This week on Sleep Sunday we are going to talk about sleep and the sort of temperature that is best to sleep in. At this time of year we all tend to have our heating on but the room temperature can really cause havoc on your sleep.
One of my favourite sites Healthline points out that you should keep the temperature near 65°F (18.3°C), give or take a few degrees, is ideal. They go onto explain that your body’s temperature decreases during sleep and a cool, but not cold, room will help you settle into and maintain sleep throughout the night.
Of course, children and babies may need a slightly higher room temperature for sleep, but you’ll want to avoid turning up the thermometer more than a few extra degrees so their little bodies won’t get overheated.
The Sleep Foundation explain that our sleep cycle is regulated by our circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is based on the light-and-dark cycle of the sun and controlled by a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in the hypothalamus. This master “body clock” gets its cues from a number of environmental and personal factors, ranging from the amount of light exposure (most significant), to exercise, and temperature.
The principal way in which the body cools itself down for sleep is by sending heat away from the core. In a process called vasodilation, the circadian clock sends a signal to increase blood flow to the extremities. This is why some people may experience warm hands and feet – which can be mistaken for overall body temperature – at night. Indeed, people who have chronically cold feet5 may be at higher risk for sleep-onset insomnia, possibly due to a disruption of this process.
So, what happens if your room is too hot. Well, you become restless and uncomfortable. I am sure we have all slept in a stuffy bedroom (hotel rooms in particular) and it’s hard to go to sleep as you are sweaty. It can then interfere with your body’s temperature and leave you feeling tired, mentally and physically. I don’t know about you but my first night in a strange bedroom is always restless for me until I have it all right with the temperature and the bed coverings.
The Sleep Charity says that a hot, cold, or draughty room can seriously impact your sleep, in particular REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Temperatures over 24°C (71°F) are likely to cause restlessness, while a cold room of about 12°C (53°F) will make it difficult to drop off.
So, how can we make sure the temperature and environment in your room are right for a good night’s sleep. Well, some great tips from The Sleep Charity are –
- Opening windows to maximise air circulation but keeping curtains/blinds shut to block out the warmth of the sunlight.
- If you’ve got an attic, try opening the hatch. Hot air rises and this will give it somewhere to go.
- Use a lower tog duvet or even a cotton sheet – and wear light cotton nightwear to wick away sweat.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of cold water during the evening and keep a glass by the bed.
- Fill a hot water bottle with ice-cold water and place near the feet or alternatively cool socks in the fridge – cooling your feet lowers the overall temperature of your skin and body.
- Use an electric fan and if it’s really hot, put a tray of ice and a little water in front of the fan which will cool the air even more.
- If you’ve got long hair, tie it back. Hair around your neck can make you feel warmer.
- If you share a bed, make sure it’s big enough for two people, so you can sleep without disturbing each other: 5ft wide should be your minimum.
Or you could try this revolutionary cooling blanket, with Japanese Q-Max 0.4 cooling fiber which absorbs heat to keep you cool on warm nights, its anti-allergy and breathable from Elegear. With special 80% mica nylon, 20% PE cool fabric on the top side it is very comfortable, and breathable for hot summer use. It’s made of natural 100% cotton on the bottom inside so suitable for spring and autumn use. It lets you turn off the air conditioner to save energy while sleeping in total cool comfort.
Elegear summer cool bed blanket fabric features proprietary jade stone particles, making it softer to touch and even fluffier than a cloud. Meanwhile, The 100% cotton features excellent breathability, which can wick the moisture away while being replaced with fresh, cool air to help you enjoy a really sound sleep. The Japanese cooling fiber has the characteristics of anti-allergy, quick-drying, and ventilation. You can also use it with a cool pillowcase or cooling gel pad, then you will have a happy summer and better sleep. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certified are free of chemicals. I tried this blanket and it was amazing to feel the temperature was just perfect to sleep in and lightweight on the bed and will be very useful when my granddaugter stops over as she always gets very warm at night no matter what the temperature the room is.