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Trouble Sleeping? Check Your Thermostat!

Trouble Sleeping? Check Your Thermostat!

Hey, Derek here!

Tonight I got home from the gym and I just wasn't tired. I felt fatigued, but I just didn't have that desire to go to sleep that normally comes around 9:30pm or 10:00pm. Not only that, I felt as though my mind just wasn't settled.

Now, sleep is a complicated thing... There are many things that can contribute to difficulty falling asleep, but in this case I quickly identified the cause - the thermostat.

We've been in a bit of a warm spell lately and as a result I wondered if temperature could be the reason I was having difficulty falling asleep. 30 seconds later, I had found the culprit. Our house was a full 4 degrees celsius warmer than it usually is for sleep.

The way our bodies work, we have multiple triggers for readiness to sleep and one of them is temperature. Everyone knows that caffeine affects sleep, and many people are now becoming aware of the effects of blue light on sleep, but very few talk about temperature. 

The way all of these work is through interaction with something called our circadian clock. (If you'd like to learn more Google it or sign up for our Be Your Own Coach Online course and check out our sleep & stress module.)

As it gets later our bodies will naturally cool down. Unfortunately, sometimes this cooling is inhibited when the temperature around us is above our ideal sleeping temperature. (For me this is about 19-20.5 degrees Celsius. Any higher than that and I have a bit of a hard time sleeping.)

I also strategically program my thermostat to come on in the morning at the appropriate time to wake me up "naturally". Between the temperature and the light I can nail down my wake up time to within 10 minutes of my target. Not bad if you ask me!

So to sum it all up, the moral of the story is, if you can't sleep, turn down the temperature! It's one of those subtle changes that can make a massive difference!

Comment below and let me know what your favourite strategy is for getting better sleep!

Happy almost Friday, I hope you're sleeping better than me! ;)

- Derek