How Does Room Temperature Affect Your Sleep?

Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Do you wake up and toss and turn instead of getting some shut-eye? If insomnia keeps you from getting the zzz’s you need, it’s time to check your temperature. Your bedroom temperature that is.

At ApneCare Sleep Lab, we understand the fundamentals of a good night’s sleep, starting with the right temperature in your bedroom. While it may seem like a minor issue, how hot or cold it is in your sleep space impacts all aspects of your slumber, including sleep length, efficiency, and sleep cycles.

But before you reach for that temperature dial, you need to understand why temperature affects your sleep and how you can find your optimal zone.

Your daily temperature flow

While it’s normal to say that your body temperature is 98.6° F, your temperature actually fluctuates throughout the day. Sure it averages up to 98.6° F, but it can range from 97-99° F and still be completely within normal range.

Body temperature changes play a vital role in your body’s circadian rhythm, or its natural sleep/wake cycle. Throughout the day, your temperature slowly increases as you go about your business, reaching maximum temperatures between 6-8pm.

At that point, your temperature begins to slowly drop. As this decrease happens, you start to feel tired and drowsy. You may yawn, which can release heat via your breath. Once you lay down to sleep, your temperature decreases even more, reaching its lowest point somewhere between 4-6am.

Temperature and sleep

When you lay down to go to sleep, your body temperature decreases in an attempt to help facilitate your sleep cycle. While you may think it’s cozy to snuggle under a few blankets to help initiate sleep, research shows otherwise.

The cooler your room is while still remaining comfortable, the easier it becomes to fall asleep. Your body has to work less to cool itself and your body temperature drops quicker. When comparing sleep in room temperatures of 60, 68, and 75° F, those in the coolest room slept on average 30 minutes longer, had significantly improved sleep efficiency, and felt more alert the next morning.

While cooler temperatures help you fall asleep, they may not help you stay asleep. For a long night of rest, you need to find your “Goldilocks” zone. For some, this “just right” temperature is a little higher or lower than others and can often depend on what kind of pajamas you wear and what blankets you like to cover with.

So what temperature is best for a good night’s sleep?

At ApneCare Sleep Lab, for the average adult, we recommend somewhere between 60-67° F. If you’re an older adult or have young children in the room, consider increasing your temperature range to 65-70°.

If you want to go higher, consider adding a blanket instead. When your body enters REM sleep, the period where you dream, it stops regulating your temperature, instead of allowing the room temperature to determine how hot or cool your body becomes.

If your bedroom is too warm, you may wake and find yourself drenched in sweat. If it’s too cold, you may shiver and not fall into a deep sleep.

Think of it this way. Your ideal sleep environment should mimic a cave — you want it cool, dark, and quiet. If it’s not all three, your sleep suffers.

You Might Also Enjoy...

3 Tips for Preparing for Your Upcoming Sleep Testing

It sounds funny, but it’s true — it can be hard to get to sleep when you go in for a sleep study. Preparing for your sleep study helps ensure you can relax and sleep, so here are our top three tips to get ready for your sleep testing.

What to Expect From an Overnight Sleep Study

If you wake up in the morning feeling tired and drag yourself through the day feeling exhausted, your doctor may recommend a sleep study to diagnose the problem. Here’s everything you need to know about an overnight sleep study.

The Importance of Understanding Why You Snore

The thing about snoring is that you seldom know you snore until someone else jokes or complains about it. The cause of your snoring is key to diagnosing sleep apnea and getting treatment to prevent complications.

Are Sleep Issues Genetic?

Sleep is one of the most important activities you do each day. But when it becomes more of a dream than a reality, it can leave your searching for answers. Surprisingly, your genetics might be causing some of your nighttime troubles.