Insomnia Is the New Black
After the few years we’ve all had, we know what it’s like to have trouble sleeping, and all the varieties that trouble comes in:
- Tossing and turning
- Staring blankly into the darkness
- Separating out the nine thoughts you just had at the same instant. And taking time to worry about each one individually.
- Fan…no fan
- Too many blankets…not enough blankets
And all the methods you’ve tried to bring an end to the torture:
- Counting…endless counting…sheep or whatever
- Moving to the couch to avoid disturbing your blissfully slumbering partner
- Drinking warm milk or chamomile tea
- Taking melatonin and other over-the-counter sleep aids
- Playing video games
- Calming apps
- Watching really, really bad TV
But there’s one thing you may not have considered – the temperature in your bedroom might be the missing piece of the puzzle.
While we all know that it’s necessary to be “comfortable” to fall asleep, not everyone is aware that the ideal temperature for a sleeping environment is actually around 65 degrees Fahrenheit – give or take a couple of degrees.
If your room is too hot or too cold, your body temperature might not change properly and cause sleep disturbance. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology determined that room temperature is one of the most important factors affecting human sleep.
As you fall asleep and sleep through the night, your body temperature decreases; it will continue to cool and reach its lowest temperature around 5 a.m. This is part of the circadian rhythm, which is the pattern of how your body temperature shifts in a given 24-hour period. Keeping your room at the right temperature can help you settle in, fall asleep, and stay asleep during the night.
Clearly, different temperatures affect your body and your sleep patterns in different ways. More heat is more likely to disturb sleep patterns than colder temperatures, according to another study from the journal, Science Advances.
What Other Steps Can You Take?
So, what steps can you take to manage the temperature of the room(s) where you sleep?:
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically reduce the temperature in your bedroom before you go to bed. The goal should be an ambient room temperature between 60 and 67 degrees, to allow your body’s core temperature to decrease, and to help you fall asleep faster.
- Drink some cold water right before you lay down to help bring down your internal temperature.
- Wear light clothing to sleep in. Pajamas are best, but whatever makes you comfortable without raising your body temperature.
- Purchase some cooling linens like blankets and pillows designed to help regulate your body temperature and prevent you from getting too warm.
- Open your windows and/or use a fan to get the air in your room moving and prevent it from becoming stagnant.
- Keep the room dark and turn off any devices or appliances that might generate heat in the room.
- In addition to managing your room temperature, it’s a good idea to practice good sleep hygiene. This means you only use your bed for sleep or sex. Don’t read or watch TV or use electronic devices in bed. This will help train your body that the bed is for sleeping.
- Make sure your mattress is in good condition – it should not be older than eight years and should not sag or dip in the middle.
- Your pillows, too, have a life span. If you fold your pillow over your arm and it doesn’t pop back up, it’s time to replace it.
As we said, a smart thermostat can help with managing temperatures throughout your home. You can program it to change temperatures for the various uses of your home during a 24-hour period. For instance, if no one is at home during the day, program your thermostat to reduce the temperature and use less energy while you’re away. You can set a time for the heat to kick back on an hour or so before you come home, so the house is comfortable when you get there. Some models will also allow you to create zones in your home, restricting airflow and temperature changes in rooms that are seldom used. Finally, these can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to change the temperature in your home from anywhere – even from your bed if you need to.
Finally, All American Heating is here to help with the installation of a smart thermostat, performing seasonal heating and cooling maintenance service, entirely new systems, or home HVAC enhancements that can improve indoor air quality. Call us today to schedule an appointment and see how we can help your HVAC help you get the best sleep of your life – every night.