It's gettin' hot in here
Given the many books that have recently been written about sleep, it’s surprising how little has been said about the importance of temperature when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.
This is not to say that the books don’t mention it at all, it just seems to be given less attention than other topics.
So why is temperature such a key factor and what can you do to make sure you’re neither too hot nor too cold?
Modern science has revealed that as the body initiates sleep, it begins to lower its core temperature. What this means is that your bedroom needs to be cool enough to help support this drop. Indeed, the National Sleep Foundation recommends a room temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.3 degrees Celsius.
This is probably surprisingly low for some people! Most have it set in the low to mid twenties. It’s for this reason that it helps to think of your bedroom as a cave; it should be quiet, cool, and dark for you to have the best chance of getting good quality sleep.
Obviously, the climate of your bedroom is just one factor affecting your core body temp, so here are some other top tips to help:
Avoid strenuous exercise close to bedtime as this has the effect of raising your core body temperature. N.B. Recent studies suggest this may not be quite so clear cut.
Try splashing water on your face before hitting the hay. As the water evaporates, it helps to cool your face and, by extension, your body.
Having a bath or shower before bed. Again, this has the effect of cooling you down for the reason explained above.
Invest in a good quality mattress and bed linen. Those of poor quality will often trap too much heat in.
Make sure you have breathable sleepwear and always opt for 100% cotton pyjamas to avoid waking up shivering or covered in sweat.
Naturally, some people will have variances in terms of the temperature that feels right for them so it’s best to experiment until you find your optimum.
Good luck and sleep well!