Can’t Sleep? Adjust the Temperature

If insomnia is a problem, maybe your bedroom is too hot or too cold. Both can affect sleep.

From the WebMD Archives


What’s the Best Temperature for Sleeping?

Recommending a specific range is difficult, Downey and Heller say, because what is comfortable for one person isn’t for another (explaining how Roy’s wife slept blissfully in the chilly 60-degree room). While a typical recommendation is to keep the room between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, Heller advises setting the temperature at a comfortable level, whatever that means to the sleeper.

Roy plans to keep a close eye on the thermostat, even if the heat bills are a bit higher.

There are other strategies for creating ideal sleeping conditions, too. Experts from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, for instance, advise thinking of a bedroom as a cave: It should cool, quiet, and dark. (Bats follow this logic and are champion sleepers, getting in 16 hours a day.) Be wary of memory foam pillows, which feel good because they conform closely to your body shape -- but may make you too hot. And put socks on your feet, as cold feet, in particular, can be very disruptive to sleep.

WebMD Magazine - Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on March 29, 2010



H. Craig Heller, PhD, professor of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Ralph Downey III, PhD, chief of sleep medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, Calif.

Tony Roy, philosophy professor, University of California San Bernardino.

Nature, September 1999, vol 401; pp 36-37.

Breus, Michael, PhD, Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health (Dutton, 2006).

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