Anyone who’s shivered under their blankets or flung them off after overheating knows that room temperature affects sleep quality. Is there an optimal sleeping temperature for adults? Keeping the thermostat below 70℉ can make for a more comfortable and restorative slumber. Learn more about how to cool down a room, how temperature influences sleep quality, and how to optimize it for a better night’s rest.

Creating an Optimal Sleeping Temperature for Adults

Maintaining the right nightly room temperature not only improves your sleep quality but can enhance your mental state the following day.  We’ll detail just how much room temperature affects sleep and how to create an optimal sleeping temperature for adults.

What is the Optimal Sleeping Temperature for Adults?

When it comes to setting the stage for better sleep, a cooler room is key for adults. The optimal sleeping temperature for adults ranges between 60-67℉, with 65℉ considered ideal. As elderly adults don’t maintain their body temperature as well as younger ones, their best temperature for sleeping is slightly warmer, between 66-70℉.

Optimal sleeping temperature for adults

What is the Best Temperature for Sleeping Baby?

Before 11 weeks of age, babies’ temperature regulation is still developing and they are more sensitive to any ambient changes. Consequently, the best temperature for sleeping baby is slightly warmer than that for adults, at 69℉, or within the range of 66-70℉. After 11 weeks of age, a baby’s temperature regulation matures to the point where it is similar to that of an adult. 

How Does Temperature Affect Sleep?

Our overall sleeping pattern is widely dictated by our body’s circadian rhythm. This rhythm is largely dependent on the cycles of the sun and when it becomes light and dark. However it’s also affected by other factors, like temperature. Our bodies naturally experience a slight decrease in temperature at night, when the sun goes down, signaling that it’s time for sleep.

Lowering your room’s temperature at night can enhance this signal, helping you fall asleep faster. It can also facilitate deeper sleeping, which is what best restores the mind and body. Conversely, a room that’s too warm interrupts your body’s natural rhythm, negatively influencing your sleep quality. 

How to Make Your Room Cooler

Cooler temperatures are critical to optimal sleep. Here are the fastest ways to keep you comfortable and cool down a room:

  1. Keep the windows covered
  2. Use dark-colored curtains
  3. Adjust your ceiling fan to run counterclockwise.
  4. Open the windows at night
  5. Close door to unused rooms
  6. Keep the lights off during the day
  7. Put ice or cold water in front of a fan
  8. Create a cross breeze
  9. Sleep low to the ground
  10. Use cooling bed sheets and pillowcases

Keep the Windows Covered

Windows are the most accessible place for light and heat to enter your room. During the day, keep your windows covered to restrict heat from entering.

Hang Dark-Colored Curtains

Dark-colored fabrics absorb more heat than lighter colors. Using blackout curtains or other dark fabrics to cover your windows will restrict heat from entering freely.

Adjust Your Ceiling Fan

During the summer heat, you will want to set your ceiling fan to run counterclockwise. This will help pull the hot air up and out of your room, creating a breeze and making it cooler. Adjust your ceiling fan to run clockwise during colder months. This will create the opposite effect, pulling hot air down to keep you warm.

Open the Windows at Night

As soon as the sun sets, the temperatures drop outside, and often they get lower than the temperature inside. Opening the windows at night will help keep air flowing through your room.

Close Doors to Unused Rooms

Keeping doors closed in unused rooms will help keep the cool air from escaping to parts of the house that aren’t being used.

Turn Lights off During the Day

Another way to cool down a room is by keeping the lights off during the day. Often, warm-colored light bulbs emit a lot of heat. Keeping the lights off during the day will save money and help make your room cooler.

Put Ice or Cold Water in Front of a Fan

You can DIY an air conditioning system by placing ice on a shallow pan in front of a fan. The fan will push the colder air surrounding the ice into your room. You can also put a bowl of cold water in front of a fan to get the same effect.

Create a Cross Breeze

One of the easiest and most effective ways to cool down a room is to keep the air moving. You can create a cross breeze by opening windows that are diagonal from each other or by placing a fan in front of open windows.

Sleep Low to the Ground

The lower to the ground you can get, the further away from hot air you’ll be. Since heat rises, positioning your mattress lower to the ground or sleeping in a lower part of the house will help keep your body cool.

Use Cooling Bed Sheets, Pillows, and Pillowcases

Nowadays, you can get just about anything cooling. There are cooling bed sheets, pillows, pillowcases, mattress toppers, etc. They are often made with materials that are good at staying cool and driving heat away from your body.

Here’s how a room that’s too hot can negatively affect sleeping:

  • Difficulty falling asleep: Warm room temperatures often result in sweating, dehydration and tenseness that cause fatigue. While you may be exhausted, these symptoms leave you unable to fall asleep.
  • Unable to remain sleeping: If your body can’t adhere to its natural desire to cool during sleep it can result in restlessness. This causes frequent wakeups after falling asleep.
  • Failure to achieve a deep sleep: When your body remains too hot, it decreases time spent in deep, REM sleep. As this type of sleep is what’s most restorative, a lack of it results in grogginess the next day. Ongoing sleep difficulties can even lower your immune response and negatively impact your learning and memory.

Can You Program Your HVAC For Sleep Mode?

You can use your HVAC system to facilitate sleep by lowering the thermostat at night. This not only improves your sleep quality but can decrease heating and cooling costs as well. Many HVAC thermostats can be automatically set to switch to a lower temperature at night and increase in the morning when you’re waking up.

Some HVAC systems have a sleep mode to create the best AC temperature for sleeping and maximize efficiency. This mode automatically increases the room temperature by .5-1℉ later at night, when our bodies are sufficiently cool. Advanced systems can even sense room activity and adjust the temperature if you become restless. Consult your manufacturer’s thermostat guide to determine how to best use your HVAC system to achieve the optimal sleeping temperature for adults.

The team at Dependable Heating & Air are your HVAC experts. Contact us to address any heating or cooling concerns!