This Is The Best Temperature For Sleep + Other Tips For Better Rest
If you're having trouble sleeping lately, you're not alone. Whether it's caused by a disruption in daily routine, anxious thoughts, or vivid nightmares—many people are experiencing restless nights right now. While a lot of things are beyond your control these days, as it turns out, there are a few controllable factors that may be affecting your sleep: like the temperature of your room.
We consulted sleep experts to find out the optimal temperature for sleep, along with other ways to promote a restful night.
Why does temperature affect sleep?
Sleep and temperature are intrinsically connected through the human body clock, or circadian rhythm. One study explains, "the core body temperature1...decreases during the nocturnal sleep phase and increases during the wake phase."
This may be caused by evolutionary factors, holistic psychiatrist and sleep expert Ellen Vora, M.D., explains. "In the outdoor conditions in which we evolved, the temperature drops at night. That drop is part of many contextual factors that cause us to feel sleepy."
What is the best temperature for sleep?
Lowering the temperature of your room a few hours before bed may initiate your body's cool-down process, which can help prepare you for sleep. "The optimal temperature for sleep is considered 65 degrees Fahrenheit," Vora says. However, anything in the high 60s could work.
Along with lowering your thermostat, consider incorporating a mattress pad, pillows, or bedsheets with cooling technology. If you don't have an overhead fan, consider purchasing a tower fan for your bedroom. "In the spring and fall, my favorite way to achieve the correct temperature in the bedroom is to open a window," Vora says.
But room temperature isn't the only way to optimize your sleep. Here, three key ways to help improve your sleep hygiene.
Ways to get better sleep:
Add supplements to your nightly routine.
"Everyone in our stressed-out society could benefit from consuming more magnesium, which is well known for its calming effect that makes for easier and more restful sleep," says board-certified family medicine doctor Robert Roundtree, M.D.* Magnesium glycinate, in particular, can help promote relaxation2 and is often recommended as a natural sleep aid.*
Some supplements feature additional ingredients for sleep-supporting effects. "mindbodygreen's magnesium+ also provides two of my favorite ingredients for improving sleep quality—jujube (Chinese date) and PharmaGABA (a well-researched plant extract)," says Roundtree.*
Take time to exercise during the day.
Even if it's just 30 minutes per day, sleep psychologist Lynelle Schneeberg, PsyD, says exercise is very good for sleep. "It results in physical fatigue, which can deepen sleep, and it helps manage stress," she explains.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
Caffeine is a stimulant and therefore interferes with quality sleep. One study recommends quitting caffeine at least six hours before bedtime for optimal sleep.
"On the other hand, alcohol—while not a stimulant, will disrupt the quality of your sleep, making you feel more tired the next day," says neurologist Nicole Avena, Ph.D.
Instead, Moday suggests drinking calming herbal teas, like chamomile and lemon balm to promote relaxation before bed.
Since sleep and immunity are connected, getting quality sleep is more critical now than ever. Regulating your thermal environment to around 65 degrees may be one simple but effective trick to getting better sleep. If that's not doable, though, there are plenty of practices to support a good night's rest.
Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.