A lot of people can’t experience a comfortable sleep because they’re feeling either too hot or too cold during the night. As we sleep, our body temperature cools down, and having a healthy sleeping environment is essential for the quality of your sleep. A lot of people say that sleeping in a room of around 65 degrees F is the ideal sleeping temperature, but let’s see the science behind it and how to keep your room cool.
If you don’t believe that adequate sleeping temperature is beneficial to our sleeping cycle and overall health, there’s the science behind this claim. A lot of studies suggest that the optimal sleeping temperature helps regulate the body’s internal temperature because it changes throughout the 24 hours.
The occurrence between shifts in our body temperatures is called the circadian rhythm and it manifests by our body casting and discarding the excess temperature gained through physical activity and life in general. The body continues to cool down before it reaches its low point before starting to rise again.
But, how does our body cool down? Our blood vessels like capillaries and veins in the skin begin to expand releasing the temperature. More often than not, you may notice the warmth at the surface of your skin, which is just a manifestation of temperature shedding through your body.
This is a natural process that is affected by our sleeping environment. That said, to allow our body to function properly, it’s important to create a sleeping surface, as well as ambient that will support that process. Otherwise, it could disrupt your sleep and rest. Here are the studies that prove it.
A 2012 study confirmed that room temperature affects our sleep. It’s crucial for the overall quality, making one of the most important factors.
Another study analyzed data from 765,000 participants in a survey and found out that many people experience difficulty sleeping and disrupt their sleeping patterns due to hot room ambient during the hot summer nights.
A study from last year also found that the summer months and excess hotness result in difficulties with maintaining a healthy sleep cycle and even affects the appetite.
What’s the Ideal Sleeping Temperature?
Now that we’ve analyzed the science behind abnormal sleeping patterns and sleeping temperature, it’s time to reveal the ideal sleeping temperature for all age groups.
According to the Sleep Org, the ideal sleeping temperature is from 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15.5 to 19 degrees Celsius) Of course, these may differ based on your preferences.
Additionally, some higher temperatures may be acceptable but they are more suitable and common in hotter environments like in the south.
It’s important to note that for babies, that temperature may be a little higher, but it’s also extremely important to create the ambient that will be healthy for them.
For babies, the ideal sleeping temperature could be anywhere from 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Babies aren’t as muscularly developed as adults and temperature maintaining isn’t as easy for them, especially because they’re in a static position most of the time. For that reason, it’s acceptable to have a slightly higher temperature for them, but everything above 72 to 75 degrees is unacceptable.
Additionally, not only can high or too low temperature makes a baby uncomfortable or upset, but it can also have difficult health implications like the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which is mostly the consequence of sleeping on the stomach or side and occurs, as its name suggests – suddenly.
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- Can Newborns Sleep on Their Side?
What Causes Irregular Sleeping Temperature?
We’ve all been in a situation where we’re too hot and can’t sleep in peace. However, determining the right reason to why we’re getting hot can be quite challenging. Below, we highlighted the reasons for overheating and sweating during sleep.
Your Bed Is Hot
One of the most common reasons you wake up hot and sweaty can be nothing more than your bed, mattress to be precise. Perhaps, the sheets you are using for sleeping are made out of a synthetic material that absorbs heat and makes you feel hot at night. Also, some mattresses can have covers that aren’t sufficiently breathable to provide proper airflow.
For those who use memory foam beds, things can get even hotter. Memory foam is a synthetic material and as such it can easily get extremely hot. A lot of popular and reliable mattress manufacturers combine memory foam layers with gel-infused beads or gel memory foam to add up to a better heat distribution across the sleeping surface. If you’re hunting for a new mattress, keep this in mind if you’re springing for a memory foam bed.
Read More: 5 Ways to Cool Memory Foam Mattress
You Exercise Late Before The Bed
Exercising is good for health and improves your body’s posture. Aside from that, it can boost metabolism, making you more active before bed. When we’re exposed to sudden shifts in our workout routines, it can cause our thyroid to work faster and boost more hormones which can lead to sweating and overheating through the night.
There are two ways to fix this. One is to perform lighter and more adequate exercises to avoid overheating and sudden changes in hormones. The other method is to exercise earlier in the morning, preferably morning when metabolism should be active the most.
As we saw above, some people’s exercising routine can lead to a faster metabolism and more activity of it naturally or as a result of some hormonal disbalance that isn’t a consequence of exercising and working out. On most occasions, it’s men.
Some studies have shown that the metabolism of men is averagely 23% higher compared to the female ones.
The body fueling in the late hours can disrupt your sleep for numerous reasons and one of them is overheating and sweating. That leads to higher body temperature that won’t cool even when we lay down to sleep, similarly to adding fuel to your car.
Some people live in the all-summer areas or have intense, dry, or even extremely humid summers which can lead to disruption of the temperature in the room. Unfortunately, not everyone has thermostat at home so it can be extremely difficult to adjust the right temperature. On some occasions thermostats even break, causing even more discomfort which can be extremely difficult in the nights when even the breathing feels difficult.
Some areas in the States like California, Texas, and Arizona, as well as other parts of the world can have nights so intense that even advanced tech like AC, fans, thermostats, or AC blankets can’t help.
You Don’t Sleep Alone
Couples who have bigger beds like Queen or even Split King have it easy. Everyone has their sleeping surface and they don’t have to worry about smashing each other. Instead, everyone’s half accommodates to their body temperature. Unfortunately, for people who sleep together, sleeping can be tiring and too hot if they sleep too close to each other.
We emit the heat and can easily cause our sleeping partner to feel even hotter than they already do and vice versa. Additionally, if the sleeping pattern has already been affected by seasonal changes, falling asleep can be even more difficult.
As we age, so does our metabolical structure. As such, we often experience hormone shifts that adjust to the new situation. Our body’s thermostat gland also known as the hypothalamus can easily shift its function due to shifts in reproductive hormones. Different hormonal disbalances can easily affect our body temperature, as well as the ideal sleeping temperature.
Women of all ages can feel distressed by the hormonal flux, but around 75% of women who enter the menopause suffer from intense hormonal changes that lead up to hot flashes. Such changes in body temperature can also affect the ideal sleeping temperature in the room.
How to Make the Ideal Sleeping Temperature
The ideal sleeping temperature can be affected by numerous reasons, and sometimes from our impact. Fortunately, there are things that we can do to make our sleeping environment chillier and healthier for us. Check out below!
1. Adjust The Room Temperature
As we said, the ideal sleeping temperature is from 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. Here are a few things you can do to maintain this temperature naturally.
Setting The Thermostat
A lot of modern homes have thermostats. If you live in a house with one, set your thermostat to drop the temperature automatically when it’s the time to sleep. During the day, you can set it a little warmer if you need it. However, it’s essential to create a breezy atmosphere for sleepy time.
Natural Air Circulation
For people who don’t have a thermostat, natural air circulation via windows is your best bet. Try to create airflow between two rooms by keeping a window in each room open. If you have a mosquito net, you can even use the open windows to squeeze some additional freshness when the temperature falls during the night. Still, keep in mind that making the air draft which can potentially be harmful to your health.
If you have a good AC or a fan, you could position them so that the cool air blows towards your room and circulates in a way to make the sleeping environment breezier and more relaxed. This is especially good in the summer months when using AC is justified.
Use Fan With Ice
Although not the most effective methodology, another great option would be to combine chunks of ice from the freezer with the air blown from the fan. Put the ice in a bowl position under the blowing fan. As the cold air evaporates from the bowl, your fan should blow it through the room, improvising air conditioner. While it won’t fix your problem in entirety, it’s a good supplement during the hot months.
2. Invest in Natural Fiber Bedding
As mentioned above, using the breathable mattress covers, pads, pillows, and sheets can easily fix your problems with being hot through the night. Natural Fiber covers are the best investment, even though they can be a bit pricier, depending on which bedding you plan to use it on.
3. Give Yourself Time
Given that exercising and hot showers can make us maintain the heat inside our bodies, our room may feel extremely hot to us. Try to reduce the hot showers to at least two to three hours before bed. Also, avoid exercising before the bed as excess activity leads to metabolism becoming more active.