Slightly Raise The Temperature At Night For Better Sleep

Sleeping well can take a lot of work, especially when you have common sleep problems. Sleep science blog Sleepdex points out that raising the temperature of the bedroom may help you sleep better.

Photo by StockLite (Shutterstock).

A recent Dutch study shows just how important temperature is when it comes to sleep quality and fragmentation. Fitting human subjects with thermosuits, the scientists were able to lower skin temperature less than a degree Centrigrade without affecting core body temperature. The changes were dramatic. People didn't wake up as much during the night and the percentage of the sleep spent in stages 3 and 4 (deep sleep) increased. The effects were most pronounced in the elderly and in people who suffered from insomnia. A 0.4 C decrease in skin temperature caused a decline in the probability of early morning waking from 0.58 to 0.04.

The same researchers found that people with narcolepsy tend to have higher skin temperature when asleep, and also when awake. They speculated that that hypocretin (orexin) deficiency in the brains of narcolepics affects skin-temperature regulation. It was also found that increasing the skin temperature can promote sleep.

If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to raise the temperature of your room a degree or two during the night. This may help you sleep better and keep your body temperature more consistent so you don't wake up at the wrong time.

The Body's Themoregulation During Sleep [Sleepdex]


    Uhhhh, the study you are linking says that DROPPING the temperature was what made sleep more effective, not increasing it...?

      The excerpt quoted in the article actually says both.

      I find a colder bedroom helps me sleep better

        Same here!

    Great! So when I'm trying to go to sleep in Qld in summer and the bedroom's about 28°, I should INCREASE the temp? Might have been a bit more helpful if the actual temperature most conducive to a good night's sleep had been noted.

    Adam, I think you got that headline BassAckwards..! :)
    Personally, I find it helps to take blanket off not put one on.

      "It was also found that increasing the skin temperature can promote sleep."

    So basically increase or decrease the temperature but just don't keep it the same? Sounds like pointless research to me

    Neither study quoted is exactly "recent" (one from 2008 and the other 2005).

    And both studies actually concurred that skin warming (not cooling) was associated with better sleep quality. But the temperature changes involved were marginal at best (less than 1 degree C) and conducted in the setting of an already comfortable ambient temperature. Patterns in the smoke?

    Personally I find that a cool bedroom helps me sleep better, but that's probably cos I live in a furnace in summer (otherwise known as Adelaide).

    Every single piece of advice I've ever read about sleeping suggests that cooling the body temperature is the way to go. This is why I dislike articles such as this which basically tout a single new study as the answer to life, death and the universe.

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