If you are not in a comfortable environment, you will not get good sleep. There are a lot of factors that influence your ability to sleep, such as the amount of light in your environment, noise levels, and having a comfortable space to sleep on. What role does temperature play in your ability to have a healthy night’s sleep?
How Temperature Affects Your Sleep
Few things affect your ability to sleep as much as the temperature of your sleeping quarters. Studies have shown that the ideal temperature for sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can fluctuate a few degrees depending on the person
Your body automatically drops its temperature as you sleep by around 2 degrees Fahrenheit. This triggers mechanisms in your brain and body, like the release of melatonin, which encourages a good night’s sleep. Sleeping in a cool room will help you get to sleep and stay asleep through the night.
The need for a cooler temperature to sleep better is something that only affects humans as they reach their toddler years. Infants need a slightly warmer temperature to sleep through the night. However, parents should exercise care and not turn up the thermostat more than a couple of degrees to prevent their infant from overheating.
Why Does Temperature Affect Your Ability to Sleep?
It is not just happenstance that the ideal sleeping temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. There is a link between this temperature and your body’s mechanisms for regulating your temperature.
Your circadian rhythm influences many systems within your body. One of these is your temperature. You may be surprised to know that during a 24-hour timeframe, your body’s temperature changes various times. A couple of hours before you go to bed, your body starts to lower its temperature. Your temperature will continue to get lower until it hits its lowest point at around 5 a.m.
You may notice that as you go to sleep, your hands and your feet get warm. This is because your body is expanding the blood vessels in your skin. It allows heat to escape through your extremities from your core to drop your core temperature.
If you are sleeping in a room that is too hot or too cold, your body may have a hard time regulating its internal temperature. This could cause you to wake up periodically through the night.
This is why many people find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep during the summer months when it is a challenge to keep sleeping quarters at the prime sleeping temperature. The temperature of the room where you sleep is an essential factor in getting a good night’s sleep.
Why Does Temperature Not Affect Babies in the Same Way?
First, it should be clear that babies do not need a drastically different sleeping environment than adults. Most babies will sleep comfortably in a room that is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The caveat is that the baby is dressed properly for the environment they are sleeping in.
Parents would want to exercise caution and avoid overheating their infant. Overheating the room may increase the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
There are some physiological differences between a baby’s body and an adult’s body that allow them to sleep comfortably in a warm room. First, babies cannot regulate their temperature as efficiently as adults. Second, in an attempt to reduce the risk of SIDS, most infants do not sleep under a lot of blankets.
It is typically recommended that infants sleep wearing a sleep sack or a breathable garment. Infants would typically not wear a hat indoors because it further inhibits their body’s limited ability to regulate temperature and get cool.
How Do Hot Temperatures Affect Your Ability to Sleep?
If the room is too hot, your body may be impacted in ways that make it hard for you to rest well. Therefore, if you have the habit of cranking up the thermostat at night, you may want to think about turning it down during the evening. This is even true during the winter months when your apartment or your home will be its most chilly.
A warm room can lead to sweating. This may disrupt your sleep, even if you don’t feel hot as you are falling asleep. Being uncomfortably hot at night may prevent you from getting into deeper states of sleep. You will wake up feeling tired. With time, the lack of sleep may affect your health.
One sign that your sleeping quarters are too hot is difficulty waking up in the morning. This is because as we go to sleep, our body lowers our temperature. In the morning, it raises our temperature to stimulate us and help us to wake up. Being in a hot room can interrupt that cycle, making it difficult for you to wake up in the morning.
How Do Cold Temperatures Affect Your Ability to Sleep?
Sleeping in a cool room is great. Sleeping in an extra cold room can be detrimental. In addition to the possibility of getting sick from sleeping in freezing temperatures, there is also the fact that it is just uncomfortable.
Cold urticaria is a condition that affects young and old alike. Your skin reacts to the cold temperatures, causing part of your body to become red, puffy, and itchy. It can cause your muscles to cramp severely, making it difficult to get up in the morning.
Cold temperatures can cause muscle spasms at night, which is especially detrimental for individuals with arthritis or joint conditions. In extreme situations, you could even develop trench foot. If you go to bed with wet feet and the room is frigid, your feet will lose heat quickly. This triggers a warning mechanism in your body that tells your body to cut off circulation to your feet. This can lead to more severe health issues. Finally, if you are too cold during sleep, your body could respond by changing its cardiac autonomic response.
How Can Temperature Regulation Improve Sleep?
The temperature of your sleeping quarters impacts your sleep. Some steps you can take include setting your home’s thermostat to automatically lower during your sleeping hours. You can open your windows, turn on your air conditioning, or turn off your heater if the outside temperature falls below the ideal sleeping range. You may even want to install a thermostat in your sleeping quarters to regulate its temperature.
Let Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Help You Create the Optimal Sleep Temperature
Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning is proud to offer a team of technicians who can help with any heating, air conditioning, or plumbing needs. You don’t have to endure another burning hot or freezing cold and sleepless night. Our NATE-certified technicians have been helping residents of the Greater Sacramento Area and North Valley by installing and repairing HVAC systems so they can get a good night’s sleep. Contact Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning today for more information!