What is the optimal temperature for sleep?
When you’re trying to sleep, your brain loves the cold. Wearing a cooling cap helped insomniacs snooze almost as well as people without sleep problems, found a study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and there’s also some evidence that yawning helps your brain offload heat before bedtime.
In fact, there’s lots of evidence for the cooler camp. A drop in your core temperature triggers your body’s “let’s hit the sack” systems, shows research from the Center for Chronobiology in Switzerland (and a lot of other places.) Some new research from the National Institutes of Health also suggests that sleeping in a cool room could have some calorie-burning health benefits. Healthy men who spent a month sleeping in a cool (but not cold) 66-degree room increased their stores of metabolically active brown fat. They found that even a small reduction in bedroom temperature affects metabolism.
While a dip in core temperature before bedtime flips on your brain and body’s “time for bed” switches and helps you fall asleep, Research shows that keeping your skin temperature “perfectly comfortable” is important when it comes to maintaining deep, restful slumber. Your level of “perfect comfort” is quite individual. But if you’re cold enough to be shivering, you’re not sleeping deeply.
Keeping your head nice and cool is conducive to good sleep. To achieve that, set your thermostat somewhere around 65 degrees, research suggests. And layer up until you feel warm enough to not be shivering.