WATCH: This Is the Best Temperature for Sleep, According to a Sleep Doctor
Yikes! You're likely not following this rule.
It's winter. It's cold. If you're anything like us, nighttime is for layering on the extra blankets, snuggling in our warmest robe, and cranking up the heat.
Not so if you're hoping for a good night's sleep. You may feel as cozy as a fluffy flannel dream, but sleeping in a cooler room is actually better for you. "For optimal sleep, turn your room into a cave. Keep it cool, dark and quiet. The optimal bedroom temperature is between 62 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit," offers Anessa Das, MD, Assistant Director of The Ohio State Sleep Disorders Center. (Sock fiends, fear not: You can still sport a pair to keep your feet warm.) Of course, the temperature of your room is important, but getting enough sleep is key, and worth repeating: Adults need seven to nine hours to perform at their best.
Once you've reset your thermostat, here are six more tips for your best night's ZZZzzz.
1.Take a warm shower two hours before bedtime. "The natural cooling of your body over those couple of hours encourages sleep," notes Das. Not to mention the fact that winding down in the shower or bath is a relaxing routine to look forward to.
2. Practice good sleep hygiene. "Go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. The closer you can stick to the same bedtime and wake time all week, the more rested and alert you’ll be," explains Das. That means sleeping until noon on weekends if you regularly wake at 8:00am isn't doing you any favors, even if it feels good in the moment.
3. Invest in a good mattress. "When your body gets overheated, you will flip over in order to try to cool yourself down, so sleeping at the right temperature, with bedding layers that circulate and balance your body heat with your room environment, makes it easier for your body to follow its natural circadian rhythm of dropping two degrees at night for cellular rejuvenation, and reduces sensations of restlessness," comments BEDGEAR Sleep Scientist, Lorenzo Turrichia, PhD. If you're not ready to buy a new mattress, also consider moisture-wicking mattress protectors that can help keep your body temperature down like this one.
4. Get some bright light as soon as you wake up. "Natural light during the day helps our internal clock function properly," shares Das. "Once the sun sets, keep it dimmer in your room." You're turning your phone on night mode too, right?
5. Break a sweat during the day. "Exercise during the day because it can help the body wind down for sleep at night," advises Das. Not sure where to start? Look no further than a $10 foam roller.
6. Don’t use electronics in bed or before bed. Ditto for trying to fall asleep with the TV on. "The devices’ blue light disrupts sleep as well as creates poor sleep habits prior to bedtime," says Das.
Meet you in "the cave," ladies and gents.