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The Impact of Temperature on Sleep

Posted by Emily Bertha
The Impact of Temperature on Sleep

Temperature plays a big factor in whether you get a good night’s rest or not. Even when we’re awake, sweating and freezing are uncomfortable. To ensure good sleep quality, channel Goldilocks and make sure the temperature of all aspects of your sleep environment, including your own internal temperature, are just right.


Brain Temperature

During NREM, non-rapid eye movement sleep, the temperature of both your brain and body falls. However, temperature rises during REM, rapid eye movement, sleep. It’s important to know how much time you spend in each cycle per night so you can adjust your bedroom temperature accordingly. Using a sleep tracker is a helpful way to monitor your sleep cycles and body temperature changes nightly.


Body Temperature

Temperature also plays a major role in circadian rhythm, often referred to as our body clock. Temperature tells the body and brain when to wake up and fall asleep. Our body temperature naturally lowers before sleep, so it’s important that external temperature factors like blankets and sheets don’t interfere with the body’s natural circadian cycle.  Taking a shower before bed can also help your body temperature decrease so you can fall and stay asleep.

As you sleep, your body temperature gradually changes. Body temperature rises slightly to help us wake up in the mornings. Cotton pajamas and sheets are not only comfortable, but they help to regulate your body's natural sleep temperature as well. Even better? Sleep naked if you find yourself waking up in a pool of sweat. 


Bed Temperature

Even if your body temperature is properly regulated, your bed temperature can throw off your sleep. Certain materials in many memory foam mattresses can cause you to sleep hot. If your mattress doesn’t provide proper airflow, consider switching to a high quality cooling mattress such as the Pod by Eight Sleep. Bed temperature includes not only your mattress, but your pillows as well. The materials on your bed can cause you to sleep hot if they aren’t breathable, so always stick choose items with proper airflow.


Room Temperature

During REM sleep, the body temperature is determined by the temperature of your bedroom. So in order to get a good night’s, you have to regulate your room temperature. The easiest way to change the room temperature so it best suits your sleep needs is to adjust or turn off the AC, heat and/or fan. Bear in mind that leaving the blinds open during the day can cause your bedroom to be overly hot at night. If your room is causing you to sleep cool, move your bed away from the windows as far as you can.


Finding the right sleep temperature means taking the time to make sure the temperatures of your room, mattress and body are properly regulated. Once you ensure that your sleep temperature is right for you, you’ll find that falling and staying asleep doesn’t have to be a nightly challenge.