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How temperature can affect your sleep

If you’ve ever found yourself throwing the blankets off the bed halfway through the night, this may be a sign that your sleep environment could do with a few tweaks.

Science has confirmed that finding the Goldilocks zone in the bedroom (where the temperature is “just right”) is the key to unlocking sleep success and, as South Africa heads towards winter, these five tips could set you on the path to better rest tonight.

1. Support your body’s thermoregulation

Your circadian rhythm is the internal process that regulates your sleep/wake cycle. Part of this is your body’s thermoregulation process, which slowly drops your core temperature to signal sleep time at night and gently raises it again in the mornings to get you ready for the day’s action. Understanding this process helps you support it by making better decisions about things that will affect your core temperature, like exercise or getting clean.

2. Chill out

Contrary to popular belief, a hot bath just before bed may do more harm than good. Instead, take that bath or shower 60-90 minutes before bedtime and let your body get back to a reasonable temperature before hitting the sheets.

The same applies to exercise and yoga! Both will enhance your sleep quality, but only when done a few hours before heading to bed, rather than directly before.

3. Regulate the room

The ideal bedroom temperature can range anywhere from 12 to 23°C and, when you share the space with someone on the opposite end of the scale, it could lead to conflict. In this instance, we recommend that you approach your linen choices with care and add an extra layer for those who are more susceptible to feeling the chill.

Regulate the temperature of the room using an air conditioner, fan, or heater for at least a few hours to promote sleep onset. As heaters and air conditioners can have a drying effect on the air, remember to include a humidifier or bowl of water to ensure your sinuses don’t suffer.

4. Sleepwear solutions

What you wear to bed is just as important as the bed itself and can help or hinder your sleep cycle. Select items that will encourage thermoregulation, like cotton and bamboo, to ensure your body can stay cool throughout the night.

If natural fibres are out of your price range, then why not sleep au natural instead? There is nothing better than the total freedom from bedding down in the buff with no waistbands or collars to interfere with your nighttime movements.

5. Invest in the best bed

Different beds will hold or transfer heat differently. When you select a mattress with coils and springs topped with foam, this is ideal for heat transferal and will help to regulate your body temperature. People who get warm very quickly tend to prefer these types of beds over solid foam options. Get help with choosing the best bed for your needs in our handy guide.

Soft and worn-out mattresses also retain more heat as your body sinks further into the bed. Heavier individuals can benefit from a firmer mattress because it offers total body support through the sleep session. If you’re not sure about what the different comfort levels and terms mean, here’s a blog post to help

For more fun sleep facts and expert sleep advice, why not visit our Sleep Blog?