Everyone has their own way of settling down for sleep. Some people choose to wind down with a meditation podcast and some enjoy light stretching. Others prefer to read a book and de-stress under the soothing pressure of a weighted blanket. Despite our dedication to these calming activities, many of us still toss and turn at night. What gives?
While there are many factors that can influence the quality of your slumber, a sleeping environment that isn’t the right temperature is arguably one of the sneakier things that can keep you awake at night. Experts say that a too-hot or too-cold bedroom can interfere with the body’s natural thermoregulation during sleep, which can have a huge effect on your ability to fall and stay asleep.
This naturally begs the question: What is the best temperature for sleeping? Read on as we tackle this question and help you find your temperature sweet spot for a great night’s sleep.
How Temperature Affects Sleep
During the day, our bodies prefer to be in a specific temperature range — usually about 98.6℉. At nighttime, our core body temperature experiences a mild drop of roughly two degrees. That’s because our body temperature is closely tied to our circadian rhythm, which is the 24-hour internal body clock that regulates sleep, appetite, mood and other bodily functions.
When the sun goes down, the retinas in your eyes perceive the darkness and send a signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep. This initiates the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy, which coincides with a mild drop in our core body temperature.
When our body temperature drops, scientists say that we’re more likely to engage in thermoregulatory behaviors, like seeking out the warmth of a cozy blanket or a partner. Oddly enough, these warming activities can induce a cooling effect by widening the blood vessels (vasodilation), helping our bodies shed excess warmth during the night.
Before you turn off the thermostat completely, though, make sure your sleeping environment isn’t too cold. Just like an overly-warm bedroom, a too-cold bedroom can lead to a fitful night’s rest.
What Is the Best Temperature for Sleep?
So, what’s the ideal temperature for sleep? While the question is still debated among scientists, most sleep experts agree that an optimal air temperature for getting a good night’s rest is somewhere between 60 and 67℉. However, keep in mind that your ideal temperature may vary due to factors such as age and medical conditions. Infants, for example, sleep best in a slightly higher temperature range — somewhere between 65 and 70℉. In a similar vein, people going through menopause may benefit from a lower temperature range to combat the effects of hot flashes during the night.
Your Bedding Plays a Role
The type of bed coverings you use can also impact your ability to fall and stay asleep. For this reason, many companies — including Gravity Blankets — make special cooling bedding to help regulate your body temperature. If you’re a hot sleeper (or looking for a way to beat the heat this summer), try our cooling weighted blanket, which provides the same soothing pressure as our Gravity Weighted Blanket, but is made with breathable materials for a sweat-free snooze.
Quick Tips for a Cooler Sleeping Environment
Want to maximize the quality and quantity of your sleep? Here are a few quick tips to help you keep your bedroom on the cooler side.
- Invest in cooling bedding. Why stop at a cooling weighted blanket? There are now many types of bedding available for hot sleepers, including cooling bed sheets, pillows and mattresses.
- Open a window at night. Take advantage of the cool night air by cracking open a window. In addition to keeping you cool at night, allowing fresh air into your room increases airflow and lowers carbon dioxide, leading to a healthier night's sleep.
- Put one foot outside the covers. If you feel too hot to sleep, try sticking one foot outside of your bedding. This is a quick way to lower your body temperature because heat dissipates more quickly from the extremities.
- Take a warm bath. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking a warm bath before bed can facilitate a drop in body temperature (it goes back to vasodilation).
- Use a portable fan to circulate air. If you don’t have air conditioning, use a portable fan to create a windchill effect in your bedroom.
- Install blackout curtains. On top of blocking out light, blackout curtains can help reduce heat buildup during the day.
Sleep Soundly with Gravity Blankets
If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, the temperature may be to blame. Try a few of the tips above to see if they help you drift off into dreamland. Getting the rest your mind and body need could be as simple as changing out your bedding and lowering the thermostat.
Looking for other ways to optimize your sleep? Stop by Gravity Blankets and discover a variety of high-quality weighted products, from soothing weighted eye masks to cozy weighted blankets and throws.