In my experience, people generally have very specific sleep preferences. You're either a person who wants the room to be dead quiet, or you can't fall asleep without a fan on. You might require an entire pile of blankets that'll inevitably drift away throughout the night, or you may prefer just a single sheet. You want your bedroom as warm and cozy as possible, or you like a little chill in the air. Regardless of your preferences, according to sleep experts, the secret to how to stay asleep longer at night can be as simple as making the temperature in your bedroom nice and cool.
"The temperature you feel is a signal to your brain that it is time to sleep, and safe to sleep," Roy Raymann, Ph.D., resident sleep expert at SleepScore Labs, tells Elite Daily in an email. As for the optimal temperature? It's best to aim for about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, says Dr. Raymann. And while that may sound ridiculously frigid to some people, surprisingly, keeping your bedroom at this cool temperature can have a significant effect on how long your body lets you sleep. "During the morning, your body temperature goes up, and if it reaches a certain threshold, it will be signaling it is time to wake up," Raymann explains. "With a cooler room, this threshold is met a bit later, so you sleep longer."
And Dr. Raymann isn't talking about only a couple of extra minutes of snooze time. In actuality, having a room that's too hot can cause you to miss out on an entire half hour of beauty rest in the morning. As someone who relishes snoozing my alarm for a measly five minutes, 30 extra minutes of sleep sounds like an absolute dream.
"In our big data analyses including over four million nights [of sleep], we found that people who sleep in a room with a temperature of 65 or lower sleep about 30 minutes longer than those in a room of 77 and higher," Raymann shares.
That being said, if you're someone who tends to get cold easily, you definitely don't want to lose sleep because you're uncomfortable due to the chill of your bedroom. Dr. Raymann recommends warming up your bed before you get in using a heated blanket, as long as you turn it off before you actually drift off. No need to skimp on the regular blankets, though, says the sleep expert. If you feel chilly, he suggests you adjust not by changing the thermostat, but by piling on the cozy sweatshirts and throws. "The golden rule is that the room needs to be comfortably cool and you should feel comfortably warm," Raymann tells Elite Daily. "If you feel too cool or too warm, it will impact your sleep negatively."
If you tend to have cold feet (literally), you can stay nice and cozy with a relaxing foot massage before bed, or even by warming them in a toasty foot bath. According to the National Sleep Foundation, making sure your toes are warm is key to relaxing the rest of your body so you can drift off to sleep. The organization suggests placing a hot water bottle at your feet or wearing socks to bed, as this "will help dilate your blood vessels faster and push your internal thermostat to a more ideal setting."
But drifting off to sleep in a chilly room isn't just fantastic for helping you sleep longer. It can also have some serious benefits for your health, according to a study published in the American Diabetes Association medical journal Diabetes. Although only five people participated in the study, researchers found compelling evidence that sleeping at cooler temperatures could help prevent certain diseases, not to mention it may have a huge influence on your insulin sensitivity, too.
So embrace the chillier temperatures that are headed your way with the onset of fall, and you might just get an extra chunk of dreaming every morning before you have to face the day.