Many of us find a good night’s sleep to be elusive. Fortunately, sleep research has advanced remarkably in recent years, revealing many reasons for sleeplessness that have to do with our lifestyles, ranging from too much screen time to, of all things, the wrong sleeping temperature. If you’re one of the sleepless, it may be encouraging to discover some of these causes of inadequate sleep and change your life.
Reasons for Sleeplessness
Some of the major reasons for sleeplessness are probably known to you already:
- Caffeine before bed
- Consuming alcohol or sweets too close to bedtime
- Lights on in the room
- Too much digital screen time prior to bedtime
- Room too hot or too cold
It may surprise you to learn that when temperatures are involved with sleeplessness, it’s usually because the room is too warm. Here’s what happens:
When we go to bed, our body temperatures should begin to fall. This temperature drop promotes the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps us fall asleep and enter the restorative REM (rapid eye movement) stage, which is necessary for good mental and physical health.
The ideal temperature, it turns out, is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for promoting good sleep. A room temperature higher than 72 degrees Fahrenheit will likely be too hot so that we become restless; a room cooler than 60 degrees may cause us to shiver ourselves into wakefulness.
Keep Your Nighttime Temperature on Target
The best way to keep your nighttime temperatures where they should be is to set them ahead of time with your programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat. That way you won’t have to always remember, prior to bedtime, to reset the thermostat. These models also allow you to set temperatures for when you’re away for the day, diminishing the amount of energy used so that you save money on your energy bill. A Wi-Fi thermostat also gives you the benefit of adjusting temperatures when you’re away from home, when weather conditions change.