The reason for your restless nights could be that your room is too warm.

By Emily Shwake
October 03, 2019

Do you have trouble sleeping during the warmer months? You probably need to turn up the air conditioning. A cooler room helps our body cool down faster, which is a natural function of our biological clock. "The body clock essentially helps us predict the future," explains Yu Sun Bin, Ph.D., a research fellow in the Sleep Research Group at the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre. "It cycles in the same way as the day and night cycles, and prepares the body accordingly, such as lowering body temperature when we prepare to sleep." A temperature of around 60 to 68 degrees is optimal for healthy sleep—the exact temperature within that range varies from person to person.

If you're someone who prefers to be cozy while sleeping, don't worry: As long as your head is exposed, you can still use that heavy comforter in a cool room—weighted blankets have even been shown to reduce anxiety and shorten the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

Related: Here's Why Having a Healthy Sleep Routine Is So Important

With that being said, if you don't have some sort of cooling unit, you might need to switch to lighter bedding—especially in the warmer months—to avoid overheating. You should also open the windows and turn on the fan in order to create more air flow.

Taking cold showers in the evening isn't an ideal solution. In fact, it might actually be in your best interest to turn the water heat up instead. "Although a cool shower may also help to cool your body down, it can be stimulating and have an alerting effect," says Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D., the Environmental Scholar of the National Sleep Foundation. "Having a warm bath and getting out into a cool room environment is more relaxing, and will create a contrast effect that signals the mind that your body is cooling down to sleep."

Advertisement

Comments

Be the first to comment!