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Huddling under blankets, sticking one leg out of the blanket, sleeping without clothes on- our body has a way of telling us the perfect temperature it needs to sleep. Undeniably, the temperature of your surroundings has a significant impact on the quality of your sleep.
The question however remains – what is the best temperature for sleep?
According to experts, the best temperature for sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.3 degrees Celsius. Our detailed guide will help you understand the ideal sleep temperature and tips to improve your sleep quality.
The Science Behind Temperature for Sleep
You might wonder why the temperature of around 65°F (18.3°C) is the optimal sleeping temperature? Well, there is a science behind this. Your body goes through various temperature cycles during the whole day, known as circadian rhythm. Your body begins to emit heat just before you go to bed and continues to cool down till it reaches its lower point during the dawn at around 5 a.m.
You might be thinking, how does your body cool? It is because your body emits heat by expanding the blood vessels in your skin to reduce your body’s temperature. It is the reason why your hands and legs get warm at the start while you try to sleep.
If the temperature in your surroundings is too warm or chilled, it may affect the lowering of your body’s internal temperature and eventually lead to disruptions in your sleep.
Best Temperature for Babies to Sleep
According to experts, babies feel comfortable in temperatures one or two degrees warmer, up to 69 degrees Fahrenheit or 20.5 degrees Celsius. The main reason is that babies are tiny and have a developing body and cannot adjust to an abrupt change in surrounding temperatures.
Sudden temperature change in infants may also lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Experts recommend using proper bedding, dressing your baby in sleepwear, maintaining comfortable temperatures, and avoiding very thick or multiple layers of blankets. Parents can monitor the temperature of their toddlers by touching their feet, hands, and back of the neck.
According to studies, babies start sensing temperature when they are eleven weeks old and achieve the minimum internal body temperature of 97.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 36.4 degrees Celsius within four to five hours of sleeping, similar to the time taken by adults.
How Does Temperature Affect Sleep?
The circadian rhythm regulates our sleep. Circadian rhythm depends on the light-and-dark cycle of the sun. Our brain controls the circadian rhythm through the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in the hypothalamus.
The internal body temperature of a human body is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius, but it varies by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. Your body begins to emit heat roughly two hours before you go to bed and continues to cool down till it reaches its lower point during the dawn at around 5 a.m.
The primary way in which the body cools is by emitting heat. Vasodilation is when the circadian clock notifies to increase blood flow throughout the body. It is the reason why your hands and legs get warm at the start during your sleep.
What Happens if You Sleep in Hot Temperatures?
If you have ever slept in a hot temperature, you might agree that sleeping in warm surroundings is very uncomfortable and leads to sweating, dehydration, and fatigue. Hot temperature makes it very difficult for the person to sleep even if you are super tired both mentally and physically.
Body temperature affects not only sleep quality but also the time spent in different sleep cycles. A higher internal body temperature indicates poor sleep quality and reduces slow-wave sleep. Similarly, a significant difference in temperature between the internal body temperature and the outsides suggests that the body is not efficiently sending the heat away from the body. It indicates reduced sleep efficiency and disruption in sleep.
Hot temperatures lead to sweating, shiver, dehydration, and make you sensitive to temperature changes. Accordingly, scorching temperatures also reduce the time spent in the REM sleep cycle.
Tips to Keep Your Room Cool
We have articulated some valuable tips to keep your room cool. They are listed below:
- Try to keep the windows open to allow ventilation.
- Put off the curtains to reduce heat generation during the daytime.
- Use fans and air conditioners in hot climates.
- Use hot water bags or heaters during cold nights.
- If possible, try to move to a lower floor.
- Turn down the thermostat during nighttime.
- Reduce the humidity of your bedroom.
- Use loose clothes like pajamas to avoid sweating.
- Use good quality beddings, duvets, sheets, comforters, pillows to prevent sweating.
- You can self-start the natural cooling down effect by taking a bath an hour or two before going to bed.
The Final Word
Getting sound sleep plays a significant role in enjoying a healthy and productive lifestyle. You must sleep in comfortable surroundings with suitable room temperatures to get a sound sleep. Make sure that the surrounding temperatures are on the cooler side before going to bed. It will help your chances of getting proper sleep every night.
Your room should be between 61 and 67°F for sound sleep. This temperature is comfortable for your toddlers as well, with a proper set of sleepwear and blankets.