Sleep is essential in every season. Summer months pose a challenge when temperatures soar. The room temperature has a significant impact on the ability to fall asleep and stay that way through the night. A deep sleep is linked to a drop in the core body temperature during the night. A bedroom cool down can be the solution to a restless night, even in the winter.
According to Dr. Christopher Winter, the bedroom environment should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for the best slumber. Sleep can be interrupted when the temperature goes above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees. Attempting to sleep in a hot environment has been shown to increase awareness and decrease sleepiness. Sleep quality improves with cooler temperatures and individuals sleep longer and feel more awake in the morning, according to the research.
There are simple and cost effective ways to cool down the bedroom environment for an optimal night of sleep. Here are a few helpful tips on how to cool down the bedroom:
Close the blinds. On hot summer days, close the curtains or blinds on the sun soaked windows. Room darkening drapes provide an extra layer of insulation or protection from light and temperature fluctuations. Avoid dark colored shades or curtains as they will absorb heat rather than reflect it. To avoid a steep temperature increase in the bedroom, prevent sunlight from entering through windows and doors. By keeping the bedroom sun-free during the day ensures the room will be cool and comfortable by bedtime.
Turn on ceiling fans. It is important to keep the internal air moving constantly to help keep the bedroom cool. For the summer season, ceiling fans should rotate counter-clockwise to create a cool downward airflow. Ceiling fans with less blades (2-4) moves more air than the traditional 5 blade fan, which is more for aesthetics than efficient air flow, according to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR product list.
Turn off electronics. Power down and unplug electronics and televisions when not in use. Electronics plugged-in can emit heat (on or off) and can contribute to the overall room temperature. Ironically, the cooling fan in a computer adds more heat to the room in its attempt to keep the computer cool. During the summer, make it a point to unplug devices not in use to keep the bedroom cool. This is a good practice for every room in your home.
Keep pets off the bed. Restless nights are common if a pet shares the bed. A bossy dog may take more than his share of the bed leaving you awake, hot, and agitated. American Kennel Club research recommends to establish rules, boundaries, and limitations; it’s your bed — not your dog’s. A dog’s temperature ranges between 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit which can increase the heat intensity of your bed drastically.
Optimize the AC. During the hot months, an air conditioner can be a real life-saver to cool down the bedroom. Take a proactive approach and service your AC unit before the temperatures rise. As a good practice, change out the air filter regularly to significantly increase air flow and AC efficiency. Make necessary seasonal adjustments to vents and air flow to optimize efficiency.
Longer summer days mean more hours of sunlight and heat. Quality sleep during the summer takes some preparation and planning to keep up with the seasonal temperatures. Does summer’s heat interrupt your sleep pattern? Try our MobileSleepDoc Pro mobile app and learn what’s keeping you up this summer.