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My girlfriend and I share a bed, but our sleeping preferences could not be more different. I like a few, thin sheets, and she likes ten heavy blankets piled on top of one another. She likes a bit of light in the room, and I like it pitch black. She likes the room to be as hot as possible, while I like the room to be slightly cool.
Among those variables, the room temperature sticks out the most to me, because it has affected our sleep so much. That motived me to do some research to ask: what’s the exact temperature we should set the thermostat to in order to get a good night’s sleep?
Unfortunately, unlike there is with your office thermostat, there are no definitive answers out there. But over the last couple of weeks I’ve dug deep into the topic, and here are a few suggestions I uncovered for setting your thermostat to get a good night’s sleep:
- The sleeping temperature recommended by every study I found differed, but most studies recommended setting your thermostat to about 65ºF (18.5ºC).1
- Temperatures below 54ºF and above 75ºF have been shown to be disruptive to your sleep.2
- Before you go to sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops, which “promotes deep continuous sleep”. Setting your thermostat to around 65º will help your body get to that temperature faster, which will let you fall asleep faster, and sleep better. This is why exercising or eating a large meal close to bedtime disrupts your sleep: both activities raise your body’s core temperature.3
- Multiple studies have found that participants with insomnia has significantly better sleep when they slept in a cooler room.
- The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests “thinking of a bedroom as a cave: It should cool, quiet, and dark.”4
- Everyone’s ideal sleeping temperature is different, and what’s comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else. The key is to keep your bedroom at a “thermally neutral” temperature. According to Sleep Number, “thermally neutral means that our body doesn’t have to do anything to create heat (shiver) or shed heat (sweat) to compensate for being too cold or warm.”5
For the last couple of months I’ve been diving deep into experimenting with my sleep. I promise I’ll share more lessons learned as the weeks roll on!
Sources: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/the-sleep-environment; http://www.sleepnumber.com/eng/individualNeeds/sleepTemperature.cfm; http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/cant-sleep-adjust-the-temperature; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-christopher-winter/best-temperature-for-sleep_b_3705049.html ↩