Both your body and room temperature can play a crucial role in the quality of sleep you get, and we’ve done the research to show you how to find the right balance.
We’ll walk you through the ideal bedroom temperatures for different age groups and show you how to achieve that “perfect” temperature and improve your sleep health.
For most adults, the best temperature for sleep is 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit1 (15 to 19 degrees Celsius).
The best temperature for a baby’s room should be slightly cooler around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 degrees Celsius).
However, this will also depend on personal preferences. Some people naturally sleep hot and others sleep cold, so it’s perfectly normal to go below or above these recommended numbers to what makes you feel most comfortable.
You Will Find Out
How to Keep Your Bedroom Cool
As mentioned above, the ideal room temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this can be harder to achieve for those who live in warmer climates or during those hot summer nights. If your bedroom feels too warm for you to sleep well, there are steps you can take to help bring down the temperature.
- Close the blinds during the day. Keeping the hot sunlight out of your room during the day should help it stay cooler overall. This is especially important for those who work overnight and need to sleep during daylight hours.
- Adjust the windows according to the outside temperature. If it’s hot outside, leave the windows closed to keep the warm air out of the room. Conversely, if it’s cooler outside, open your windows to let the breeze in.
- Sleep at the lowest level. Heat rises, so if you live in a multi-story home, try sleeping on the bottom floor.
- Use a fan. You can utilize a fan to keep the air circulating, but make sure it’s not pointing directly at your body since this could result in sore muscles and headaches.
- Use cooling bedding and accessories. Temperature-regulating sheets and pillows can help you stay comfortable, as well as a good cooling mattress. However, different mattress types and materials have varying thermal properties. Memory foam mattresses typically sleep much hotter since this type of foam traps heat (unless they contain cooling gels), while hybrid beds or innerspring mattresses usually fare much better due to improved airflow from the coils.
- Sleep in breathable pajamas. Look for pajamas made with cooler fabrics like cotton, linen, and bamboo.
Tips for Sleeping Better in Winter
During winter, especially in northern states where temperatures get near or below freezing, it’s recommended to keep the room slightly warmer to accommodate the significant nighttime drops in temperature.
Some people may find it harder to fall asleep during winter, especially if they’re not hot sleepers, so here are a few tips:
- Layer up. Wearing multiple layers is a simple and effective way to keep your body warm during winter. You should also consider the fabric of your pajamas since some materials are naturally cooling and may not be the best for the winter. In this case, look for fleece or wool pajamas for extra warmth.
- Use extra blankets. Placing an extra blanket or two over you at night should help you warm up quickly. You might also consider investing in an electric blanket, which is a blanket that contains an electric heater inside of it. However, it’s important to be as safe as possible when using this type of blanket since they’re not ideal for certain groups, including pets, children, older adults, and pregnant women, among others.
- Wear socks. We lose a lot of heat through the feet, which means keeping them insulated can help lock in warmth. Thicker, wool socks can be great for cold winter nights.
- Use a hot water bottle. A hot water bottle can make your bed warm within minutes. You can use it to warm your feet, stomach, or any other area where you feel cold.
- Drink hot tea. Having hot tea before bed can warm you up and also help you relax at night.
How Temperature Affects Sleep
Temperature fluctuations during the day and nightDid you know body temperature is connected to sleep? Normally, a person’s body temperature will fluctuate during the day but only by 1 or 2 degrees2. This is known as thermoregulation3, the body’s ability to maintain a certain internal temperature. However, body temperature drops around two hours4 before bedtime. This drop in temperature is natural and helps signal5 the body that it’s time for sleep. The circadian rhythm, which is the body’s internal clock, controls these temperature fluctuations, among many other important physiological patterns. Research has found, though, that as we age, our thermoregulation abilities aren’t as strong6. Thermoregulation is important for sleep onset5, and with many adults reporting worse sleep7 as they get older, it’s possible there’s a connection. This is also why the elderly are considered more vulnerable when it’s extremely hot or cold out5. That being said, it’s important to note that while diminished thermoregulation may play a role in sleep worsening with age, there are many other causes of sleep problems8 in older adults, such as irregular sleep-wake schedules, caffeine, medications, and sleep disorders.
Last Word of Advice
As covered above, experts advise that adults sleep in a room between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas babies and toddlers should sleep in slightly warmer environments between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Sleeping in a cooler room is beneficial because it helps reinforce the body’s natural nighttime temperature drop, which in turn, encourages sleep onset. Plus, if the room is cooler, you’re less likely to wake up in the middle of the night feeling hot and sweaty.
While an ideal room temperature is helpful for sleep, you should note that it’s one of many ways you can improve your sleep quality. Practicing good sleep hygiene, investing in quality bedding and the right mattress, and consulting health professionals for more serious conditions affecting your sleep will also be important steps toward more restful nights.
Lead Product Tester
Julia is the Lead Reviewer at Sleep Advisor, specializing in testing out mattresses and sleep accessories – she’s in the right line of work, because she loves to sleep.
- “What’s the Best Temperature for Sleep?”. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-is-the-ideal-sleeping-temperature-for-my-bedroom. 2021.
- “What is a Normal Body Temperature?”. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/body-temperature-what-is-and-isnt-normal/. 2021.
- Osilla, E.V., Marsidi, J.L., Sharma, S. “Physiology, Temperature Regulation”. StatPearls. Last modified May 8, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507838/#_NBK507838_pubdet_.
- Harding, Edward C., Franks, Nicholas P., Wisden, William. “Sleep and thermoregulation”. Current Opinion in Physiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7323637/. 2020.
- Murphy, P.J., Campbell, S.S. “Nighttime drop in body temperature: a physiological trigger for sleep onset?”. National Library of Medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9322266/. 1997.
- Balmain, Bryce N., Sabapathy, Surendran., Louis, Menaka., Morris, Norman R. “Aging and Thermoregulatory Control: The Clinical Implications of Exercising under Heat Stress in Older Individuals”. BioMed Research International. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6098859/#!po=52.2727. 2018.
- “Aging changes in sleep”. Medline Plus. Webpage accessed January 6, 2024. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/004018.htm.
- Neubauer MD, David N. “Sleep Problems in the Elderly”. American Family Physician. https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/1999/0501/p2551.html. 1999.