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Sleep Cold, Sleep Better

Katie LeBlanc // August 21, 2020

Most are aware that sleep quality has an impact on health and cognitive function. But did you know that the temperature of the room you sleep in also matters? In fact, those who sleep in hot environments tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This may explain why ICU patients sleep so poorly since their rooms are often kept too warm.

Conversely, those who sleep in cold environments fare better. This is because cooler temperatures work with the body’s natural physiological sleep cycle, which includes a drop in core body and brain temperatures. As a result, those who sleep in a cooler environment wake up more alert.

So, what is the ideal temperature? Experts vary in their advice but typically recommend a range from 60 to 67 ℉. If that’s too cold for wintertime, try sleeping with socks on or a hot water bottle at your feet, suggests the National Sleep Foundation. And while summer temperatures can be stifling, don’t crank up the AC—instead, try using a strategically placed fan or sleeping without covers or even a sheet.

“Your Bedroom Is Too Hot,” The Atlantic, theatlantic.com, Dec. 29, 2019

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