mattress are designed with revolutionary copper-gel memory foam. These tiny but mighty copper particles pull heat away from your body, which helps keep your body at a cooler, more consistent temperature. Copper is also naturally antimicrobial, so it combats anything you don’t want to share your bed with.
Another sleep-inducing quality you’ll find in Layla mattresses is flippable firmness. One side of the Layla mattress is firm for more support, while the other side is plush, so you can sink into huggable softness. Both sides offer sleepers copper-infused memory foam gel, so body heat will be transferred away from your body.
Use a Fan or Swamp Cooler
A fan can provide both air circulation, a gentle breeze, and comforting white noise that can help you feel calm and comfortable at night. Place a fan near a window to pull in the cooler night air. Or, you can opt for a swamp cooler, which leverages a water reservoir to create a misting effect that can cool you off.
Sleeping without clothes is one way to keep your body a little cooler as you sleep. If you decide to sleep naked, you’ll likely need to experiment a little to determine how many covers you need to avoid feeling cold.
Bedroom Too Cold?
If your bedroom is too cold, it likely won’t affect your sleep cycle much compared to overheating. It may make it more difficult for you to fall asleep initially, however.
Wear Socks to Sleep
If you’ve ever felt your feet at night and they’re ice cold — or used them as a weapon against a partner encroaching on your side of the bed — you might benefit from wearing socks at night. Even though socks might make it harder for you to get your sleeping companion to stop hogging the bed, it can provide you with a little extra heat and comfort. If you’re concerned about waking up with sweaty feet, you might want to opt for socks made out of materials constructed for better airflow like wool or cotton.
Use Extra Bedding
Extra bedding is an easy way to get warmer at night. If you sleep with a partner, adding an extra blanket that’s just for you can be a better solution than cranking up the thermostat when your companion prefers a cooler sleeping temperature.
Use an Electric Blanket
An electric blanket is another way to stay warm and cozy on a cold winter night. Before you turn that blanket up to its highest setting and pass out, it’s important to look for a reputable blanket company. Make sure the blanket you purchase is safe and effective. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions and try to find an electric blanket that features an automatic shutoff timer.
Use a Weighted Blanket
Layla’s weighted blanket is the ideal cold-sleeper’s bed companion. Not only does it provide a comforting weight that simulates the effects of deep touch pressure therapy, it also adds an insulating layer of warmth.
Put a Hot Water Bottle Near Your Feet
If you don’t have a dog or cat that sleeps at your feet — maybe they’re snoozing in a Layla pet bed — then you might want to consider using a hot water bottle. You can place it under your comforter and it will slowly release heat throughout the night.
Aim a Portable Heater at your Bed
A portable heater is another easy fix for raising the temperature of your bedroom. Again, it’s a good idea to look for a portable heater that features built-in safety precautions like an automatic shutoff if it gets knocked over or after running for a certain number of hours.
Other Sleeping Tips
Besides the tips for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your bedroom we’ve explored in the earlier sections, there are even more steps you can take to ensure a great night of sleep.
Use Seasonal Bedding
A down comforter might make you feel warm and cozy during the winter, but during a summer heatwave, you’ll likely feel stifled. Switch your heavy comforter for a lightweight version or a thin blanket during warmer months.
Use Blinds or Blackout Curtains
Blinds or blackout curtains can help you insulate the temperature in your bedroom.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is only helpful if you have air conditioning and heating. A smart thermostat can even program your bedroom’s temperature to lower or raise depending on your bedtime.
Make Your Bedroom Dark and Quiet
Early humans likely sought shelter in caves or simple structures that were dark. To get the most out of your sleeping environment, make sure it’s both dark and quiet. Any kind of blue light or even bright LED status lights can create light pollution that makes it harder for you to experience a night of deep sleep. To get rid of those small lights, you can either power the device off or invest in light-blocking stickers.
And remember, any kind of exposure to blue light, or the type of light emitted from electronic devices like your smartphone or laptop, can interrupt your body’s release of melatonin. So power down any blue light devices a couple of hours before bedtime.
Create a Sleeping Ritual
A sleep ritual doesn’t involve witches or spells — instead, you just need to find a quiet routine that helps you get into the mindset of sleep. Your day is likely full of stress and responsibility, so a sleep routine can quiet your mind and serve as a transition from the waking frustrations of the day, to a calm, relaxed time period.
Here’s an example of a sleep routine you can try out:
- Two Hours Before Bedtime: Stop using blue light devices like your phone or computer.
- One Hour Before Bedtime: Take a warm shower or bath, using scented bath products with lavender or chamomile. Drink tea with chamomile and other relaxing ingredients.
- Thirty Minutes Before Bedtime: Practice deep breathing, meditate, or read from a book until you feel sleep.
Medical Reasons For an Elevated Sleep Temperature
For some, sleeping hot is a lot more than just an uncomfortable experience, it can be due to a medical condition. Some of these conditions are harmless, but if you suspect your sleeplessness is due to an underlying issue, it’s a good idea to see a physician. Here are some reasons why you might be overheating and experience night sweats:
- Illness: When you’re sick, your temperature can rise to fight off infection. As your body’s temperature goes up, it can lead to night sweats. But, after your illness is gone, your body’s temperature control should return.
- Hormone imbalances: When your hormones are out of whack, you can experience night sweats and hot temperatures. You might suddenly feel hot because of pregnancy or menopause, both of these life changes come with blood chemistry fluctuations. Even normal menstrual cycles can influence your internal temperature changes. Both men and women can also experience night sweats due to thyroid issues and hormone imbalance.
- Pharmaceuticals: Medicine is another cause of nighttime sweating. If you’re on a medication that’s for a long-term issue and it’s causing you to wake up in the middle of the night from overheating, you might want to consider asking your doctor for an alternative.
- Other health issues: Health problems like obesity, anxiety, low levels of fitness, and hypoglycemia, can also impact your sleeping temperature. If you suspect that an underlying cause is why you’re waking up in the middle of the night sweating, making an appointment with your doctor is a good first step to take.
Creating a Cool, Comfortable Sleeping Space with Layla Sleep
Sleeping cool and comfortable is critical to your sleep quality. If you want to wake up feeling refreshed and restored, it makes sense to adjust your bedroom temperature as an initial step. Although you might have a harder time adjusting the temperature if you don’t have heating and cooling at your home, there are still plenty of ways you can take matters into your own hands.
For example, if you sleep hot, you can invest in a mattress designed from the ground up to pull your excess body heat out and away from you, keeping you cooler. You can also get a swamp cooler or a fan to circulate cooler air. And, you can swap your heavy comforter for a better, summertime weight one.
If you tend to get cold, you can easily fix this issue by adding a warmer blanket to your bed, sleeping with socks on, and adding a weighted blanket to help insulate your body heat. Investing in insulating curtains and an external heat source like a portable heater or a heated water bottle are smart ideas as well.
And finally, if you’ve done all you can do to adjust your sleeping temperature, but you’re waking up hot consistently, you should ask your doctor about next steps. A doctor can diagnose any underlying conditions impacting your sleep temperature.
With these tips, you can enjoy a cooler, more cozy sleep experience that helps you feel ready to take on the day before you.