Picture this: It’s the middle of the night, and you’re wide awake because suddenly, you feel way too hot. Your only solution is to throw your covers off and try to cool down and ease back into sleep. If this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone.
But waking up overheated isn’t just disruptive. This feeling could stop you from operating at your fullest ability during the day: Studies show that sleep disruptions are associated with diminished cognitive performance and increased stress, which can cause high blood pressure and poor digestive health.
That’s why it’s so important to sleep at cooler temperatures. When you stay cool, you sleep better, and your body can do nighttime regenerative work. That way, you wake up feeling rested and ready for whatever the day brings.
This helpful guide will teach you the relationship between temperature and sleep quality – and how you can ensure a better night’s sleep every night.
Will Warm Temperatures Affect Sleep Quality?
Many people don’t realize how important our core temperatures are to sleep and overall wellness. But here’s the thing — our internal temperature regulates our body’s cycles.
Usually, core body temperatures decrease at night and warm up during the day. This is how the body’s circadian rhythm (the 24-hour cycle that controls metabolism and cycles of alertness and sleepiness) usually functions.
And while it’s true that natural and artificial light will play a significant role in this internal timing, light only does it indirectly. That’s why, if need be, you can reset your internal clock so that you feel awake even in the middle of the night.
A part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), otherwise known as the body’s master clock, sets our biological cycles as a response to the amount of light entering the eyes. In simple terms, when the sun rises or we witness artificial lights upon waking up, the SCN will signal the body to feel alert.
Only over a decade ago, scientists realized that light exposure was just the beginning of how human sleep is affected. Our body’s master clock, or the light-sensitive SCN, sends neural signals that change internal body temperature. This temperature change tells tissues and organs to start waking up or preparing for rest, not the light response.
As a result, even tiny changes in body temperature – like what happens when you have one too many covers on at night, or you forget to turn the thermostat down – send a powerful signal to our internal clock.
Unfortunately, if this happens in the middle of the night, you’re missing out on deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
REM sleep helps solidify your memories and resets your sleep cycle – but failing to have REM sleep gets worse. Because your internal clock is off, it’s likely that you won’t be able to fall back asleep easily.
In short? This means you’ll have repeated restless nights of sleep, all because of body temperature.
What Is the Best Temperature for Sleep?
Room temperature impacts your sleep experience, so that the temperature will make the difference between a peaceful 7 to 10 hours of great rest and a night of poor sleep.
Warmer temperatures will affect all your sleep cycles, including REM sleep, resulting in sleep deprivation. Too cold, and you might have trouble falling asleep, but too warm, and you’ll wake up before you reach the deep sleep stage.
Deep sleep, also called slow-wave sleep, is when the brain increases glucose metabolism, supporting cognitive functioning and long or short-term memory processes. It’s also necessary for immune health, cellular regeneration, and tissue repair.
In short, slow-wave sleep is healing. It’s not something anyone wants to miss out on, but you might if your sleep environment is too warm.
According to sleep psychologists, the best temperature for sleep is between 60°F to 67°F. Set your thermostat within this range each night to help you experience restful sleep.
The Best Sleep Temperature for Infants
Babies need a warmer room temperature to sleep comfortably. The recommended temperature for babies is between 65 and 70° F.
Because their bodies are still developing, they aren’t able to regulate their internal temperatures like older kids and adults do. If you have little ones, ensure a warm room for them to sleep in, complete with a space heater or extra mattress padding.
How to Stay Cool While Sleeping
If you still feel like your body’s temperature is causing you to wake up in the middle of the night, despite lowering the thermostat, you’ll need to try other ways to stay cool and improve your sleep quality.
Try these tips for staying comfortable at night and maintaining good sleep cycles:
Tip #1: Reduce Exposure to Blue Light Before Bed
Blue-wavelength light — the light emitted from all our electronic devices — is a well-known insomnia driver. Research shows that exposure to blue light the hour before bed will suppress melatonin production and inhibit nighttime sleep.
But here’s the thing: One of the major factors behind this phenomenon is increased body heat. That’s because blue light prevents your body from cooling down in the evening; instead, it helps your body stay at daytime temperatures, disrupting your circadian rhythm.
Tip #2: Use Breathable Blankets and Sheets
If you feel hot at night, use breathable fabrics for your bedding. Sheets, blankets, and mattress covers should be made from cotton, linen, or bamboo to increase airflow.
Cotton, in particular, is ideal because it’s breathable and lightweight – so if you’re looking for better sleep quality, high-quality, 100% cotton sheets are your best bet.
Tip #3: Sleep on a Cooling Mattress
Thanks to today’s ever-evolving technology, you can choose a mattress with unique cooling properties to help regulate your body temperature as you sleep.
But make sure the cooling technology won’t expose you to chemical off-gassing as most phase-changing technologies will. Not only are these chemical gasses dangerous – like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) common in traditional mattresses – but the cooling effect should last the entire night, not only temporarily.
Take the Dormeuse REM9 Organic Mattress by Essentia, for example: The organic latex foam pulls heat away from your body, which helps you self-regulate your core body temperature, get deeper sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed.
This patented mattress will make you five degrees cooler than your core body temperature throughout your sleep, providing a cool and uninterrupted blissful slumber.
Other Tips for Getting Deeper, High-Quality Sleep
When looking for the best mattress, one of your crucial qualities should be keeping your body temperature comfortable. But a quality night’s sleep goes beyond that too – so here are some additional suggestions to promote a deep, restorative sleep:
- Keep the bedroom dark and quiet. A positive nighttime environment should be akin to sleeping in a quiet, dark cave. No music, television shows, or light exposure during the final hour before sleep.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. What you do before bed will impact your sleep – avoid exercise or anything else that will energize your body. Instead, focus on a relaxing routine with reading, meditation, or a warm shower.
- Ensure a non-toxic sleep environment. Toxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can disrupt your sleep. If you’re exposed to chemicals while you sleep, your body has to spend more energy detoxing, leaving less energy for rest and regeneration.
If you stick to these tips, you’re bound to reap the fullest benefits of a good night’s sleep.
But remember that even a small increase in your core body temperature can disturb your sleep and rob you of a good night’s rest. That’s why it’s essential to keep your thermostat set for the right temperature for sleep and take steps to help your body regulate its temperature for the entire sleep cycle.
Humans spend ⅓ of their lives in bed, so it’s only natural to want to make all that time count. The best thing you can do is start with a cool night’s sleep – which is easy to do with an organic latex cooling mattress.
Essentia memory foam mattresses are made from organic latex and are designed to give you the best sleep possible. The latex foam won’t trap heat like other materials, and our cooling technology lets you experience active cooling without exposing you to harmful toxins.
The best part? You can sleep before you buy and try out one of Essentia’s organic cooling technologies yourself. Our StayWell cooling mattress is featured in the rooms of nearly two dozen hotels throughout the United States.So forget sleep medicine – explore Essentia latex memory foam mattresses and discover how good it feels to sleep deeply!