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Sleep: Temperature could be the answer to a good night’s sleep – and it could prevent stroke, too

Researchers have narrowed down the perfect temperature range for a good night’s sleep, so you can maximise your Zs all year round.

Hands up if you love a crisp, cool room at night – one that gives you the chance to snuggle up under the doona, no matter what the season.

Well, we hate to break it to you, but if you’re a fiend of a sub-20 degrees AC temperature, you might want to go easy on the dial and get used to sleeping in a more temperate climate, if you want to secure the best sleep of your life.

Don’t believe us? Maybe these experts on ageing might convince you.

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Dr Amir Baniassadi of the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research collected data on 50 older adults with a collective 11,000 nights‘ sleep. Each person was hooked up to sleep monitors and environmental sensors to analyse sleep duration, efficiency and restlessness in the participants’ homes.

So, what is the perfect temperature? „Sleep can be most efficient and restful for older adults when nighttime bedroom ambient temperature ranges between 68 to 77 °F (20 to 30 °C)“, the study found, despite some participants becoming more restless at the warmer end of the spectrum.

On the other hand, one of the environmental sensors cranked the temperature in their homes from 25 to 30 degrees, and researchers noticed a five to 10 per cent quality deficiency as a result. 

So anything beyond 30 degrees means you’re in for a rough night’s sleep, and anything below 20 degrees, and you’ll need some seriously warm bedding.

Yes, we all differ in our preferred room temp at bedtime, which is why it’s not uncommon for couples to sleep in separate rooms, however, if you do like the atmosphere around you to be above 30 degrees, perhaps consider whether it’s actually worth it come sunrise.

“These results highlight the potential to enhance sleep quality in older adults by optimising home thermal environments and emphasizing the importance of personalized temperature adjustments based on individual needs and circumstances,” Baniassadi said.

Unfortunately for some, adjusting the aircon is a luxury they’re not afforded. “The study underscores the potential impact of climate change on sleep quality in older adults, particularly those with lower socioeconomic status,” Baniassadi said.

The findings, published in Eureka Alert, added that “Older adults often experience inadequate, restless, and disrupted sleep which in turn influences many outcomes related to their health and wellbeing such as cognitive and physical function, mood and affect, irritability and reaction to stress, productivity, diabetes management, and risk of cardiovascular diseases.”

According to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, adults over the age of 18 should get seven or more hours of sleep each night.

“However, age, health and personal circumstances affect how much sleep we need, plus some people naturally sleep more than others,“ the UK’s National Health Service told PlushCare, hence Baniassadi’s findings. 

As well as finding the perfect temperature within Baniassadi and the team’s range, PlushCare suggests trying the following daily rituals for optimal sleep results:

  • Get plenty of daytime exercise.
  • Avoiding big meals shortly before bedtime.
  • Cutting down on alcohol and late-day caffeine.
  • Prepare a dark room to sleep and wind down without the use of electronic devices.
  • If you can’t sleep, don’t just lie there: get up for a while to read or meditate elsewhere.
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