Many couples are aware of the importance of the right temperature for a good nights sleep. One partner throws the duvet off the bed leaving the other shivering… Or, in a bid to keep warm, covers are ‘stolen’ during the night.
Body temperature varies between individuals between 97.2 – 100F (36.2 -37.8C). The environment, what we eat, how we feel and how active we are all factors that also affect our sleep. There are changes of body temperature during the day with temperature lowest in the morning, rising in the late afternoon.
The hypothalamus in the brain regulates body temperature and blood is sent to the skin and the body sweats when it’s too hot. Being too hot or too cold during the night will stimulate the brain, so it makes sense to try and regulate body temperature for a peaceful nights sleep.
A bedtime soak can be relaxing but may raise body temperature too high. Experts suggest that it might be better to have a bath a little earlier to allow the body to adjust before turning out the lights. A bath followed by some relaxation may be more effective than leaping out of the bath straight into bed.
Being too cold will also affect how easily you fall asleep and the quality of sleep. Light warm clothing may help you stay warm and can be removed if you become too hot. ‘Layering’ is often better than tight, heavy covers as it allows you to move and make adjustments as body temperature adjusts during the night.
Cool and Comfortable
Research has shown that poor sleepers are more likely to complain of being too hot rather than too cold, so it might help to keep temperatures low in the bedroom. A room temperature of around 18C (64F) is thought to be ideal. Most people find it hard to judge room temperature without a thermometer. Checking the temperature of your bedroom will help you create the right climate for a good nights sleep.
Babies and Bedrooms
Babies and small children are vulnerable to extremes in temperature, particularly cold. An ideal room temperature for a sleeping baby is warmer than an adult, around 68F (20C).
Fresh air will help you sleep and make the bedroom fresh and pleasant. Many people are highly sensitive to strong smells and stale air. Leaving a window open during the night may be too chilly, but a good airing during the day will help refresh the room.
Our lives are often spent in environments where we have little control. Offices, shops, and our homes are overheated and air conditioning may mean we have little connection with fluctuating temperatures. By making a few adjustments to your bedroom you might be able to create the difference that will guarantee a good nights sleep.