Waking up in middle of the night and not knowing why, tossing and turning for hours, sleeping with one leg inside the comforter and the other hanging out—we all know the struggle of not feeling comfortable temperature-wise when it's time for bed. But what might seem like just a little inconvenience actually impacts your overall sleeping pattern. Even more interesting, being warm and cozy might not be the best idea if you really want to get a good night's rest.
"When you near bedtime, your body begins to cool down by about one to two degrees to get into sleep mode," says Adam Tishman, Helix co-founder and sleep expert. "In general, sleeping in a cool environment will help you maintain this lower body temperature, which in turn will help lull you into a longer, deeper sleep."
According to Tishman, the ideal temperature to fall asleep in is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. He explains that this room temperature will help the body maintain a temperature slightly lower than 98.6 degrees and is the best range to get a restful night's sleep.
As for the worst temperature, he says there's not a specific range. But he does say that anything that feels too hot for you is not recommended. "When you're too hot, it is difficult to fall and stay asleep throughout the night," he says. "Warm temperatures not only cause uncomfortable night sweats and overheating, but they also prevent you from hitting that lower body temperature ideal for sleeping."
So if you're feeling too hot, he suggests that you can do the following things to cool down:
1. Spread Out. "Keeping your limbs far away from each other can help keep you cool and prevent the transfer of heat throughout your body," he says.
2. Choose the right mattress. "Certain materials like memory foam, in particular, retain heat and sleep super hot," he says. "Go for a mattress that uses materials with higher airflow like polyurethane foam, microcoils, and other non–memory foam materials."
3. Try cooling sheets and pillows. "Cotton sheets are a good choice, as the material is breathable and promotes airflow," he says. "Additionally, pillows with special cooling covers can help keep you cool throughout the night."
Sleeping in colder temperatures also has many health benefits. Studies have shown that sleeping in a cold room can help with insomnia and helps increase metabolism. So excuse us while we move our space heater away from our beds and take a blanket—or three—off too.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.