Do you know what the temperature of your bedroom is right now? What about when you lay down to sleep at night? Does it change? There is an optimal range to sleep in that will help your body recover faster and allow you to sleep more soundly and with less chance of waking than any other.
While the room temperature alone is important, so too, is your thermoregulation, or the ability for your body to regulate its temperature. Ambient temperature is part of that, and you can also ensure you have the right bedding and equipment to assist. In this article, we will examine all of these factors and more.
Your body takes measures to prevent overheating and rapid cooling. This process is called thermoregulation. Your internal core temperature should be between 98- and 100-degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 37.8 degrees Celsius), and anything above this is considered a fever. If it drops below, you are too cold or entering hypothermia.
The problem is, there are too many factors that cause our bodies to fluctuate their temperature. The ambient temperature, for example, will have a direct correlation to our core temperature. If it is below 0 degrees outside, for example, and you are out in this temperature for very long, your internal temperature will begin to drop.
Likewise, if you are in a hot climate, your temperature can rise. It will also rise due to force. Exercise, illness, injury, raised blood pressure, and infection is all factors that can raise our core temperature. Physical exertion is done daily and the main reason we sweat.
The act of sweating is how our bodies cool us down, by chilling the largest organ of our entire body: the skin.
When we sleep, the thermoregulation attempts to achieve homeostasis or equilibrium. This is the point where our core temperature is settled, and our body heals the best. If we are too cold or too hot while we sleep, this can throw off our natural homeostasis and cause us to have a restless sleep, night sweats, chills or sore muscles in the morning.
We can help our bodies achieve this temperature balance by controlling our sleeping environment. The first step is to regulate the ambient temperature.
Ambient Temperature and the Seasons
The ambient temperature of your room is one of the largest factors of your core body temperature overnight. Maintaining the proper temperature will aid your body in regulating the body heat and maintaining equilibrium.
The ideal temperature range is between 62- and 67-degrees Fahrenheit (16.6 to 19.4 Celsius). The easiest way to remain in this range is with air conditioning and heaters, preferably on a thermostat.
Depending on the season, the external temperature will fluctuate as well, which will cause the inside of your home and bedroom to be a different temperature as well. The use of a heater in the winter and air conditioning or fans in the spring and summer will help regulate the internal temperature.
Other factors will also play a role in keeping your body temperature regulated. Your bedding, for example, can cause you to be too cold or too hot as well.
The use of bedding materials can cause your body temperature to rise or fall. For example, if you use a heavy quilt along with a top sheet, your temperature will rise. As the heat evaporates from your body, it will be held within the comforters. As you continue to lay under the blankets, the heat will stay causing your body temperature to rise, unless the air is vented.
Likewise, if you don’t use any covers, the heat can evaporate too quickly causing you to become too cold. This will result in shivering as the body tries to warm itself. Being too cold can cause you to have a restless sleep or even wake up due to the core temperature dropping too low.
What are the best ways to regulate the temperature of the bedding and the room? Let’s have a look.
For Hotter Temperatures, You Will Need to Cool the Room and Bedding
Cooling your room is a simple process. You can turn on a fan or open a window to circulate the air. If your home is equipped with central air, you will also be able to regulate the precise temperature. However, for homes without thermostat control, this becomes more difficult.
You aren’t without options though. There are several items that will help regulate your room to a precise temperature (or range) such as a thermostatically controlled fan. The Rabbit Air MinusA2, for example, has a built-in regulator, intake and exhaust ports for full fan control.
It can also stand on a table top with the included foot plate or be mounted on a wall. The Rabbit Air has a stylish design that also comes with a built-in mood light. You can use this as a night light to help see if you have to get up or to control the setting of the room as you fall asleep.
The temperature control allows you to set the temperature you need, and the fan will automatically regulate itself to make sure up to 815 square feet of space is at the right temperature.
The MinusA2 also uses a six-stage filtration system that is HEPA certified to remove dust and debris from the air down to 3 microns in size. This effectively eliminates up to 99.97 percent of in-home allergens like dust mites, pollen, mold and mildew spores, and pet dander.
For the bedding, you can use a temperature regulator such as the BedJet Version 2. This handy device is controlled by Bluetooth so you can use your tablet or smartphone to adjust the settings. It has a temperature control fan that will keep your sheets cool and remove moisture from the air. The silent running fan won’t keep you awake at night either.
Simple slide the base unit under the bed, run the air hose to the mattress latch and adjust the nozzle so that it blows under your comforter. You can even use it year-round as the controls allow for both cooling and heat adjustments.
The fan uses suction to move the air from between the sheets and effectively removes the hot air, so you stay cooler. It also removes the moisture to help keep you dry. When in heat mode it creates a sauna-like atmosphere which heats cold feet in seconds and without the fear of electric blankets.
For Cooler Temperatures, You Will Need to Add Heat
Adding heat is always a more difficult task than removing it. Just based on basic science principles, cold absorbs heat and not the other way around. To this effect, then, once the room is at a sub-par temperature, it takes more effort and more energy to heat it back up.
One of the best ways to do this is to limit the space you are heating and control a smaller area. Sunbeam has a mattress pad that fits your bed beneath the sheets to raise the temperature of your bedding.
The Sunbeam Mattress Pad with EasySet Pro controller is a dual zone climate control for your entire bed. You can use it to raise the temperature of the bedding before you get into bed for the night, or to maintain a set temperature throughout the night while you sleep.
It is electric, so your bed will need to be near an outlet. The mattress pad is equipped with a safety shut off and a fuse link to prevent overheating and damage that is commonly associated with electric blankets.
With the BedSet Pro switch you can set a timer for the pad to automatically shut off or turn on and when it reaches the set temperature, it can either turn off to allow you to naturally cool down while you sleep or maintain the temperature by shutting off and on throughout the night.
Another option is to just add heat though weight. A Gravity blanket is a weighted comforter that fits the bed. The lining is filled with glass beads for weight, and they are designed to stay in place, weigh you down to increase temperature and reduce stress.
How well they work as a comfort item isn’t scientifically proven, but as an added layer with the weight to stay in place should you toss and turn, the gravity blankets don’t allow as much venting. This process recycles the heat that escapes your body and keeps it close to the skin to help your core temperature stay up.
You can find gravity blankets with more or less weight, depending on your preference, but the usual weight for queen size is about 15 pounds. Most of the covers are removable for easy wash and care and won’t go out of shape or bunch up due to their design.
If you don’t like the idea of that much weight but still want to maintain a similar form of heat control, you can use multiple quilts or comforters. The main problem with doing this, though, is that unless they are somehow attached, they will tend to slide around, bunch up or even fall off the bed during the night.
Maintaining temperature during sleep is important for many reasons. Mainly regulating your body temperature will help in any healing that occurs while you are asleep, you will sleep more soundly and awake well rested and without that groggy feeling.
You should strive to maintain a room temperature of 62 to 67 degrees (F) and a body temperature between 98 and 100 degrees (F). There are several ways to control this temperature range, and it begins with the ambient temperature of the room and home.
Air conditioners and heaters, as well as thermostatically controlled fans, like the Rabbit Air, can be used. You can also use cooling fans like the BetJet, to control the temperature between the sheets.
If you need heat, you can look for a heating pad like the Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad or use a gravity blanket. You should find a combination that allows you to maintain a level of comfort while you sleep so you can rest well and wake refreshed every morning.