How Temperature Affects Sleep

As children, many of us dreaded bedtime but as adults getting to go to bed is a welcome part of the day, but are you getting enough good quality sleep? Statistics from The Canadian Public Health Agency says likely not. Approximately 1 in 4 adults aren’t getting enough sleep, 1 in 2 have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, 1 in 5 say their sleep isn’t refreshing, and 1 in 3 have trouble staying awake during the day. So how can you improve your sleeping skills? The answer may be in your thermostat.

The recommended amount of sleep for most adults is between seven and nine hours per night. Less than that and you’ll likely be dealing with chronic stress, inability to focus, mood swings and more. Improving your sleep can be done with lots of minor lifestyle changes but one simple thing many don’t consider is what temperature to keep your bedroom. 

Your body has an optimal temperature, throughout the day this internal temperature rises and falls according to your internal clock. As you get drowsy near bedtime your body temperature begins to fall and tells your body it’s time to sleep.

The temperature of the air around you can have an effect on your body’s ability to maintain its optimal temperature and sync up with your internal clock. While many people think of warm and cosy things when trying to create the best sleeping environment, if your bedroom temperature is too warm it will interrupt the natural cooling down your body is trying to do to make you ready for sleep and you may toss and turn all night. 

Studies show that a cooler bedroom is better for sleep and estimate that between 15℃ and 19℃ is the best range for quality sleep. Cooler temperatures will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep by making it easier for your body to regulate its temperature and stay cool so it can focus on resting. 

There are many ways you can make sure your bedroom temperature is ready for you each night. If you have a programmable thermostat you can set it to automatically turn down the heat at a certain time before you head to bed. The same goes if you have an air conditioning unit. In the summer opening a window to create a cross-breeze or placing a fan in your room can help make the room feel cooler even if it’s a hot summer. Also, putting up curtains that block sunlight in your bedroom can help by not letting the sun heat up the room during the day. 

Sleep deprivation is linked to higher rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and weakened immune systems so quality sleep is important to maintaining good health. Getting higher quality sleep may only be a turndown of the thermostat away!

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