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Discovering the Advantages of Cooler Sleep Temperatures

Ana Marie Schick Mar 06, 2024

The benefits of sleeping cooler

In recent years, we have all tried to take specific measures to live a healthy lifestyle. Whether it's eating better, exercising more, or drinking more water, our days are focused on being healthier overall. But making healthy decisions doesn't have to stop once you go to sleep.

Getting a full night's sleep doesn't only help you feel more energized and rested when you wake up, but it also benefits your mind, weight, and, most importantly, your heart.

Though the benefits of sleeping cold are significant, roughly 44% of Americans report a restful night's sleep almost every night. [1]

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Best Temperature for Sleep

The best temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3ºC), although it can vary slightly from person to person. [2] This temperature range helps your body naturally regulate its temperature throughout the night, promoting deeper sleep cycles.

Aim for a thermostat setting between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 and 20 degrees Celsius) as a good starting point to discover your ideal sleep comfort zone.

Benefits of Sleeping at Cooler Temperature

Although several factors can affect how you sleep, 69% of people reported that sleeping in a cool room enhances their ability to sleep well.

The CDC reported that 35% of adults in the US sleep less than seven hours per night on average. [3] If you're one of the individuals with difficulty falling asleep, we've listed some benefits of why you should sleep cold.

Hot Sleeper Study: Studies suggest that anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of individuals experience night sweats or sleep in hot environments. [4]

Fall Asleep Faster

As evening approaches, our body temperature naturally drops, alerting our body it's time to slow down and rest. If the room temperature is too hot, it can potentially stop that signal (it's time to sleep) and postpone falling asleep. Because the room is too hot, you may also notice restless sleep.

As you fall asleep, cooler temperatures help you acquire deeper sleep, sleep faster, increase the quality of REM sleep, and lower the risk of metabolic diseases like diabetes.

In a Harvard study, participants were likely to fall asleep faster, taking an average of 6.2 minutes when their body temperature decreased at its lowest (approx. 97.7ºF/36.5ºC). It took participants 20 minutes to fall asleep when they were warmer (98-99.5ºF/37-37.5ºC). [5]

A Japanese sleep society study reported an intervention that lowered the core body temperature of participants by approximately 1ºF (0.5-0.6ºC). [6] This resulted in a remarkably shorter time to fall asleep (average 8.9 minutes) by polysomnography, the gold standard in sleep studies.

Sleep Temperature: Sixty-nine percent of people reported that sleeping in a cool or cold room also affects their ability to get quality sleep. [7]

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Improve Sleep Quality

Cooler temperatures at night play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of your sleep. Your core temperature drops leading up to bedtime and increases naturally, preparing you to wake up. However, "sleep hot" can cause havoc on the quality of your sleep.

Keeping your room and your body cool improves your overall sleep quality. The ideal sleeping temperature ranges between 60 to 68 degrees, and during those temperatures, it stimulates the production of melatonin, promoting sleep.

When your bedroom is at a lower temperature, it assists your body in this natural cooling, making it easier to fall into a deep and restful sleep. Essentially, by having a cool room, you're working with your body's own sleep mechanics, not against them, leading to more rejuvenating sleep.

Get Better Sleep: Our cooling technology leverages water's amazing thermal powers for deep, restorative sleep.

In the Japanese sleep study mentioned earlier, participants reported that sleeping cooler greatly improved their overall sleep quality. They noted sleeping longer, waking up fewer at night, and falling asleep faster. [8]

Sleep Study: According to a study published in the Journal Sleep Medicine, participants who slept in a cool room (around 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit) reported better quality sleep compared to those who slept in a warmer room (around 75 degrees Fahrenheit). [9]

Sleep insomnia

Fights Insomnia

Specific types of insomnia are believed to have ties to body temperature irregularities, suggesting the evening temperature drop is delayed or the morning increase is advanced. Although definitive evidence is unavailable, sleep hygiene specialists recommend keeping the temperatures cool as it may help treat insomnia.

Big meals or even a fever pose problems for sleep if your core temperature is elevated.

Enhanced Deep Sleep

Deep sleep is an essential stage of the sleep cycle that promotes physical and mental restoration. During this stage of sleep, your body and brain waves slow down, and waking up from this stage is more challenging. If you do wake up, you may feel groggy.

Cooler sleeping conditions have been found to be conducive to deeper, more restorative sleep stages. When your body is in a cooler environment, it can help facilitate the transition into deep sleep and maintain it for longer periods.

This is because cooler temperatures promote the release of melatonin. This hormone regulates sleep and helps lower your core body temperature, which is necessary for initiating and maintaining deep sleep.

It's important to note that while cooler sleeping conditions can enhance deep sleep, it is just one factor among many that contribute to a good night's rest. Other factors such as sleep hygiene, managing stress, and having a comfortable sleeping environment also significantly optimize the quality of your sleep.

To learn more about enhancing the quality of your deep sleep, visit How to Get More Deep Sleep.

Increase Natural Melatonin Levels

Sleeping in a cold room at night may decrease your body's core temperature quicker, naturally boosting melatonin, the sleep hormone. A nightly decrease in body temperature relates to a rise in melatonin levels. These shifts tell the body that it's time to sleep while you regulate your body's sleep cycle.

Interestingly, much-cited literature indicated that the body-temperature-lowering effects of melatonin are reduced with age and the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. [10] So, sleeping colder may help those who are in those certain groups.

An increased melatonin level helps you remain asleep throughout the different stages of sleep. Additionally, it can help produce cancer-fighting properties, enhance your mood, and improve brain health.

Enhance Hormonal Balance and Well-being

Maintaining a cool temperature in your surroundings can do wonders for your body's hormonal regulation. Cold sleep promotes the natural balance and production of essential hormones, such as melatonin and growth hormone.

These hormones play a crucial role in regulating sleep, immune function, metabolism, and overall well-being. By supporting their natural regulation, you can promote better health and experience improved energy levels, mood, and cognitive function.

So, if you want to optimize your hormonal balance and overall health, keeping a cool and comfortable temperature in your environment can greatly help.

Sleeping in a cold room

Increase Metabolism

Sleeping in a colder room significantly affects your metabolism. How? Your body burns what is known as "brown fat" (considered "good" fat, unlike white fat) so that you can generate heat while you sleep at colder temperatures.

Researchers have found that turning the thermostat down to 66ºF at bedtime could potentially burn an additional 100 calories over the course of 24 hours of sleep.

A study found that sleeping in a cooler environment (around 66 degrees Fahrenheit) can increase metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity, which may help prevent diabetes. [11]

How to Stay Cool While Sleeping?

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for your physical and mental health, but it can be challenging when feeling hot and uncomfortable. If you sleep hot, sleeping in a cooler room can help improve your sleep quality and overall well-being. However, it can be difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the night.

If you're a hot sleeper, you can learn how to sleep cooler at night by reading our blog 13 Tips on How to Stay Cool at Night. It discusses how to cool down a room properly and different ways you can stay cool while sleeping.

Final Thought

Sleeping cooler can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health, and it's worth considering if you're struggling to get a good night's sleep.

Optimizing your sleep environment and maintaining a cooler temperature can improve your sleep quality, increase your metabolism, enhance your cognitive function, and reduce the risk of insomnia.

So, whether you sleep hot, you're dealing with hot flashes, summer heat, or prefer sleeping in a cooler environment, try it and see how it can improve your sleep and overall health.

Tip: If you're searching for helpful tips on designing a bedroom that promotes better sleep, be sure to visit our blog, "Designing the Ideal Bedroom for Enhanced Sleep Quality."

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Citations/References

[1] CDC. “CDC - Data and Statistics - Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017.

[2] Doheny, Kathleen. “Can’t Sleep? Adjust the Temperature.” WebMD, 23 Mar. 2022. View Resource.

[3] marshall, steven. “Sleep Statistics and Facts about Sleep Deprivation.” NCOA Adviser, 29 Jan. 2024. View Resource

[4] Mold, J. W., Mathew, M. K., Belgore, S., & DeHaven, M. (2002). Prevalence of night sweats in primary care patients: an OKPRN and TAFP-Net collaborative study. The Journal of family practice, 51(5), 452–456.

[5] Dijk, D-J.& Czeisler, C.A. (1995). Contribution of the circadian pacemaker and the sleep homeostat to sleep propensity, sleep structure, electroencephalographic slow waves, and sleep spindle activity in humans. The Journal of Neuroscience, 15(5), 3526-3538.

[6] Setokawa, H., Hayashi, M., & Hori, T. (2007). Facilitating effect of cooling the occipital region on nocturnal sleep. Sleep and Biological Rhythms, 5, 166-172. View Study

[7] CDC. “CDC - Data and Statistics - Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017.

[8] Okamoto-Mizuno, K., Mizuno, K. Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm. J Physiol Anthropol 31, 14 (2012). View Resource

[9] Lappharat, Sattamat, et al. “Effects of Bedroom Environmental Conditions on the Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, vol. 14, no. 04, 15 Apr. 2018, pp. 565–573. View Study

[10] Cagnacci, A., Krauchi, K., Wirz-Justice, A., & Volpe, A. (1997). Homeostatic versus circadian effects of melatonin on core body temperature in humans. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 12(6), 509-517. View Study

[11] Cool Temperature Alters Human Fat and Metabolism. “Cool Temperature Alters Human Fat and Metabolism.” National Institutes of Health (NIH), 15 May 2015. View Resource

Suni, E. (2021, February 8). 25 Facts about Sleep. Sleep Foundation. View Resource

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