The City Mattress Blog

What Is the Ideal Temperature for Sleeping?


woman sleeping on an electric heating pad

Temperature affects sleep in numerous ways. Like many bodily functions, sleep is regulated by our "body clock," which operates using signals it receives from cues like light and — yes — temperature. When those cues are off, it can send the body clock out of whack affecting all sorts of bodily functions: energy level, stress, focus, mood, physical recovery from injury, other immune functions, and even learning and memory. In essence, setting the right temperature in our sleeping environment can help improve our sleep and life.

The Best Temperature for Sleeping

For adults, the ideal bedroom temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.3 degrees Celsius. While this can vary slightly between people, doctors generally advise setting the thermostat to between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit or 15.6 and 19.4 degrees Celsius for the most comfortable sleep.

The answer to the question of what ideal temperature for sleeping differs slightly for infants and the elderly. The best sleeping temperature for babies and toddlers is slightly higher than for adults, ranging between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 and 21 degrees Celsius. Similarly, the best sleeping temperature range for seniors is between 66 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 19 and 21 degrees Celsius.

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woman in bed having a nightmare

How Temperature Affects Sleep

The body naturally dips in temperature as it readies for sleep, corresponding with the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps signal our body that it is time to wind down for sleep. 

Temperature also affects how much time we spend in the various stages of sleep. If our core body temperature is too high, it can shorten the length of the restorative, slow-wave sleep stage as well as the essential REM sleep stage when we dream. High temperature can cause grogginess and fatigue the next day and may further lead to difficulty falling asleep the following night. By intentionally helping to lower our body’s temperature, we can help prepare our body for sleep, fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality.

man sleeping on his bed

How To Keep the Bedroom Cooler

Close the blinds during the day to reduce heat accumulation in the room, and reduce the temperature at night by turning the thermostat down. On particularly hot nights, a fan, open window, or air conditioning can help with ventilation and airflow. In the summer, if the bedroom is upstairs, sleep downstairs where it is cooler.

One way to keep the bed cooler is to use quality linens and bedding like cooling sheets and pillowcases made of organic cotton, linen, bamboo, microfiber, and other breathable materials. These types of bedding can also help reduce sweating, which can severely impact temperature regulation.

Find the Perfect Mattress

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Every mattress has its own thermal properties. Memory-foam mattresses, for example, can trap heat. Innerspring mattresses and hybrid mattresses, however, are typically more cooling. Shop our wide selection of cooling mattresses at City Mattress to have more restful nights and wakeful days.