This Room Temperature Is the Key to a Better Night's Rest, According to a Sleep Expert
Just a few degrees can make all the difference.
If you've ever struggled to fall asleep in a stuffy room or woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, you know it's not easy to sleep when you're hot. Warmer temps can cause restlessness and discomfort, making it more difficult to doze off and sleep through the night. For a more comfortable sleep, you might need to rethink your thermostat settings.
"Temperature has a profound impact on sleep, and often is a common source of poor sleep quality," says Dr. Eve Van Cauter, a sleep expert and chair of the scientific advisory board for Sleep Number. For the ideal sleeping temperature, she recommends setting the thermostat between 64 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, sleepers who stay cool enjoy an average of 19 more minutes of quality sleep than those in warmer rooms, according to data from Sleep Number's SleepIQ technology, a feature in its smart beds that tracks sleep throughout the night. Essentially, that could be the difference between falling asleep right away or tossing and turning for 20 minutes trying to get comfortable.
For those in cooler climates, bumping your thermostat down to 64 degrees each night can help you save on energy costs during cold-weather months in addition to achieving better sleep. But if you're worried about running up your bill during the summer, there are additional steps you can take to stay cool during the night.
First, pay attention to what your mattress is made of, as some materials can leave you feeling clammy or uncomfortable, Van Cauter says. If you're in the market for a new mattress, look for one that features temperature-regulating materials such as innerspring, latex, or a cooling gel, which help promote airflow and absorb body heat. In general, hot sleepers should avoid all-memory foam mattresses, which tend to retain more heat.
How you dress your bed is also key to keeping cool. Consider purchasing cooling sheets or a cooling pillow that offers more breathability and prevents overheating throughout the night. You might need to swap out your bedding between seasons to accommodate changing temperatures. Additionally, wear pajamas made of lightweight, moisture-wicking materials, and make sure your bedroom stays cool and dark. If you live in a warm climate, consider hanging up blackout curtains to help keep the heat out and closing the shades during the day.
If you're struggling to fall asleep and stay that way, adjusting your home's temperature is a good place to start. Program your thermostat and settle in for a good night's sleep.