A whole article about the best temperature for a good night’s rest? It should be easy to simply tell you the ideal bedroom temperature and be done in three lines, right? As you can probably guess, it's not quite that simple. There are rather specific recommendations on what temperature a bedroom should be, but the cold- and hot-blooded among us might not necessarily agree. Here we’ll explain how to determine the best bedroom temperature for you and provide other tips for a good night's sleep.
Article overview: The ideal temperature for a bedroom
What temperature should a bedroom be?
If you've been reading our magazine for a while, you’ll know that we like to take a look at the science behind each topic and include relevant studies. Believe it or not, there has been very limited research on the ideal temperature for a bedroom. However, there is one study on evening exercise that found that a higher internal body temperature was associated with poorer sleep quality.
This of course doesn’t mean that the colder your bedroom, the better. The optimal bedroom temperature lies within a fairly narrow range, which scientists place between around 16 and 19 degrees Celsius. That doesn’t provide much leeway, which really shouldn’t be a surprise because the body is always working to maintain a temperature in an even smaller range—around 37 degrees. Body temperature does fluctuate slightly throughout the day, and naturally drops to around 36 degrees at night. So when compared to other rooms, the ideal temperature for a bedroom is on the cooler side.
The best bedroom temperature is one that helps your body fall asleep and doesn’t cause you to wake up. This improves the quality of sleep, which is actually even more important than the duration. So, what is the best temperature for a bedroom, 16 or even 19 degrees? That depends on how warm and cold affect you personally.
Tip: Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Then take a look at our 10 tips for better sleep with CBD.
Finding your perfect bedroom temperature
Bedroom temperature can be a heated issue between partners. It makes sense, because we each perceive hot and cold very differently—and for some people the difference between 16 and 19 degrees can be huge. A general rule of thumb is that the best bedroom temperature doesn’t make you freeze, or sweat.
Both freezing and sweating can cause restless sleep. Those icy feet you get in bed have been shown to make it harder to fall asleep. On top of that, being cold forces your body to generate energy to keep itself warm instead of getting precious rest. This can result in tense muscles in places like the legs or neck. And of course, being cold may also prove a disruption if you need to get up in the middle of the night to look for an extra blanket.
Tip: If you’re the kind of person who gets cold easily, a warm drink in the evening might help you fall asleep easier. For some ideas on what to drink and how long before bed to do it, see our article on sleep-inducing foods and drinks. Or you can try a warm bath with one of our soothing lavender CBD bath bombs.
On the other hand, your bedroom might feel too warm. If the room temperature is too high, your body finds it more difficult to lower its own temperature, making it difficult to sleep. You might sweat uncomfortably or toss and turn while you try and kick yourself free from your oppressive duvet. This will obviously result in a more restless sleep. High temperatures and sweating can also dehydrate your body, giving you a headache or dizziness when you wake up.
A comfortable bedroom temperature is also dependent on age. As we get older our muscle mass decreases, so our bodies can’t generate as much heat and we get cold easier. This means that a healthy bedroom temperature can be higher for older people than for those who are young, and it may change for you as you age.
Ways to adapt to different bedroom temperatures
Sometimes the actual temperature of the bedroom is a little out of our control. For couples, it can be a struggle that requires constant compromise: one likes to sleep with the window open even in the cold depths of winter, while the other freezes in bed even in the height of summer. Then there’s the unpredictable weather of the UK making bedroom temperature change from week-to-week. So, what can you do? Adapt, with duvets and sleepwear.
In the UK, duvets are sold with a tog rating that indicates how insulating they are on a scale from 1 to 15. In general, light duvets appropriate for summer will be anywhere between 1 and 7 tog, while thick and warm duvets for winter will be 10 tog or above. This isn’t to say that you need to stick to these rules, though—depending on your personal preference you might sleep better with a thinner 4 tog in winter or a toasty 10 tog in summer.
The right sleepwear also helps tackle temperature issues. Cosy pyjamas made of something like fleece can help keep things snuggly in a cool bedroom, while light cotton layers may be better for people who heat up at night despite the cold. And don’t forget your feet: a pair of knit socks can be a lifesaver in keeping toes warm no matter what you wear.
Tips for regulating bedroom temperature
Too warm in summer, but too cold in winter? Here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect bedroom temperature balance:
- During colder months, close your bedroom blinds or curtains earlier in the evening to help prevent warmth in the room from escaping into the winter air.
- Make sure your radiators aren’t covered. Putting furniture or even piles of clothes in the way can prevent them from heating the room efficiently.
- If you sleep with your windows open in summer, keep them closed during the day with the blinds down to trap cooler air inside and prevent sunlight from heating up the room.
- All year round, open your windows at least once per day to circulate stale air out. A stuffy room can harbour excess moisture, which can make sleeping uncomfortable regardless of the temperature, and also cause mould.
Finding and maintaining that bedroom temperature sweet spot is also an important part of good sleep hygiene. To dive even deeper on the quest for the perfect rest, check out our guide to falling asleep better and staying asleep!