World Sleep Day on 19 March is looming and with it comes a reminder to have a look at just how well we’re doing at getting that much-needed rest. After all, a better night’s sleep is a guaranteed way to boost your mood and productivity levels, too.
If you’ve invested in a comfortable bed, introduced a wind-down routine, and get early nights, but are still struggling to sleep well, then it’s time to look at your temperature – or rather that of your bedroom.
Why? Well, our sleep cycle is regulated by something called the circadian rhythm, which takes its cues from a range of elements, including temperature. While we sleep, our temperature can fluctuate and if we become too cold or too hot, it can leave us restless and likely to toss and turn. For more tips read our guide on how to sleep better.
‘Our body temperature cycles naturally every 24 hours, peaking at about 4pm and dipping at about 4am,’ says Dr Sophie Bostock, a sleep scientist and expert for Bensons for Beds. ‘A fall in body temperature of about 0.5-1C helps us to get into a deep sleep – which is why heatwaves, or keeping the heating on all night in a well-insulated room, can cause havoc for sleep.’
The perfect bedroom temperature
So, what heat should our bedrooms be – and how can we make sure they’re going to stay like that all night through? ‘There’s a lot of individual variation in preference for the temperature at night, but a room temperature around 18C, slightly cooler than usual room temperature, will help the body to cool naturally,’ says Sophie.
With warmer weather approaching, it’s likely that our bedrooms can become too warm, and as soon as there’s an increase in temperature it’s a signal for our bodies to wake up. With that in mind, there are a few things that you can do to optimise your bedroom temperature.
Firstly, closing your blinds or curtains during the day can reduce heat building up, while opening the windows at night to provide good ventilation is key. Take a warm bath an hour or two before you go to bed to encourage a natural cool-down effect and opt for bedding that helps to regulate your temperature.
Many brands sell temperature regulating bedding, you can opt for specialised heat control bedding, Marks and Spencers has a great range. Alternatively, you can give your pillow and mattress and overhaul with something like the Bensons for Beds Climate Control range.
A temperature control pillow might sound strange, but the Bensons for Beds pillow is filled with special temperature control fibres that are designed to keep moisture to a minimum. You can also pick up a duvet made with the same special fibres for £79.99.
Anything that helps us catch some more zzzs can only be a good thing!