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What Temperature is Best for "Sleep Mode?"

Sharing a bed with another person can be tricky right?

Sometimes your slumber can be hindered because your sleeping partner has different preferences than you when they sleep. Some like to only have a sheet and a thick blanket, while others like to have 10 blankets piled on top of them. Some people like to have the room pitch black, while others prefer a night light on. Some people like to keep their room nice and warm, while others prefer a small chill in the air. The one that seems to affect how people sleep the most, however, is the temperature of the room. Are you an advocate for sleeping in Antarctica or the Caribbean in the blazing hot summer months?

It is recommended that people keep their room around 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night. If you dip below 54 degrees Fahrenheit or go above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be disruptive to your sleep. Finding the temperature that best fits your lifestyle and preference will help you sleep longer and feel more rested.

Before you go to sleep, your body’s internal temperature will start to drop. This drop will help promote your body into a deep and continuous sleep. It allows your body to conserve energy. If your room is cooler, your body won’t have to work as hard to lower the internal temperature, and the process will happen quicker than if your body is forced to work overtime to lower its temperature. When a room is cooled down, your body is ready to begin the sleep process quicker. Your eyes will become tired and ready to be closed for the night. Otherwise, if your room is kept warmer than the recommended temperature, you are more prone to restlessness and your quality of REM sleep (rapid eye movement) will drop dramatically. It is during your REM sleep cycle that you are able to dream. When your body struggles to reach the desired temperature, you will not be able to get into as deep of a sleep. Therefore the quality of your sleep will drastically go down as your body tries to maintain its optimal temperature level. If your room is too hot; anything above the recommended number, your body will have to work double time to keep it from overheating. To prevent overheating, your body will expand the blood vessels. This will cause your blood pressure to drop, which will lead to lower levels of oxygen in your blood. This will have a negative effect on your sleep.

It may be helpful to imagine your room as a cave. Think of a bear hibernating for the winter. They choose a dark, cool cave, and are able to sleep for months. If you could model your room after this manner, it would greatly improve your quality of sleep. Your bed should be reserved for sleeping and sex only. This will help train your brain to know what is going to happen once you are in your bed. The bed should be free from use of electronics, such as TV’s, phones, laptops, tablets, etc. The brain needs to be trained that the bed is for resting only. Keep all electronics out of the bedroom in order to fully maximize your sleep time and feel the most rested.
It may be a struggle at first to try to find the optimal temperature for your bedroom. Even a variation in a degree or two can make a difference. It is important to try to find the one that best suits your needs, and one that will allow you to get the best results. Every night as you are experimenting, take notes. Leave a notebook by your bed. In the morning, write down how you slept. How do you feel? How quickly did you go to sleep? Did you wake up frequently during the night? Do you feel refreshed after a night’s sleep? After trying out a few different options, you will be able to compare your notes and see what temperature works best for you.
There are other ways to lower the temperature without lowering the thermostat. To keep your room cool, you can keep the blinds or curtains closed during the day, to block out the sun. Then once the sun has gone down, you can open the windows to your bedroom to allow some fresh and cool air to circulate throughout your room. You will need to make sure that the outside air is cooler than the air inside your house. You can look into installing a ceiling fan in your bedroom. Or maybe try using a portable fan, and you could point it in the direction of your bed. It is also helpful to sleep with your door open at night. This allows the air that is circulating throughout the house to travel inside of your bedroom. Sometimes when we close the door to our bedrooms, the air can become stagnant. The body will enjoy some fresh air if it is able to.

Now having the ideal temperature is important. Once you find that ideal number, your chances of experiencing a more rested sleep session increases. There are other factors to consider though; having the perfect temperature does not automatically guarantee a great snooze session. You need to do your part as well. Try to avoid working out vigorously 2-3 hours before your desired bedtime. When you exercise, your body’s temperature will increase, and after working out it can take a moment for it to come back down. When your body is already working to lower the body temperature, working out will just make the body work that much harder, or even prolong the process, making it difficult to go to sleep. If you can’t avoid exercising in the evening, try taking a cool shower after. This will help your body cool off a little faster, and be able to reach that internal core temperature quicker.

Let’s face it, we all need a good night’s rest. We need to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to start our day. If we can optimize our sleeping conditions, and allow our body to get into a deep sleep quickly, we will experience a good night’s rest.