The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your bedroom around 65 degrees at night, though anywhere from 60 to 67 degrees is generally OK. That’s because your body temperature helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which is what determines when your body is ready for sleep and when it’s time to wake up. So messing with your room temp can leave your body seriously confused.
“The 98.6 degrees you likely think of as ‘normal’ is actually just the starting point for your body’s internal temperature,” the foundation explains. “From there, it fluctuates by a couple degrees over the course of the day—rising about one to two degrees from early morning until late afternoon, and then reversing until it hits its lowest point a couple hours before you wake up in the morning. When your temperature is on the rise, you’re most likely to feel alert and awake; when it’s falling, you’re likely to feel drowsy.”
So, a warm room may make you more restless throughout the night by interfering with your body’s natural “dip” in temperature. In fact, research has linked some forms of insomnia with temperature regulation issues: People whose core temperature remains warm may feel too alert to fall asleep.
One study found that insomniacs wearing a cooling cap slept nearly as well as people without any sleep issues. But don’t make the mistake of keeping your room too cold, either. If you’re cold enough to be shivering, your sleep will suffer.
Everyone has a slightly different optimal temperature for sleep, so experts recommend experimenting to see what works for you. If you don’t have an air conditioner in your bedroom, consider getting a fan or sleeping with a lighter coverlet. If you really struggle with being too hot at night, certain mattresses, sheets, and pajamas are designed with cooling properties.
[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]
Featured image: Dima Sidelnikov/Shutterstock
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