You do it all. You turn off the phone, the tablet and the TV. You have an established bedtime routine, but you’re still having trouble getting a good night’s rest. Have you thought about the temperature of the room you sleep in? Here are 5 facts about how to be comfortable and sleep better.
- The best sleeping temperature is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. But, every individual has to find the temperature – and bedding – that helps them sleep. Individual preferences count.
- Evidence says cooler! Scientific evidence says that cooler is better for getting to sleep. It’s a drop in your core temperature that signals your brain to go to sleep. That’s why a hot bath or shower that promotes rapid cooling when you get out will help you get to sleep.
- But, not too cold. If you’re so cold you’re shivering, you aren’t going to find the deep sleep you need. A shift from hot to cooler core temperature may say “sleep”! But, being perfectly comfortable is the key to a deep, restful sleep. Your brain turns down your “thermostat” and wants you a little cooler – but if you’re really cold that will interrupt your sleep!
- Consider the bedding. It’s cold outside so you don’t have to worry about getting your room down into the 60s, but you don’t like to be cold so you put on the flannel P.J.’s, a wool blanket or two and snuggle down. Wow! You’re going to be hot. Thing pajamas, a sheet and a simple blanket can push your skin temperature up to the 90 degree range – add your significant other and it’s even higher.
- Cool your head. Your brain likes to sleep cool – they even make cooling caps. Today, there are also pillows designed to stay cool. A hint: Yawning is thought to offload some of the heat in around your brain so get sleepy and yawn!
Some people sleep deeply in a room as cold as 60 degrees – some find that they’re cold. Work on this by paying attention to whether you’re hot or cold, what bedding you are using, how quickly you fall asleep and how well you sleep through the night. Find what temperature works for you. If you live in a very hot climate, you may want to add a fan – or two! – to achieve a cooler sleeping comfort without a high utility bill. In a colder climate, add another blanket until if you’re too cold. And, remember, it all comes down to the bed. Latex beds are great because they don’t give you that sink-in heat that can disturb you halfway through the night – they sleep cool and give you great support.