What's the Right Temperature for a Healthy Night's Sleep?
As we head into summer again, we’re faced with hot, muggy nights of tossing and turning – and the inevitable grouchy days that follow.
The main reason that warm nights are harder to sleep through is that our bodies are designed to drop our core temperature between 10pm and 5am – thanks to the hormone melatonin – to help regulate our sleep cycles.
When your bedroom is too warm, that melatonin isn’t produced in enough quantities and we don’t fall asleep.
So what’s the right temperature for a healthy night’s sleep? And how can we achieve that temperature even when the mercury’s climbing?
•If you’ve got a heat pump or air con, then you simply have to set your thermostat to between 15C and 18C. This is the optimum temperature for the body to understand that it’s time to produce the melatonin that helps send us to sleep.
•Remember, all those electrical gadgets and devices produce heat as well – even lights can help raise the temperature in a room – so make sure that you’re not making your air con work overtime or contributing to your over-heating body.
•Unfortunately, even when your bedroom is at the right temperature, your body isn’t going to feel tired if it’s over-stimulated. So when you feel the temperature rising and you face a tough time of it getting to sleep, make sure you keep those mobile phones, tablets and laptops out of the bedroom. All that blue light and mental stimulation isn’t going to help you drift off at all.
•Many of us can’t regulate the bedroom temperature at the flick of a switch, here are a few tricks to keeping it cool. For example, get a fan to help circulate air (it’ll also help keep the mozzies away) and – for those really muggy nights – place a bowl of ice in front of it. Alternatively air your bedroom in the mornings by opening all the windows wide and letting in the cool air before the real heat of the day starts – then in the evenings, keep the draughts circulating by leaving windows and doors ajar.
•Because a good night’s sleep is more to do with the body’s core temperature than the room’s temperature, there are a few things you can do to stay cool. Obviously light, baggy bedclothes are a must, as are cotton sheets so you don’t overheat during the night. Other options are having a hot bath before bedtime as the hot water brings the blood to the surface of the skin and you cool down more quickly once you get out – a 38C bath for half an hour before bed will give you a much better night’s sleep and a healthier night’s sleep as you’ll spend longer in “deep” sleep. (Unfortunately a shower doesn’t have the same effect.) Other “home remedy” type ways to cool your body before falling asleep is having a glass of cold water or iced herbal tea last thing at night – or even filling your hot water bottle with iced water.
Time and time again in this blog we talk about the importance of a healthy night’s sleep – and during these busy, outdoorsy summer days, it’s even more important to be able to maintain the energy and let your body recover during the night.
Key to any good night is the quality of your bed – which is why our Bedpost sleep experts have the knowledge to help you choose exactly the right make, model and design to fit your lifestyle. Once you’ve got the perfect set-up, then you can work on ensuring you can stay cool for summer.
For more information on how Bedpost can help you find a stress-free way to purchase a new bed, contact us on 0800 233 767 or Live Chat or email us via the website. The Bedpost blog has plenty of tips about buying beds; the research area of the website allows you to compare different makes and models; and our locator lets you find your nearest Bedpost store.