There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night feeling hot and sweaty – unless it’s waking up because your feet are blocks of ice and your teeth are chattering. Whenever our internal temperature gets out of whack at either end of the spectrum, it can make for a miserable night’s sleep. But don’t worry, we can help you figure out the sleeping temperature that’s just right for you.
What You Need to Know to Find the Ideal Sleeping Temperature
- What’s the Best Temperature for Sleep?
- Air Temperature Affects Your Sleep
- What Causes Night Sweats?
- How to Maintain Room Temperature
The quality of our sleep affects just about everything else in our whole lives – our energy levels, our focus, our interest in the world around us, and our overall health. If the temperature of your room is keeping you from falling asleep and getting the good night’s sleep you need, it’s time to do something about it.
Most of us could improve the quality of our sleep – sometimes subtly, and at other times dramatically – by paying more attention to the ideal temperature of our sleeping environment. Changes in room temperature can have a powerful effect on your body’s ability to get a good night’s sleep.
What You Need to Know to Find the Ideal Sleeping Temperature
Everybody’s internal thermostat is just a little bit different. There’s no one ideal sleeping temperature that works for every sleeper. But if you know the answers to the questions below, that can get you started on figuring out what’s going to work best for you.
What’s the Best Temperature for Sleep?
The best temperature for sleep is certainly up for debate. Many experts recommend keeping your bedroom somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit in order to get the best night’s sleep. Others say 65 to 72 is ideal. At the end of the day (literally), the ideal temperature is the one in which you sleep the best. Since our body temperature lowers in preparation for falling asleep, the temperature range listed here can usually help facilitate that process. In general, the cooler the room, the better your sleep —unless it’s so cold that you’re uncomfortable. If you go too far off this temperature scale in either direction, you could end up not being able to fall asleep, or you may not get sufficient deep, restful sleep.
An overly warm sleeping environment can interfere with how your circadian rhythm is supposed to help regulate body temperature while you’re asleep. This can cause your internal thermostat to become off-balanced, preventing your body temperature from dropping into a range that encourages deep sleep. If the idea of sleeping in a cool room doesn’t appeal to you, you can always wear socks to bed and pile on the blankets – both socks and blankets are easy to shed if you get too hot in the middle of the night.
Air Temperature Affects Your Sleep
Some sleep experts believe that ambient temperature is the single most powerful influence over whether you’ll get a good night’s rest – more powerful than sleeping positions, pillow types, or bedding. During the course of an average day, your body temperature will rise and fall several times – this is largely tied to your sleep-wake cycle. The sleepier you get, the lower your body temperature, usually reaching its lowest level around 5 a.m., when it starts to climb in anticipation of waking up. This temperature regulation process is vital to our sleep cycles, which helps us wake up feeling rested in the morning.
If your room is too hot, it can impede your body’s ability to reach an ideal sleeping temperature, making it hard to stay asleep and get a healthy night’s rest. When it’s warm, your body thinks it’s time to wake up. There are some studies, in fact, that indicate that many different insomnia issues can be tied back to improper regulation of body temperature. For example, studies show that people who sleep in overly warm environments show elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol when they wake up the next morning.
An additional study compared people with documented sleep disorders who slept in a 61-degree room with those sleeping in a 75-degree room. The colder sleepers not only slept better throughout the night, but they were also more refreshed and alert the next morning.
Don’t forget – if the temperature gets too cold, your body could think it’s freezing, so you won’t sleep well that way, either. There is a sweet spot, and it’s just a little bit different for everyone. It all depends on your internal thermostat. Just like we all prefer slightly different temperatures during the day, so it goes for our sleeping temperature. It depends on many factors, including age, weight, body type, geography, and climate, and more.
What Causes Night Sweats?
Night sweats can be caused by a wide variety of factors. Most of them are completely harmless, though a few causes are serious enough that you should talk with your doctor.
Hormone imbalances can lead to night sweats – which can be caused by everything from pregnancy to menopause. We’re all familiar with the concept of hot flashes that come with menopause, but a woman’s blood chemistry during both pregnancy and postpartum also can lead to night sweats. Even normal menstrual cycles can have that influence.
This is largely due to the hypothalamus, which regulates the body’s core temperature. During dramatic hormone shifts, the body’s chemical balance goes haywire, which usually puts the hypothalamus out of whack.
Thyroid issues in both men and women also can lead to hormone imbalances, which include night sweats among their negative effects. Chronic issues like hyperthyroidism can be effectively managed so that you sleep more comfortably. Many hormone issues can be eliminated with effective treatment.
Routine illnesses like a minor respiratory infection or even the flu can also cause you to sweat during the night. As your body fights infection, its temperature rises, which can cause you to sweat during the night – especially if you’re running a fever. But the good news is that once the infection has run its course, your body’s ability to effectively and comfortably regulate its core temperature should return. If you think you might be sick, a visit with your doctor might help you sleep more comfortably.
Some people with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or chronic heartburn, also experience night sweats. If you’re routinely waking up hot and sweaty and taking Tums in the middle of the night, you should talk to your doctor to make sure you’re not dealing with a more serious issue like an ulcer or stomach cancer.
This leads to another cause of nighttime sweating – medication. Sometimes, the remedies for an illness can also make us sweat during the night. There are many medications that list “night sweats” as a possible side effect. If you think your medication may be disrupting your normal sleep temperature, talk to your doctor. You might be able to switch to another medication instead.
Night sweats also can tie back to health conditions like hypoglycemia, obesity, anxiety, or low levels of fitness. These are all important issues to discuss with your doctor. You may also want to discuss the possibility of sleep apnea, which causes your breathing to be interrupted intermittently while you sleep. It can be pretty serious. Your body wants to breathe, right? So, your brain wakes up long enough to nudge your lungs to work and then goes back to sleep. Depending on the frequency of these episodes, you can wake up several times during the night, leading to a poor night’s sleep. Studies show that people with sleep apnea are three times as likely to sweat during the night.
In rare cases, night sweats could be a sign of a serious health condition – like Parkinson’s disease or cancer. If night sweats are a frequent problem, be sure to talk to your doctor. After all, a lot of people complain about night sweats when the real problem is simply that their bedroom is too hot or they’re wearing too many clothes to sleep in. On the other hand, true night sweats can leave you drenched in sweat even when the room temperature is just right.
How to Maintain Room Temperature
While it’s hard to pin down a specific ambient temperature that works for everyone, it’s usually a good idea to set your sleeping temperature lower than the standard temperature of your home during the day. You can manually lower the thermostat before you head to bed, or some models can automatically drop the temperature while you sleep, ensuring that your sleeping temperature is lower than your waking temp. Depending on your climate, you might also be able to open up some windows so that as the temperature falls throughout the night, you can enjoy the benefit of that cool air.
Which Mattress Is Best for The Ideal Sleeping Temperature?
Of course, we believe the best mattress for an ideal sleeping temperature is a Purple® Mattress, thanks to its patented open-cell Purple Grid™. But don’t take our word for it – check out our mattress reviews to find out more for yourself. When it comes to sleeping cool, Purple reigns supreme.
How does Purple do this? Science. The Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material of the Purple Grid™ features a unique design that you can’t find anywhere else. Purple® Mattresses are crafted in a grid formation with open air pockets so you don’t sleep too hot or cold. The Purple Grid™ allows air to flow freely around your body. You can get a Purple® Mattress in all bed sizes and sleep without the trapped heat.
No matter whether your mattress is made of memory foam, latex or “cooling” gel beads – it can still heat up during the night. To stay nice and cool while you sleep, you should invest in a mattress that breathes like a Purple® Mattress.
The Best Temperature for Sleep
Your sleeping temperature is vital for getting good sleep each night. Barring any serious medical condition, room temperature is relatively simple to control. Just remember that as a general rule, the cooler your sleeping environment, the better you’re likely to sleep. You might have to experiment a bit to find the ideal sleeping temperature for you. By lowering your thermostat and sleeping on a breathable mattress, you’ll be well on your way to a cool and refreshing night’s rest.