What Is the Best AC Temperature to Sleep?
You usually give your air conditioner a break overnight since the temperatures are low enough that you can sleep comfortably without it. Tonight, though, is different. You’re at the beginning of what will be a multi-day heatwave. You suspect you’ll have to sleep with your air conditioner on for the next several nights.
You’re not happy about this, and not only because it’s going to cost you more money on your utility bills. You also have no idea what temperature to set the air conditioner so you don't turn into an ice block overnight.
What is the best AC temperature to sleep soundly? According to Medical News Today, the answer is somewhere between 60 degrees and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Most people prefer temps up to 65, others 67. You might prefer a cool room that’s closer to 60 degrees, or maybe it’s your spouse or partner that does.
Staying cool overnight is worth doing, and not only in the summer. Medical News Today mentions that a cool environment can regulate your core body temperature when sleeping. This in turn can have a positive impact on your circadian rhythm, aka the sleep-wake cycle that’s sort of like an internal clock.
The reason that air conditioning helps your circadian rhythm is that the cool temps tell your body to sleep. It’s like being in a dark room versus one with lights; the former is also indicating to your circadian rhythm that it’s bedtime.
If you’ve ever found it difficult to fall asleep when you’re too warm under the covers, it’s not just that you’re uncomfortable. Being warm interrupts your circadian rhythm, which means you’ll stay up longer whether you want to or not.
Medical News Today, in the link above, cites studies that mention a combination of sweating, restlessness, and the discomfort from being in a hot environment can dehydrate you. You have that working against you.
Your respiratory and heart rates will also be higher thanks to your elevated body temperature, which keeps you on edge and feeling anything but sleepy.
That said, there is such a thing as too cold, hence why the recommended air conditioning temperature range for optimal sleep is 60 to 67 degrees. Other bodies of data have found that when you’re bone-chillingly cold, you can’t fall asleep easily. You might also wake up more frequently.
Of course, many factors outside of the temperature of the room impact how easily you’ll fall asleep. You should retire all electronic devices (yes, that includes your smartphone) 30 or more minutes before you want to go to bed. Tech devices release blue light that can prevent the body from producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
You also want to limit when you eat to no more than three hours before you go to sleep. Your body will have enough time to digest your meal, which will allow you to slip off into dreamland more easily.
You can always plan your showers closer to bedtime, about an hour before. Try taking a calming bath, as it can certainly help!