Discover the Perfect Blend of Temperature, Humidity, & Airflow for Sleep
One of the most important things you can do for your health and happiness is to get a good night’s sleep. But if you’re having trouble sleeping or would like to make your nighttime experience a little bit better, there may be some HVAC solutions that can get you closer to that goal.
This blog aims to help you find your sleeping temperature “sweet spot.” While experts recommend average sleeping temperatures, keep in mind that everyone is different — what works for you may not work for someone else. What’s important is that you experiment until you find the best sleeping solution for you!
Find the Perfect (Cool) Temperature with Your AC
When we sleep, our body is in a state of repair and recovery, and temperature plays a crucial role in ensuring we get the restorative sleep we need. A bedroom that is too hot can cause restlessness and discomfort, leading to poor sleep quality. On the other hand, a cooler room temperature can help promote relaxation and enhance the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Moreover, cooler temperatures can also prevent night sweats and hot flashes.
Maintaining lower bedroom temperatures during the winter is easy and can even save you money on heating costs, but it won’t be cheap to get the temperature down that low using air conditioning. So, to help keep cool on hot summer nights, you may need to rely more on fans.
Sleep Better with a Zone-Control AC System
Another alternative is to look into zone-control air conditioning systems, which allow you to set different temperatures in individual rooms. This way, you can dial down the temperature in only your bedroom without cooling the entire house, resulting in a cooler night’s sleep for a fraction of the energy cost.
The Optimal Temperature for Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal bedroom temperature for optimal sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Using your AC to drop room temperature as you get closer to bed is a great way to mimic your body's natural drop in temperature as it prepares for sleep.
The Best Sleeping Temperature for Children & Older Adults
For children, the ideal sleeping temperature is slightly warmer than for adults, ranging between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because children have smaller bodies and less body fat, making them more susceptible to heat loss. Keeping the temperature in this range can help kids stay comfortable so they don't wake up in the middle of the night.
Like children, older adults may also benefit from slightly warmer room temperatures during sleep. As we age, our body's ability to regulate temperature declines, making us more sensitive to temperature changes. Additionally, some medical conditions and medications can affect an older person's body temperature regulation, causing them to feel cold more easily.
Remove Humidity If It’s Too Muggy (with a Dehumidifier)
High humidity levels in the bedroom can cause discomfort, making it challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Humidity can also lead to excessive sweating, creating a damp environment that can be conducive to the growth of mold and bacteria. This can lead to allergic reactions and respiratory problems, making it even harder to sleep.
For people living in southeastern states, where the climate is generally more humid, maintaining a comfortable sleeping environment can be particularly challenging. While air conditioning can help lower the temperature, it doesn't always reduce the humidity levels to the desired range for sleep. This is because some air conditioning systems are not designed to remove excess moisture from the air.
What's the Ideal Humidity Range for Sleep?
The ideal comfort humidity range for sleep is between 30-50%. To combat high humidity levels, it's important to take steps to reduce moisture in the bedroom. This can include using a dehumidifier or air purifier with a built-in dehumidifying function to remove excess moisture from the air. Additionally, using breathable sheets and bedding made from moisture-wicking materials can help reduce the discomfort caused by excessive sweating.
Add Humidity If It’s Too Dry
On the other hand, when the air in the bedroom is too dry, it can cause dry skin, irritated nasal passages, and dry coughing, making it difficult to sleep. Additionally, dry air can aggravate allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems, causing further disruption.
To combat dry air in the bedroom, use a humidifier to help add moisture back into the air, making it more comfortable to breathe and sleep. If you want to know how humid your environment is, we recommend monitoring the humidity levels using a hygrometer, a tool that measures the moisture content in the air.
Create Airflow with a Fan (or an Open Window)
Fans offer a variety of benefits for your bedtime routine. The downdraft from a ceiling fan can create a cooling effect on your skin all night long, keeping you comfortable and closer to that ideal temperature range. It will also circulate the air to keep it fresh, which may make it easier to breathe.
Another fringe benefit is the steady hum of white noise most fans create. White noise can not only help you fall asleep, but it can also help you stay asleep by muffling middle-of-the-night noises that might otherwise wake you up.
Program Your Thermostat to Help You Wake Up
Waking up in the morning can be tough — even more so when your room is chilly, and your blankets are cozy! Combat this through the help of a programmable thermostat. These devices allow you to schedule changes in your home’s temperature throughout the day. So, if you want to avoid oversleeping, consider scheduling a temperature increase about 20 minutes before you wake up.
Whole Home Air Filtration to Remove Allergens
Allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander can trigger allergic reactions, making it difficult to breathe, causing sneezing, coughing, and other symptoms that can disrupt sleep. Additionally, allergies can cause nasal congestion and inflammation, leading to snoring and sleep apnea, which can further disrupt sleep.
One effective way to combat seasonal allergies is by installing a whole home air filtration system. Air filters can help remove allergens from the air, creating a cleaner and more comfortable sleeping environment.
Call One Hour For Advice or Help with Upgrading or Maintaining Your HVAC System
Ultimately, the best way to sleep varies from person to person. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try experimenting with the tips above. In some cases, your HVAC system could be to blame! Units that are outdated or in need of repairs could be causing uneven temperatures and poor air quality.
Contact One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to discuss your concerns and schedule your next service appointment and get back to better snoozing soon!