Room temperature can make or break your sleep quality. Find out the best temperature for sleeping, so you can fall asleep and stay asleep every night.
It’s late at night and you’re tossing and turning; the doona is too hot, the sheet alone isn’t warm enough, and you’re not sure which pyjama-doona-air-con combination to try next. Does this sound familiar?
Temperature plays a huge part in allowing us to sleep well. And creating an ideal room temperature in your bedroom will allow a more peaceful sleep, so you can wake up feeling more energised and ready for the next day ahead.
What is the relationship between temperature and sleep?
Your body’s circadian rhythm, or internal body clock, regulates the different functions of the body including your heart rate, hormone release, and body temperature. All these factors allow the body to naturally wake up and fall asleep at the right time within one 24-hour cycle (1). When we try to sleep in environments that are too hot or too cold, we don’t reach the optimal sleeping temperature – and this affects our circadian rhythm, leading to sleep deprivation. But rest assured, your sleeping temperature is easier to fix than you think.
What is the ideal sleeping temperature?
The best temperature for sleeping is between 18–20 degrees Celsius.
Your body temperature starts to fall as bedtime approaches, preparing you for this. So don’t be fooled – we’re designed to have a cooler body temperature during sleep than we are through the daytime.
Being too hot while you’re sleeping can prevent you from sound sleep, as the body becomes forced to work harder and exert energy by sweating (2). This keeps the body too alert to be able to sleep deeply enough to enter REM sleep, the stage of sleep that is most restorative and allows the brain to repair.
Temperature settings lower or higher than the recommended 18-22 degrees can lead to disrupted, restless sleep, leaving you exhausted the next morning. Whether it’s your room temperature or body temperature, most of us have experienced the feeling of being too hot while sleeping. Excessive heat can make you feel tired and fatigued, making things difficult for anyone and especially those who suffer from insomnia.
What can be done?
How do you achieve the ideal sleep environment? Try to think of your bedroom as a cave; it should be quiet, cool, and dark for the best chance at getting enough rest.
If you don’t have climate control to set a cool room temperature (or even if you do), there are a few other ways to reach your perfect temperature:
- Choose the right bed linen. Cotton and linen are the best choices, as they’re naturally breathable fibres that help you remain at your ideal body temperature.
- Experiment with different sleepwear combinations. Again, natural cotton or linen sleepwear will allow for breathability and prevent you from overheating.
- Don’t do vigorous exercise before bed: Raising your heart rate close to bedtime will only keep you awake. Try to do light exercise (such as walking) in the evening, and save the cardio workouts for the morning, as they will help you wake up and improve your mood for the day ahead.
- Invest in a mattress that is breathable: Many mattresses do not promote airflow, so it’s important to choose a mattress that does. A.H. Beard King Koil mattresses that feature AeroComfort technology ensures optimal breathability and healthy airflow through the mattress, so you remain at the ideal sleeping temperature.
- Keep your bedroom door open through the night, and open other windows in the house to allow air to circulate freely throughout to keep you cool.