Best Temperature for Sleep: Guide and Tips

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
April 4, 2022
|
8
min read

 

Studies show that 30 to 50% of all adults suffer from chronic insomnia and insomnia-related problems. To alleviate insomnia, sufferers are encouraged to create the optimal sleep environment.

The temperature of your bedroom can make a huge difference in your sleep quality. What is the best temperature for sleep? The best temperature for sleep is 66.2 degrees fahrenheit (19 celsius) to 69.8 degrees fahrenheit (21 celsius).

If you’re frequently kept up by night sweats or shivering spells, you probably already have an inkling that getting your room temperature right is incredibly important for achieving healthy sleep. But even if you don’t experience these things, you might still benefit from making slight adjustments to your bedroom temperature – you’ll notice significant improvements in your overall sleep quality and, in turn, your quality of life.

How Temperature Affects The Quality Of Your Sleep

The human body has an internal thermostat that regulates your core body temperature throughout the day. This thermostat is connected to your circadian rhythms (internal body clock) and your sleep cycle.

As your bedtime nears, your body temperature declines by about two degrees Fahrenheit. Once you fall into a deep sleep, you experience an even bigger drop in body temperature. It reaches its lowest point around dawn, then rises gradually as your body starts to wake up.

So, what does this all mean? Your ambient room temperature needs to be within a particular range in order for you to have a restful sleep. If the outside temperature is too hot or too cold, you won’t be able to get the quality of sleep you need to feel well-rested and rejuvenated the next day.

Hot vs Cold: How Extreme Temperatures Impact Your Sleep

Finding the right sleep temperature is more than just about making sure you feel good the next day – it’s tied to your overall physical and mental well-being.

According to a sleep study in Japan, “excessively high or low ambient temperature may affect sleep even in healthy humans without insomnia”, resulting in difficulties in accomplishing day-to-day tasks, and a higher risk for obesity and even death. Poor sleep hygiene is linked to a range of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and chronic lung illness.

But how exactly does sleeping in a too-hot room compare to sleeping in a freezing room?

The Effects Of Sleeping In A Room That Is Too Hot

The same study found that heat exposure “increases wakefulness and decreases slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement”, and it gets even worse when the humidity levels rise. Essentially, if your room is too hot and humid, 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.

Remember, your body temperature cools around bedtime. When your environment is warm, your body could interpret it as a signal that it’s time to wake up. Aside from this, one study found that sleeping in overly hot environments results in elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol 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 also were more refreshed and alert the next morning.

Why Your Bedroom Shouldn’t Be Too Cold

If the temperature gets too cold, your body could think it’s freezing, so you won’t sleep well that way, either. Cold exposure – particularly cold air exposure – is proven to cause sleep problems. People who sleep in the pathway of cool air tend to toss and turn more, experience an elevated heart rate, and wake up more often.

Additionally, your heart and blood vessels work overtime when temperatures are too low. According to one study, heart rates and blood pressure rates go up for sleepers in winter.

The Best Temperature For Comfortable Sleep

People have varying core body temperatures. So, there is no one optimal sleep temperature that works for every sleeper. Still, there is a range of temperatures that have been proven to be best for certain age groups. Check to see if your personal preference falls within the recommended range.

Best Temp For Sleep Ages

For Babies And Toddlers

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the best sleeping temperature for babies and toddlers is between 65 to 70° F. This is slightly higher than the average for adults because young children may not be able to regulate their core body temperature as effectively as older sleepers.

For Adults

For a comfortable sleep, adults should crank their thermostats up to anywhere between 60 and 72° F.

For The Elderly

For older folks, the best sleeping temperature is somewhere in the range of 66 to 70° F. This is higher because, as we get older, our core body temperature decreases.

Tips For Maintaining The Best Sleep Temperature For You

Ideal Sleep Temp

How do you make sure you don’t overheat or overcool at night? Here are some top tips:

Your Mattress Matters

If you want to sleep cool, you need to find a mattress that breathes. Purple Mattresses breathe and promote airflow thanks to its patented open-cell Purple Grid™, which utilizes a Hyper-Elastic Polymer™. The result? Mattresses crafted in a grid formation with open air pockets so you don’t sleep too hot or cold.

You can get a Purple® Mattress in all bed sizes and materials (memory foam, latex, etc.) and sleep without the trapped heat.

Switch To More Breathable Types Of Bedding

Certain types of fabrics are cooler than others. Some fabrics, like silk, are naturally cool to the touch. Other fabrics, like rayon and bamboo, have moisture-wicking properties that can minimize body sweat loss at night. If you want something durable and smooth, go for Egyptian or Pima cotton.

Aside from fabric, thread count also makes a difference in keeping you cool. The higher the thread count, the less breathable the fabric. If you want to avoid night sweats, go for a bedsheet in the 180 to 280 thread count range.

If you want to find suitable bedding for any temperature range, check out our bedding collection.

Shower Before Bed

It may seem counterproductive to lower your body temperature by taking a warm shower, but according to sleep experts, it works. “When you get out of a hot shower, your body temperature is going to drop, and your melatonin is going to increase. And that will help you feel sleepy,” says sleep specialist Dr. Whitney Roban.

Keep The Windows Open

If the weather permits, make use of natural ventilation and keep your windows open to increase airflow and allow cool air to fill up your room. But, remember, sleeping in a draft may lead to shallow sleep. If you sleep facing a window or in front of your AC, it may be best to reconfigure the placement of your bed.

If you live in a noisy environment, however, it may be best to rely on your AC or a ceiling fan for ventilation.

Is It Better To Sleep Hot Or Cold?

According to sleep experts, if you want to get quality sleep at night, it's best to keep the bedroom cool. The ideal temperature ranges are between 66 to 69° F for adults and 65 to 70° F for babies and the elderly, who may not have the best temperature regulation.