Did you know that one of the preferred ways to create a bedroom that’s built for sleep is to model it after a cave?
This means pitch black darkness, a cool temperature, and total quiet. This type of environment is how our ancestors slept, and it also happens to describe a bat cave. Bats take this sleeping business seriously, getting at least 15 hours of rest each day.
And if you’ve ever seen a Hollywood movie featuring a bat cave, you know how grumpy they get when you wake them up!
While there’s not a single best temperature for sleep, there is an ideal range and a variety of tips you can easily implement to set up your bedroom for the most restful night ever.
How Climate and Condition Affects Sleep
If a room is too hot or too cold, you’re not going to be comfortable. It’s really as simple as that. In the middle of winter, it might be tempting to lower the thermostat to save on heating bills, but if your teeth are chattering, you’re not going to get adequate rest. The same is true if a room is too warm. Feeling hot and sweaty is not helpful, either.
Our body temperature naturally drops a degree or two when it’s time for bed. When we go to bed, our brain is constantly working to maintain that temperature. If your bedroom is set at a condition that forces your body to work harder to keep a constant temp, then you’re not going to sleep as deeply, and you could experience more frequent wake-ups.
Sleep quality and duration are closely linked. In addition to the incorrect temp affecting how deeply you slumber, it could also affect the number of hours you get. To doze off easily and stay asleep through the night, it’s important to have your bedroom at the right temperature.
Here you can learn more about the stages of sleep.
What’s the Ideal Temperature Range for Sleeping?
Enough with the lectures already, right? You’re reading this article not because you want to be told how terrible it is to be sleeping in a room that’s the wrong temperature. Instead, you want to the know right temperature!
There’s a range that most experts can agree on, with a low of 60 and a high of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Granted that’s a broad range, and it’s heavily dependent on individual preference. Some people run hot and want their room to be much cooler. Others, however, prefer to pile on the blankets and bundle up as if it were the Ice Age.
Within this fairly wide spectrum, we recommend a narrower range of 65 to 68 degrees on a Fahrenheit scale. This temp is cool enough to help you stay comfortable and not get too hot or cold.
Few Tips For Summer Time
Your skin is the body’s largest organ and it when it’s exposed to air, it encourages evaporation and cooling. So, go ahead and spread out, taking up as much space as possible. Your partner will understand. If you curl up in the fetal position, your sweaty limbs are going to be touching and transferring body heat, which will only make the situation more unpleasant.
Choose the Right Mattress
Memory foam is one of the most popular mattress materials, but it’s not so great for summer. Its conforming properties trap body heat. Plus, memory foam tends to contour even more in response to warmer temperatures and excessive body heat. Not only do you end up overheating, but you could end up feeling like you’re sleeping on a sagging mattress.
Here you can see some of our Cooling Beds that are ideal for summer and hot sleepers.
Cooling Sheets and Pillows
Cotton and linen sheets are amazing for keeping you cool. Look for a percale weave that allows for more airflow, as opposed to a sateen weave, which is tighter and not as breathable (you can see some of our top cooling picks here).
There are also pillows available that have a cooling cover. Since our head traps a lot of body heat, keeping this portion of the body cool is an effective way to regulate body temperature.
If you’re want to go full MacGyver, put your top sheet in the freezer during the day (make sure it’s folded) and pull it out at night before bed. You’ll have a blissfully cool ice blanket!
Wear Thin Clothes
We probably don’t need to tell you to avoid footsie pajamas during the summer. Thin clothes are best to keep you cool. While you may prefer to wear your birthday suit, this can actually make you warmer if you sleep with a partner. The skin-on-skin contact can create excess body heat, so even though it sounds counterintuitive, thin clothes are better than being naked. At least in this case.
Take an Evening Shower
A cool shower before bed is not only relaxing, but it can also help cool you off. Add in some lavender aromatherapy, and you’ll be nodding off in no time.
And a Few More for Winter
Multiple layers, including long sleeves and pajama pants, are a simple and effective way to keep your body warm and comfy during the winter months. It’s not just clothing that you can layer. Adding an extra blanket to the bed can also make you feel more comfortable.
Use a Space Heater
For safety reasons, we prefer timed space heaters with auto shut-off mechanisms, but any space heater will do. Place it near your bed, but away from sheets and curtains. This technique is ideal if you want to warm up, but your partner doesn’t. You can aim the heater at your side of the bed only.
Use an Electric Blanket
The danger of an electric blanket, at least in our opinion, is that it’ll make you feel so cozy that you won’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Winter months are known for having dark and chilly mornings. An electric blanket creates a heavenly experience that it takes an act of superhuman strength and willpower to pry oneself away from it.
In addition to warming up your feet, and therefore the rest of your body, socks also encourage vasodilation. This technical term means a “dilation of blood vessels,” which is also an internal sleep signal.
Drink Hot Drinks
A cup of hot herbal tea can both warm you up and relax you in preparation for bed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the best sleep temp for babies and toddlers?
Babies and toddler still do well in a cooler room, but you’ll want to raise the temperature slightly. According to experts, the ideal thermostat setting will be between 65 and 70 degrees.
Q: What’s the effect of sleeping in a cold room?
Chillier bedrooms not only help you fall asleep faster and rest better throughout the night, but they could also help slow down the aging process. Bedrooms with thermostats set between 60 and 68 degrees are shown to increase melatonin production. Not only does that help you fall asleep, but it’s also considered an anti-aging hormone.
Trying to lose weight? A chilly bedroom might increase your metabolism, too.
Q: What’s the recommended temperature when sick?
If you’re sick, there’s no need to adjust the temperature. Setting the thermostat to around 67 degrees Fahrenheit will still help you rest better. Restful sleep encourages faster healing!
Q: What’s the ideal room temperature for the elderly?
The same rules apply to senior citizens as to adults and babies. While cooler is better, some elderly people might prefer a slightly elevated temperature. The ideal range is between 64 and 68 degrees F.
It might seem logical to crank up the heat and create a cozy, little nest to promote a night of blissful shuteye. However, the opposite is true. If you’re someone who typically prefers a hot room at night, try a chillier experience and see how you feel. We bet you’ll notice an improvement!
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Author: Jill Thompson
I've been self-employed for almost four years and I would not change it for anything! I believe that anyone can achieve their goals with the right attitude and determination.
I'm an avid traveler (25+ countries and counting) that loves to meet new people doing amazing things.
When I'm not researching for the Sleep Advisor, you can find me reading, running, traveling, golfing, or meditating.
I wish you the very best on your journey!