Sleep can often be tricky. What works for one person may not work for another. The same conditions that help one person fall asleep can be uncomfortable to the next person. The importance of a good night's sleep is known by one and all. In recent years there has been increased awareness and research about the benefits of 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, the factors affecting sleep quality, and the effects of lack of sleep on the mind and body. Although the schedule of modern urban people is hectic and often unhealthy to a certain extent, today people are more aware about the necessity of quality sleep every night. That is the reason why things like ergonomic pillows and mattresses sleep headphones and sound machines are available today, to help people get quality sleep.

A number of factors are responsible for sleep quality, but they vary from one person to another. While some people like to sleep with heavy comforters others prefer to sleep with a thin sheet. While some people like a soft mattress others prefer a medium firmness. It is often hard to find two people who have the same considerations when it comes to sleep. Having different sleep habits and requirements can make sleeping with a partner difficult.

One important but often overlooked factor responsible for sleep quality is the temperature of the room. Not many consider the temperature of the room they sleep in as a factor that could influence sleep quality. But the room being uncomfortable hot or cold is a potential reason that could be keeping you up at night. We know that environmental reasons are often responsible for affecting sleep quality, and the temperature of the room is one of them. You could be using a sound machine to block out external noises, using a comfortable mattress and pillow to sleep on and wearing the right clothes, but if the temperature in the room is not right sleep will still be interrupted.

Why the right room temperature matters

While people in colder climates eagerly wait for summer every year, those living in tropical regions know the struggle of trying to fall asleep in a hot and humid climate. Many people keep their air-conditioner running through the night while some prefer to take a cold shower before bedtime. Why exactly does the body prefer a cooler temperature when trying to sleep? Is there a science behind sleeping in a cool room?

There is. For the body to feel sleepy, the brain needs to produce sufficient melatonin. When the temperature is warm the brain does not get the feeling that it's time to hit the sack. Only when the temperature of the body begins to drop the brain gets into a state of sleep and relaxation. The body temperature naturally starts to drop at least two hours before a person actually gets to bed, but if the environment to temperature is uncomfortably warm then this drop takes a long time to happen. The longer it takes for the body temperature to drop the harder it is to fall asleep comfortably.

In fact, sleeping in a cold room not only helps you get better rest but may also have some calorie burning benefits. In a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine it was found that sleeping in a room that is cool helped insomniacs get equal amount of sleep as those with no sleep disorders. The same study also found the calorie burning effects of sleeping in a cold room.

Falling vs staying asleep

So is it as simple as cranking down the thermostat to be able to get a better sleep? Unfortunately, no. It is only the brain that requires a cold temperature to be able to get into the state of sleep. The rest of the body needs the temperature to be just right in order to stay asleep. Therefore, if you go to sleep in a cold room, you might wake up shivering in the middle of the night. That is as bad as sleeping in an uncomfortably hot room.

While sleeping in a cool room boosts metabolism burns calories and also keeps the skin healthy and excessively cold room that makes you shiver throughout the night does not aid in the best sleep.

What is the ideal temperature?

The ideal temperature to sleep in varies from one person to another. While you may prefer to sleep with four or five blankets, your spouse may prefer to sleep with a thin sheet in a chilly room. Therefore there is no simple answer to what the right temperature should be of the bedroom. Experts suggest to keep the temperature between 65 and 72 degree Fahrenheit, but for those living in a cold climate this is to chilly to be comfortable. Thus, the right temperature comes down to individual preference. If you share the room or the bed with another person, and the two of you have different temperature requirements, it is essential to reach a middle ground that makes both of you comfortable. Otherwise one of you will be shivering all night while the other sweats it out.

The thermostat isn't the only way to adjust the temperature of the room. There are other strategies you could adopt to make your room cooler and induce sleep. Experts advise that the bedroom should be looked upon like a cave-- cool, dark, and quiet. For example, bats prefer to sleep in caves, and everyone will agree that no one sleeps like they do -- 16 hours a day. Aside from that, the mattress, sheets and pillows that you use also go a long way in keeping you hot or cold. Memory foam is notorious for trapping heat and making the sleeper uncomfortably hot, but natural ethics is better at a regulating body temperature and helping in sleeping cool.

Having said that, being cold throughout the night also results in disturbed sleep. Therefore, experts suggest keeping your body covered with a sheet or blanket from the waist down or wearing thin socks to bed.

Author's Bio: 

Vishal Ingole is a Content Strategist and Blogger. He has written for numerous publications in the past on topics ranging from finance, Enterprise IT to health and travel. He also writes for Sleep Sherpa and oversees the overall content strategy.