Sleep is an essential function to keep our bodies strong and immune systems healthy. Continual lack of sleep can impair our thought process and even increase the risk for certain medical conditions. Without quality sleep, it becomes difficult to concentrate and process memories effectively.
Most adults need seven to nine hours of quality sleep a night to promote proper brain and bodily functions. Older adults may require extra sleep compared to younger adults. Teenagers and younger children need substantially more rest. For toddlers, extended sleep is necessary to continue to grow. For each age group, specific temperatures can promote optimal rest.
Should a Bedroom Be Warm or Cool?
The temperature of your bedroom plays an important role in your overall quality of sleep. Research has found the effects of high temperatures on sleep quality were mainly reflected in sleep duration and shallow sleep. The ideal bedroom temperature will vary from person to person and depend on your comfort level. In most cases, a cooler bedroom temperature is often associated with improved sleep.
How Room Temperature Affects Sleep
When you are too warm or too cold, your body must work harder to self-regulate when external temperatures are not ideal. As your body self-regulates, you may experience sweating if it is too warm or shivering if it is too cold. Each of these reactions is your body’s way of attempting to stabilize your core body temperature. While these are necessary body functions, they can make falling asleep or staying asleep difficult.
During deeper sleep cycles, your body’s self-regulating mechanisms become slightly impaired, causing your body to have to adjust to the external temperature. As your body enters a lighter sleep cycle, it will alert itself that you may be too hot or too cold. At this point, your body may begin to sweat or shiver again, causing you to wake up.
What Temperature Should a Bedroom Be?
The temperature of your bedroom should be on the cooler side to promote a night of good sleep and allow your body to recharge. While being warm and cozy is important, cooler bedroom temperatures are often associated with higher sleep quality. Warmer bedrooms tend to decrease your overall quality of sleep.
Effects of Warm Bedrooms
Uncomfortably warm bedrooms can cause disturbances in your sleeping schedule and lower the sleep quality you get each night. While some may prefer a room slightly warmer than others, it is important to find a balanced temperature ideal for falling asleep and staying asleep comfortably.
The effects of a warm bedroom may include:
- Increased wakefulness: When you are too warm, you may experience difficulty falling asleep. Most people feel restless, sleepless or an increased sensation of wakefulness that makes falling asleep in the heat very difficult. If you can fall asleep, you may be prone to waking up periodically or fail to enter a deeper stage of sleep.
- Decreased rapid eye movement sleep (REM): The REM stage gets its name because the eyes move around rapidly beneath the eyelids while you sleep. Dreams typically occur during a REM cycle versus a non-REM cycle. REM sleep is an essential cycle of your sleeping pattern that stimulates areas of your brain that help with learning.
- Decreased slow-wave sleep (SWS): SWS is the deepest non-REM sleep phase that is thought to be important for memory consolidation. During SWS, you may experience dreaming or, less commonly, sleepwalking. SWS is considered to be important for proper daytime functioning.
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep: Heat can be uncomfortable and make falling asleep or staying asleep difficult. When this becomes a recurring issue, it is known as insomnia. Research has shown that insomnia affects 10% to 30% of the population.
Effects of Cool Bedrooms
A cooler bedroom provides numerous benefits and can help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep comfortably throughout the night. The role of temperature is an important aspect to consider when looking to improve your sleep quality. While the exact temperature needed varies from person to person, a cooler bedroom is generally recommended for the following benefits:
- Falling asleep quicker: During the evening, our body temperature naturally drops slightly, which is a sign that it is almost time to rest. A cooler bedroom can reinforce your core body temperature and help you fall asleep quicker and more comfortably.
- Improved sleep quality: Cooler temperatures can improve your sleep quality and help to support healthy levels of melatonin in your body. Melatonin is a hormone your body produces that plays an important role in sleep.
- Enhanced mood: Sleep quality can directly affect your mood. When you get a decent night of sleep, you will likely be in a better mood the next day. Research has found that more sleep would likely make people happier and healthier.
- Healthy melatonin levels: Higher melatonin levels can help improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. While melatonin does not make you fall asleep directly, it can help create a mood of peace and quiet that is conducive to falling asleep.
What Is the Best Temperature for Sleep?
The role of temperature in your bedroom can be an important aspect to consider when determining how to get a good night’s rest. Both your room and core body temperature play an essential role in getting comfortable and sleeping through the night. It is important not to get too cold and turn your thermostat up too high, resulting in feeling too warm.
Finding the right temperature is about striking the ideal balance between a warm, cozy bed and a cool and comfortable environment. On average, 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by sleep-related problems. The following are temperatures that may be ideal for different age groups:
Sleep Temperature for Infants
Regulating your baby’s room temperature is essential to creating a safe and comfortable sleeping environment. While each baby is different, it is generally stated the ideal sleep temperature for infants is in the range of 68 degrees F and 72 degrees F. Reducing the risk of overheating can promote proper sleep and ensure the well-being of your baby.
One of the most effective ways to gauge if the baby’s room is a comfortable temperature is to consider how you feel in the room. If you notice you are a little too warm under heavy blankets, or you may feel a bit chilly with blankets, chances are your baby will feel similarly. If you are comfortable in a room, it is likely an ideal temperature for your baby.
Sleep Temperature for Kids
Similar to infants, children can benefit from a comfortable sleeping temperature between 68 degrees F and 72 degrees F. Depending on your child’s age, you may be able to ask if they are comfortable with the room’s temperature. Children tend to experience the best sleep in a cool room with cozy blankets.
A quiet space and a dark room with a nightlight are often an ideal combination for children. To increase your child’s comfort, let them pick their favorite bedding to be as relaxed as possible while they sleep. Getting your child involved in creating their own sleeping space can be a great way to help them get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep Temperature for Adults
The ideal sleep temperature for adults is typically lower than children and even though some experts will suggest a range of 60 degrees F and 67 degrees F temperatures this low will be very taxing on your a/c system. We don’t suggest trying to cool your bedroom below 66° F without a secondary cooling system. Making sure your home is well insulated and utilizing a fan are great ways to feel more comfortable. Most adults experience better sleep quality in a cooler bedroom with comfortable blankets. While this range may be ideal for most adults, some prefer a room temperature that is a little warmer. An ideal bedroom temperature can promote a good night’s sleep and help you wake up rested and refreshed.
Sleep Temperature for Older Adults
The best sleeping temperature for older adults is generally in the range of 66 degrees F and 70 degrees F. Compared to younger adults, older adults may need a slightly warmer bedroom temperature to sleep comfortably. If your entire house is at a consistent temperature, you may experience better sleep.
It is important for older adults not to sleep in too cold a bedroom to prevent negative side effects. If you are a little too chilly, you can raise your thermostat and keep an extra blanket by your bedside.
Tips for Reaching the Best Temperature for Sleep
When creating a comfortable sleeping environment that helps you feel rested and relaxed, consider things that directly affect the room’s temperature. While many people may think of just a thermostat to control the temperature during sleep, you may want to pay attention to your bedding, curtains, ventilation and even humidity:
1. Regulate Room Temperature
Installing a high-quality air conditioning unit allows you to easily regulate your room temperature. Especially in the warmer summer months, you can lower your home’s temperature to be more comfortable and conducive to a good night of sleep. Routine air conditioning repairs can ensure your air conditioning is always working correctly. Air conditioning is a great option to consider, especially if your bedroom or home lacks proper ventilation and is prone to feeling stuffy or stale.
2. Swap out Bedding
Swapping out your bedding for each season can be a useful way to make sure you are not too warm or cold during the night. For summer, comfortable quilts or lightweight blankets can ensure proper ventilation and keep your bedding from trapping too much heat. Many breathable sheet sets are also available to provide adequate airflow.
During winter, you may want to consider a warmer or heavier comforter. While creating a warm space during the winter is essential, you want to ensure the bedding is still breathable and allows for proper circulation. Too heavy of bedding may feel stifling and cause you to wake in the night from heat or sweating.
3. Install Curtains
Curtains, drapes or blinds are effective ways to help maintain a proper temperature in your bedroom. A curtain can help prevent heat loss from your home through windows. Many curtains feature a thermal lining to help keep warm air in the house during winter. Curtains or blinds can also help prevent excess heat from entering your home through windows. When you close curtains on a hot day, it reduces the amount of heat that comes through your windows.
4. Provide Ventilation
Proper ventilation and circulation can promote better and deeper sleep. Research has shown that ventilation in a room can reduce levels of carbon dioxide, helping you sleep more soundly. Ventilation may play as important a role for a proper night of sleep as your bedroom temperature does.
Air circulation can make sure your home or bedroom does not feel stale or stuffy. Lower ventilation levels are typically associated with lower-quality sleep and difficulty falling or staying asleep. When ventilation is combined with an ideal room temperature, you are much more likely to experience a night of deep rest.
5. Control Humidity
Humidity levels play an important role in your sleeping environment. Higher humidity levels are often uncomfortable and can cause a sense of restlessness or wakefulness. Additionally, higher humidity levels shorten the time you spend in SWS sleep and REM sleep. These sleep cycles are essential for proper health, meaning that spending a shorter amount of time in each can cause negative effects.
While the ideal humidity level is often debated, many people may benefit from a humidifier or dehumidifier. For drier bedrooms, a humidifier can help raise the humidity to a more comfortable level. On the other hand, dehumidifiers are useful if your bedroom or home is naturally more humid.
6. Clean Your Air Vents
If a vent is filled with dust or other debris, your much-needed cool air may not be able to pass through your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system effectively. HVAC maintenance services can keep your ventilation system clean and running properly, ensuring your bedroom is cool and comfortable. Whenever you need your vents cleaned or serviced, it is always important to call a professional HVAC contractor.
Trusted Air Conditioning Installation and Repairs
Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning is a leading provider of air conditioning systems. We understand how important your home is and that proper air conditioning and home ventilation systems are vital aspects of keeping you comfortable and cool. Our team of HVAC experts can help install, repair and service an air conditioning system in your home.
We are a family-owned and operated business that prides itself on offering each of our clients world-class service. Any purchased and installed equipment from us comes with our one-year guarantee. Additionally, if you are not completely satisfied with a system we have installed in the last year, we will make every attempt to correct this or refund 100% of your investment.