We might think a warm bedroom is perfect for sleep, but the scientific truth is quite the opposite. We sleep best when our bedrooms are between 60 and 68 degrees, and anything over or under this often results in fitful rest. In this article, we’ll dive into why warmth interferes with our sleep, and how to cool off a hot bedroom.
Temperature and Our Sleep
Sleep can be hard to come by, and it’s usually because our sleep environment isn’t as optimal as it could be. If we aren’t sleeping well, then we aren’t spending enough time in the restorative stages of sleep such as deep, where our bodies are physically restored, and REM, where our minds are refreshed for the coming day. When we are woken up during deep or REM sleep, we must return to light sleep before progressing through all of the sleep stages. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to this, and if we are repeatedly woken up, we won’t feel physically or mentally refreshed in the morning.
So, it is imperative that plenty of deep and REM sleep is achieved, and that means we have to take charge of the sleep environment, including the temperature. When you are struggling to sleep in an overly warm bedroom, you can use these tips to improve conditions.
Tips to Stay Cool at Night
- Use the thermostat to keep it between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use insulated curtains and keep them closed against the sunlight during daylight hours, and open windows as soon as the sunsets. A window fan can also pull in the cooler night air.
- A cool or mildly warm shower before bed can help you feel much cooler. You can also splash pulse points with cold water or use cool packs on the neck, wrists, and backs of the knees.
- Choose linens that are light in weight and moisture wicking such as Egyptian cotton sheets. These are more breathable and will help promote ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.
- The Egyptian Method of sleeping also helps to cool down your sleeping environment, though many find it difficult to get accustomed to. This is because it involves soaking your top sheet in cool water and then sleeping with the dampened sheet to reduce temperatures.
- Since heat rises, keeping your bed lower to the floor or even putting the mattress and box spring directly on the floor is also ideal for cooler sleeping conditions.
- Be sure that you are properly hydrated as dehydration impairs your ability to sweat, and it is through perspiration that we naturally cool the body.
- Forgo pajamas if you are comfortable sleeping in the nude. Many people feel odd sleeping without clothes or blankets, but if temperatures cannot be controlled, allowing yourself to perspire and cool naturally often works wonders.
Temperature is a vital part of creating a great sleep environment. While there’s often nothing we can do about the temperature in our home, these tips will hopefully lead to deeper more satisfying sleep.