Setting the temperature for sleep
Have you ever spent the night tossing and turning because
you are too hot?
Or trying to hide under the duvet because you are too cold? Getting the right temperature for sleep is essential and we often get it wrong as we compare our bedrooms against our waking body temperature.
Know your heat cycle
We all know that our bodies operate within a small temperature range and release heat by sweating or produce it by shivering. However, that temperature range is affected by our daylight cycle (known as the circadian body clock). It means your body heat peaks in late afternoon and then drops to its lowest point at the end of the sleep cycle. So, that open window which feels perfect when you doze off will wake you at 4am in the morning. According to the UK Sleep Council, the ideal temperature is 16-18°C (60-65°F). Anything over 24°C (71°F) will make you restless, whilst anything at 12°C (53°F) or lower will wake you up.
Match your nightwear to your bed
Over a third of us wear nothing at all in bed, trusting to a duvet to keep us warm. Unfortunately, this can have the opposite effect in the summer, leading to limbs draped over the bed, just to keep covered and cool. Layers are the key here: a simple cotton T-shirt teamed with a light blanket will be much more comfortable and easier to remove. In winter, the opposite problem occurs. We opt for longer layers and fleecepyjamas, but wake up with cold feet! Invest in some fluffy bed socks to guarantee your sleep.
From dark to light
Have you ever wondered why you feel so tired in the autumn? When we are surrounded by darkness, our bodies produce more melatonin which relaxes the body and helps us to drift off. Black-out blinds, eye masks and dimmer lights all help to promote sleep. Conversely, if you really struggle in the morning, invest in a sunrise alarm clock to give your body a change to properly wake up.