Everybody has his or her own unique pre-bedtime ritual. But when it comes to maximizing quality shuteye, it’s the people who prefer their bedrooms on the chilly side that actually have it all figured out.
According to a HuffPost article written by Dr. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, it’s room temperature—not blackout curtains or reading a chapter of a book—that can be the difference between a sound and fitful night of sleep.
Winter’s research found that we get the best sleep when our rooms are between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes above 75 degrees or below 54 degrees, it can cause people to toss and turn all night, and feel tired the next day.
What does room temperature have to do with a good night of sleep? As Winter explains, our body temperatures follow a natural pattern of highs and lows during a 24-hour period. We’re our warmest in the late afternoon and coolest around 5 a.m.—a few hours prior to awakening. Sleep typically occurs during the time when our body temperature is at its lowest, so a colder room can encourage us to fall asleep faster.
“Individuals who struggle with sleep onset may have warmer core body temperatures to begin with and this may lead to sleep onset difficulties,” Winter writes. “Their inability to dissipate heat and cool themselves is one proposed explanation for their troubles engaging sleep quickly.”
If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, and kicking off the sheets just isn’t cutting it, you might want to have a talk with your thermostat.