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Another hack for your sleep improvement toolkit: the optimal sleeping temperature and how it affects your sleep cycle.
With winter weather quickly approaching, it's a popular time to fiddle with the thermostat, roll out the heaters, unpack the extra blankets or start bundling up around the house. These changes are a reminder to reassess your space's night-time temperature and if it is set for optimal sleep.
According to different research, the room temperature range to aim for while asleep is around 59°F to 66.2°F or 66.2°F to 69.8°F.12 While this may seem cold, particularly for those of you who prefer very few blankets, there is a reason your body rests better in cooler temperatures.
Your body has an internal clock — or circadian rhythm — that tells it when to be awake and when to sleep throughout a 24-hour cycle.3 As your body moves through the circadian rhythm cycle, your core body temperature fluctuates — it decreases during the sleep phase and increases during the wake phase. The core temperature is also affected by your skin temperature. When the temperature around you is cold, your body increases blood flow to your skin and certain areas, like your hands and feet, to warm them up. This change in blood flow causes your core temperature to decrease, which is beneficial for the sleep phase.4
Sleeping in a room with too much heat exposure makes it more difficult for the body to reach an optimal core sleep temperature, resulting in a more restless sleep.5 If you're wondering why you get sleepy when you're all nice and warm, warming up a few hours before bed may help initiate sleep.6 However, to assist the rest of your sleep cycle, you should still decrease the temperature when you are ready for bed.
What temperature do you prefer for sleep?
Sleep is a critical part of our overall health, as are regular health check-ups. Try imaware's easy at-home Men's and Women's Health & Wellness tests for a convenient way to supplement your regular health screenings.