A cool room can help us to sleep better. Here’s why.

cool thermostat for better sleep

A cool room can help us to sleep better. Here’s why.

Dr. Anthony Warren
| 2019-10-15 | 2 min read

We all have experienced trying to sleep in a hotel room that is overheated. Why do we find it so difficult? There is, in fact, some good research to support the fact that sleeping in a cooler room can be really beneficial.

According to Dr. Chris Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, our bedroom temperatures can make a big difference when it comes to getting a good night of sleep. Winter says our rooms should be 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for the best sleep. If the temperature goes above 75 degrees or below 54 degrees, it can cause you to toss and turn all night.

The reason is as follows. Our body temperature naturally peaks and declines during a 24-hour period, with the highest numbers occurring in the late afternoon and the lowest ones around 5 a.m. Sleep usually begins when our body temperature drops, so a colder room can encourage us to fall asleep faster.

Furthermore, research done at the University of South Australia led by Dr. Van den Heuvel found that certain forms of insomnia occur with poor body temperature regulation. If you're having trouble falling asleep at night, a colder room could help your body cool down enough to reach a level of deeper, restorative sleep.

The release of melatonin, a hormone known to promote sleep, is reported by researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland, to be highly dependent on temperature. Sleeping in a room warmer than 70 degrees will stop your body from producing melatonin. Once we're asleep in total darkness and our body temperature drops, it releases melatonin and also triggers a slight cool-down in the body.

Another study found that sleeping in a room set to 66 degrees can help prevent certain metabolic diseases, like diabetes. Participants not only burned more calories when they were awake, but also nearly doubled their amount of good fat, which allows the body store fewer calories. Over time, this can lower the risk of metabolic diseases. So when possible, keep the temperature of your bedroom around 65F or less and enjoy a healthier, deeper sleep.

References

Choosing the Best Temperature for Sleep”, Dr. Chris Winter, University of Virginia

Getting to the Core of Insomnia” Interview with Dr. Van den Heuvel. University of South Australia

Temperature-acclimated brown adipose tissue modulates insulin sensitivity in humans,” Lee, P. et.al. Diabetes. ;63(11):3686-98, (2014)

Thermoregulatory Effects of Melatonin in Relation to Sleepiness”, Kräuchi, K. et. al, Chronobiology Intl. 23(1&2): 475–484, (2006)