Learn the Best Temperature for Sleeping and How To Achieve It

Sleep longer and better by setting the AC to this number.

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Sleep has many health benefits, including better memory, mood, and blood pressure, and could help you live longer. You can improve your sleep quality through several lifestyle changes—and sleeping in a cooler environment is a good place to start.

Why should I sleep in a cool room?

Your body temperature naturally drops to prepare for sleep, and you can speed up this process by cooling yourself off manually. Experts like the National Sleep Foundation recommend keeping your thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit to help your body during this process. However, 65 degrees may be ideal, Chris Winter, MD, sleep specialist and president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine in Virginia, told Health. "That doesn't mean 66 or 67 is terrible, but a cooler environment usually lends itself to a better quality of sleep," Dr. Winter said.

By helping the body lower its core temperature, you'll generally fall asleep faster. But that isn't the case for everyone. Some people say they have an easier time falling asleep when the temperature in their bedroom is in the 70s, Dr. Winter says. "But if I were to measure the quality of their sleep in that warmer environment versus a cooler one, I would bet it would be better in the cooler environment."

Why does being cool help my sleep?

Your body temperature can change sleep quality by affecting your circadian rhythms (your biological clock). Circadian rhythms are biological processes that repeat every day, such as the dip in core temperature at bedtime and the temperature rise that happens as you wake up. According to a 2017 article published in Science Advances, researchers found that people had poorer quality sleep in warm sleeping environments. They hypothesized that those environments can prevent people's bodies from reducing their internal temperature, interfering with circadian temperature regulation and leading to poor sleep.

However, that does not mean you need to feel cold while in bed. Being warm can improve your sleep, too—in a 2019 Frontiers in Neuroscience review, scientists found that having warmed skin can help people fall asleep faster and enter the NREM stage of sleep. It can also help your body cool by making your veins dilate; being warm when you fall asleep can help give you the benefits of having a cool sleeping area, too. As such, the key to good sleep could be feeling warm while the air around you is cool.

What should I do?

If you would like to try sleeping at 65 degrees, an easy method is to directly change the temperature of your room. This can be as simple as changing your air conditioner settings or investing in fans. However, if falling asleep in a cool room isn't comfortable for you, Dr. Winter suggested keeping the thermostat low but layering on extra blankets. Blankets are easy to push off in the middle of the night if you do get warm, Dr. Winter said, so you can continue to sleep through the night soundly without waking.

If you cannoot change your room temperature or it is still too hot, Dr. Winter recommended investing in cooling bedding, a cooling mattress pad, or cooling pillows. Some options include PeachSkinSheets Night Sweats Sheet Set ($80; amazon.com) or the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow ($169; amazon.com). Alternatively, if you would prefer to not buy special bedding, you could also try putting your pillowcases in the freezer. Then, take one our and using it on your pillow each night before bed. "If you keep your head cool, your body often follows suit," Dr. Winter said.

Besides your bedding and room temperature, you could also cool your body. The National Sleep Foundation recommended keeping a cold pack or a glass of ice water next to your bed, wearing light, breathable-fabric pajamas (or sleeping naked), and using fans to help keep air flowing even when the air conditioning is on.

Dr. Winter noted that changing your bedroom temperature is worth doing because it dramatically improves your sleep quality: "If somebody said to me, 'I have a friend who doesn't sleep well. You know nothing about them. What one suggestion would you make that you think odds are would have the most impact on their sleep?' I would say temperature."

Summary

The best temperature to sleep at is 65 degrees Farenheit because it supports your circadian cycle. Try lowering your thermostat, using cooling bedding, using fans, and drinking cold water to get a better night's sleep.

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