ideal sleeping temperature

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Sleeping And Why Does It Matter?

The human body undergoes fascinating changes during sleep, including fluctuations in body temperature that play a crucial role in regulating sleep patterns and overall health. While we may not be consciously aware of it, our body temperature follows a rhythmic pattern throughout the night, influenced by various factors such as circadian rhythms, environmental conditions, and even stages of sleep.

In this article, we will delve into the intricate relationship between body temperature and sleep, shedding light on its significance and impact on our nightly rest. We'll explore how body temperature fluctuates during different stages of sleep, the role of thermoregulation in maintaining sleep quality, and practical tips for optimizing sleep temperature for better sleep hygiene.

In this article, we'll explore:

  1. The Circadian Rhythm and Body Temperature.
  2. Body Temperature During Sleep Stages.
  3. Thermoregulation's Role in Sleep Quality.
  4. Factors Affecting Sleep Temperature.
  5. Practical Tips for Optimal Sleep Temperature.

Understanding this interplay can transform our sleep habits and well-being. Let's embark on this journey to unlock the secrets of restful sleep.

What happens to your body temperature during sleep?

During sleep, the body's core temperature naturally decreases as part of its normal physiological rhythm. This decrease typically occurs during the initial stages of sleep onset and continues until it reaches its lowest point during the night, usually during the early morning hours. This decrease in core body temperature helps facilitate the onset and maintenance of sleep.

Throughout the night, the body undergoes various cycles of sleep stages, including REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. Each stage is associated with distinct patterns of brain activity and physiological changes, including fluctuations in body temperature.

During REM sleep, which is commonly associated with vivid dreaming, the body's temperature regulation mechanisms become less effective, leading to minor fluctuations in body temperature. In contrast, during non-REM sleep, the body enters a deeper state of rest, and its temperature tends to remain relatively stable.

Overall, the body's temperature regulation during sleep is influenced by a complex interplay of factors, including circadian rhythms, environmental conditions, and the body's internal thermoregulatory mechanisms. Achieving an optimal sleep environment, including maintaining a comfortable room temperature and using suitable bedding, can help support the body's natural temperature fluctuations during sleep and promote restorative rest.

What is the ideal temperature for sleep?

The ideal sleep temperature typically ranges from 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 to 19.5 degrees Celsius). Here's why:

  • Thermoregulation: Cooler room temperatures aid in the natural decrease of core body temperature during sleep, facilitating better sleep onset and maintenance.
  • Comfort: A cool environment promotes relaxation and minimizes disruptions, ensuring uninterrupted, restorative sleep.
  • Circadian Rhythms: Cooler temperatures signal to the body that it's time to wind down, aligning external conditions with internal biological rhythms for improved sleep quality.
  • Bedding and Clothing: Breathable fabrics and adjustable layers help regulate body temperature, enhancing sleep comfort.
  • Personal Preference: Individual preferences vary, so experimenting with different temperatures can determine what works best for each person's unique needs.

Maintaining a cool, comfortable sleep environment within this range promotes better sleep quality and overall well-being, contributing to a rejuvenating night's rest.

Why does temperature matter?

Temperature matters for several reasons, especially when it comes to sleep:

  • Facilitating Sleep: The body's core temperature naturally decreases during sleep, and cooler environments can aid in this process. Optimal sleep temperature helps initiate and maintain sleep by supporting the body's natural sleep-wake cycle.
  • Sleep Quality: A comfortable sleep environment promotes relaxation, reduces sleep disturbances, and enhances sleep quality. It allows for deeper, more restorative sleep, leading to improved cognitive function, mood, and overall well-being.
  • Regulating Circadian Rhythms: Temperature cues help synchronize the body's internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, with the external environment. Cooler temperatures in the evening signal to the body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep, promoting better alignment of sleep-wake cycles.
  • Thermoregulation: Maintaining an optimal body temperature is essential for thermoregulation, the body's ability to regulate its internal temperature. Cooler temperatures prevent overheating, which can disrupt sleep, while warmer temperatures promote comfort and relaxation.
  • Physical Comfort: Extreme temperatures, whether too hot or too cold, can cause discomfort and lead to sleep disturbances. Finding the right balance in temperature creates a comfortable sleep environment conducive to restful sleep.

In summary, temperature matters for sleep because it directly impacts sleep onset, quality, and overall sleep-wake patterns. By creating a sleep-friendly environment with an appropriate temperature, individuals can improve their sleep hygiene and enjoy the numerous benefits of restorative sleep.

Tips for Maintaining Ideal Sleep Temperature

Cooling Down:

  • Set thermostat to 60-67°F (15.5-19.5°C).
  • Use breathable bedding like cotton or bamboo.
  • Consider cooling mattress pads or pillows.
  • Enhance air circulation with fans or open windows.
  • Minimize heat sources like electronics or bright lights.

Warming Up:

  • Add extra blankets or layers.
  • Choose insulating bedding like flannel or fleece.
  • Use a heated mattress pad or electric blanket.
  • Seal drafts to keep cold air out.
  • Take a warm bath or shower before bed.

General Tips:

  • Maintain consistent bedroom temperature.
  • Invest in temperature-regulating mattresses and pillows.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Wear breathable sleepwear.
  • Experiment with different temperatures to find what works best for you.

In conclusion, maintaining the ideal sleep temperature is crucial for restful sleep. Whether you prefer a cooler or warmer environment, adjusting room temperature, bedding, and air circulation can optimize your sleep quality. Stay consistent, stay hydrated, and experiment to find what works best for you. With these efforts, you can enjoy a more rejuvenating night's sleep, enhancing overall health and well-being.


What is the healthiest temperature to sleep in?
The healthiest temperature to sleep in is typically between 60 to 67°F (15.5 to 19.5°C). This range supports natural temperature regulation, promoting better sleep onset and maintenance. Individual preferences vary, so find what feels most comfortable for you. Consistency in maintaining a comfortable sleep environment within this range can lead to restful sleep and improved well-being.

Is 22 degrees too hot to sleep?
A temperature of 22°C (71.6°F) may be too warm for optimal sleep as it exceeds the recommended range of 15.5 to 19.5°C (60 to 67°F). Higher temperatures can hinder the body's natural cooling process, leading to discomfort and disrupted sleep. It's best to adjust the room temperature to a cooler setting within the recommended range for better sleep quality and overall well-being.

Is it better to sleep cold or hot?
It is generally better to sleep in a cooler environment rather than a hot one. Cooler temperatures, typically within the range of 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 to 19.5 degrees Celsius), support the body's natural temperature regulation during sleep. This allows for better sleep onset and maintenance, as the body's core temperature naturally decreases during the night. Sleeping in a cooler environment can also promote deeper, more restorative sleep and help prevent discomfort and disturbances that may arise from sleeping in a hot or overly warm room. However, individual preferences may vary, so it's essential to find a temperature that feels most comfortable and conducive to restful sleep for you.

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