For optimal physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing, it’s important to prioritise sleep. From investing in the best mattress to creating your own sleep routine and environment, having a good night’s rest can make a world of difference to how you feel and perform day after day.
One thing that’s important to consider when setting up the perfect sleep environment is temperature. The temperature in your bedroom can have an effect on whether you have a restful night or not. If you’re too hot, you’ll find yourself flinging off the covers, tossing and turning and covered in sweat. But if you’re too cold, you’ll burrow deep under the covers and your muscles will take in the chill, making you feel stiff and sore when you wake up.
With this in mind, a recent study conducted by leading scientists and sleep experts has just revealed that there’s an ideal temperature for sleep. The study titled “Nighttime ambient temperature and sleep in community-dwelling older adults” examined the link between bedroom temperature and sleep quality and used sleep monitors and environmental sensors to keep track of sleep duration, restlessness and efficiency.
After several weeks collecting data, the results showed that sleep quality was most efficient and restful when the temperature ranged between 20 and 25°C. When the temperature increased between 25-30°C, sleep efficiency dropped significantly by 5-10%.
Between 20 and 25°C, the temperature inside is warm but not too hot or cold, allowing people to fall asleep more easily and sleep more deeply. But what happens if these conditions aren’t met? Let’s find out.
How does temperature affect sleep?
The main reason why temperature has an effect on sleep is because you need your body temperature to drop in order to fall asleep. When you’re getting ready for bed, your body temperature naturally drops which signals to the brain that it’s time to go to sleep. This drop in temperature starts about two hours before you go to sleep which coincides with the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone which helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Having a bedroom at the optimal temperature can help encourage this natural temperature process to happen and send clearer signals to the brain and body that it’s time to go to bed. Many studies have also shown that sleeping in a cooler room or wearing socks to bed can help with temperature regulation which can encourage you to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and wake up less times in the night.
How to maintain the best sleep temperature
Stick to a regular sleep schedule
One of the most important tips for great sleep hygiene is to keep to a regular sleep schedule. Your sleep and nighttime routine is completely unique, but making sure you go to bed at the same time every night ensures you’re getting enough sleep to perform properly the next day. Having a tight schedule also means your body will get into the habit of feeling sleepy at a specific time which will help you drift off easier.
Change your bedding with the seasons
For better temperature control, always consider the type of bedding you’re using. When it comes to the best duvet or blankets, it’s important to have a duvet that caters to the season. While you can get all season duvets, sleep experts recommend getting a summer duvet and a winter duvet. As mentioned in our duvet size guide, you should move to a higher tog in the winter and a lower tog in the summer (see when should I change to a warmer duvet for more details). For those who feel the heat regardless of the weather, investing in a mattress cooling pad could solve your problems.
Ventilate your room during the day
Getting air and light into your room during the day keeps your environment cooler, fresher and more hygienic. When it’s time to go to bed, your room should be at a cool temperature which is said to help you sleep better. Keeping the window slightly open while you sleep will help your room come to that perfect sleeping temperature and will make sure you’re still getting fresh air.
Customise your thermostat
If you have the best smart thermostat installed, you can set routines around your home to make sure each room is heated or cooled appropriately. For example, you can customise your thermostat to between 20 and 25°C in your bedroom when you plan on going to sleep to ensure its at the best temperature for sleep.