The Ideal Temperature for Optimum Sleep

Over the past 20 years, researchers conducted a variety of studies around temperature and its effects on humans, including everything from behavior and mood to sleep and mortality rate. In short, ambient temperature, or the temperature of your environment, impacts your body, mood, decision-making process, and even sleep. In this blog post, we will explore the impact of ambient temperature on the quality of your sleep.

Your Body, Temperature and Sleep

As you prepare to go to sleep at night, your body begins a cool down process and releases excess heat. In fact, a key signal for sleep onset is a decrease in core body temperature, which our bodies usually maintain until right before we wake up in the morning. Research shows that the temperature of your room has a profound impact on your sleep cycles and the number of times you wake up throughout the night. Increased temperature or heat, play a significant role in wakefulness at night. One study found that individuals who slept in a room that was 78 °F or cooler were able to sleep through the night when compared to those who slept in a room with an ambient temperature of 79 °F to 89 °F. The latter group woke up more frequently and reported less restful nighttime sleep in the morning.

How Heat Impacts Sleep

Nighttime isn’t the only time we sleep. Studies found that heat actually has a different impact on daytime naps than on nighttime sleep. A study from the Frontiers in Neurology website researched Drosophila melanogaster, a fruit fly that bears similar sleep patterns as mammals, including humans. Studies in this insect and other mammals showed that increased ambient temperature during the day helped increase sleep levels, but at night, temperature increase led to more wakefulness.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) released a report in 2017 stating that the optimal temperature for thermal comfort is from 67 °F to 82 °F, which seems like a wide range. But it is important to remember that comfort varies greatly based on other factors such as humidity, clothing, season and activity. The bottom line is that heat can negatively impact your nighttime comfort and sleep. If your indoor temperature has come between you and a good night’s sleep, call 72 Degrees Air Conditioning & Heating today at (830) 302-3140 for a consultation. We get the job done right the first time and are available for emergency services 24/7! Let our team of experienced technicians get your sleep back on track!