What is the best temperature for sleep? Why you should never sleep with the central heating on

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Natalie Cornish
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best temperature for sleep

From how quickly you nod off, to how rested you feel in the morning, room and body temperature seriously affects how we sleep. That’s why sleeping with the central heating on is a no-no, according to one sleep expert.

Winter is officially here and keeping warm is our MO. But, while it can be tempting to snuggle up under the duvet with the radiators blasting, a doctor has warned that sleeping with the central heating on isn’t the best idea.

Being too warm can mess with our body clocks, according to sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan. “Ideally your brain temperature needs to be a fraction of a degree cooler than the rest of the body,” she recently told Yahoo UK.

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“When this is the case, the ‘circadian timer’ in the brain, which controls the sleep cycle, can function optimally.”

Surprisingly, an increase of just 0.5 to one degree can make all the difference to how quickly you nod off – and how well you sleep. So, Dr Ramlakhan advises turning the radiators off in favour of “cool extremities” by “having your feet out of the duvet or blankets, and the body snug and warm”. 

best temperature for sleep

Best temperature for sleep: Just half a degree can make all the difference

She also told the news site opening a bedroom window slightly – yes, even in winter when it’s seriously chilly – helps create the optimum temperature for a good night’s sleep.

That said, Dr Ramlakhan explained sleep temperature is a very personal measurement, so it’s worth experimenting with duvets of different togs, and the set-up of your bedroom, to work out what’s right for you. Also bear in mind that sharing a bed impacts on the best temperature for sleep.

best temperature for sleep

Best temperature for sleep: Opening a window slightly helps create the optimum conditions for a good night's sleep

One thing is for sure: it’s time to turn down that thermostat. Not only for our night time routines, but the planet too.

Images: Getty, Unsplash.

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