The following information was provided by The Sleep Advisor. Need some more sleep education? Check out their blog here: www.sleepadvisor.org
When we think of sleep quality, we put it down to factors such as timing, positioning, diet, mattress type and the presence or absence of a screaming baby. However, apart from really hot or really cold weather, we don’t give much thought to the effects of temperature.
In fact, both your body temperature and room temperature can play a vital role in sleep quality.
What is the best room temperature for sleeping?
Over the last four decades, thanks to improvements in heating technology, we have increased the temperatures of our homes by 6 degrees C. Unfortunately, this may be partly responsible for the rise in insomnia and other sleeping disorders.
Hot environments contribute to less time in deep sleep and therefore poorer sleep quality. Therefore, cooling down the room in which you sleep can dramatically improve your sleep. It can also reap other health benefits such as promoting the burning of excess fat and regulating our hormones and metabolism.
Experts recommend the following temperature ranges by age:
- Babies and toddlers: 18-21 degrees.
- Adults: 15-22 degrees.
- Elderly people: 19-21 degrees.
Of course, there are individual variations so don’t worry if you vary the room temperature slightly to maximise your personal comfort.
So how do you sleep well in summer?
There are a few ways you can ensure that you have the coolest possible room during those hot, sweaty summer months.
- Keep the blinds, curtains and windows closed during the day if it’s hotter outside the home than inside it.
- After the sun is down, open your windows and let the cooler air circulate through the home. Keep the windows open while you sleep.
- Mattress matters, so prioritise mattresses with decent airflow such as innerspring-based mattresses or hybrid beds.
- Invest in some cooling sheets and pillow cases. Natural fibres such as cotton and bamboo are ideal because they are cooler to the touch and don’t retain heat. See here for some examples of bedding that will keep you nice and cool overnight.
- Use a fan. Though there are some concerns that these might not be ideal for people who suffer certain allergies, fans are mostly promoted as a means to promote a nice, cool slumber. If you wish to bling up your fan’s cooling abilities, freeze a few bottles of salted water and then when you’re ready for bed, place the frozen bottles on a tray (to catch condensation) and place it in front of your fan (see here for more detailed instructions). Voila – almost as good as an air conditioner at a fraction of the cost!
- Sleep naked! Yee ha!
How about sleeping in winter?
- Layer up! It’s simple, cheap and effective.
- Resist the temptation to set the heating up too high. We get that the toasty warmth is comforting in the cold of night, but bear in mind that if it’s above the recommended temperatures, it will impact your family’s sleep.
- Wear socks – never underestimate the importance of warm feet!