Have you ever wondered why getting to sleep, and staying asleep on a hot, humid summer night is so difficult? According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology about how body temperature affects your circadian rhythm, you are more likely to get a full night’s rest when your core body temperature decreases, but your peripheral skin temperature is a little higher.  How this equation works to keep you unconscious depends on a lot of factors, including how humid the room is and whether or not you are wearing pajamas or a nightgown.

How Heat Exposure Affects Your Sleep

You have probably heard the phrase “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”, and the same applies to your nighttime habits as this decreases that core body temperature than normal occurs to assure restful sleep.  Restful sleep and especially the rapid eye movement (REM) and slow wave sleep (SWS) stages of sleep are crucial to a good night’s rest. The sweat response caused by the humidity keeps the core body temperature hot to compensate for the constantly evaporating moisture from the skin. This feeling of being too hot and sweaty sleep is especially hard on older people in general, women going through menopause and people with insulin resistance or diabetes as they have a harder time regulating their body temperature.

Another study on how room temperature affects sleep  found that sleeping in a room that was too hot results in:

•    Shorter sleep duration
•    A lighter shallow sleep (with no REM or slow wave phases)
•    Restless sleep
•    A hard time falling asleep
•    Feeling tired in the morning

Using an air conditioner might be expensive for some, but if you get on with a timer mechanism, the best time to turn it on is about two hours before you go to bed, to chill your sleeping quarters ahead of time.

Another study done on soccer players  found that taking a ten minute shower at a temperature of about 40 degrees C helped increase peripheral skin temperature, which in turn lowered core temperature and helped offer a sounder night’s sleep.  Another sleep inducing tactic according to a study on the effects of feet warming is to soak your feet in hot water before bed to help yourself fall asleep faster.

Cold Can Also Affect Your Ability to Sleep

Before you crank up that air conditioner to Max you should also keep in mind that being in a room that is too cold is very disruptive to sleep.  A study conducted on high and low and ambient temperatures on human sleep stages found that most people woke up once a room reached 21 degrees C (69.8 F). Of course, being too cold is a lot easier to remedy than being too hot as you simply can pile more blankets on yourself to raise your peripheral body temperature and get better rest.

13 C to 23C Degrees Offers the Best Sleeping Weather

According to the study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology , in real-life settings using clothing and/or bedding, no significant differences were observed in sleep at temperatures ranging from 13 degrees C (55.4 degrees F) to 23 degrees C (73.4 degrees F).
If you are suffering from sleep issues and would like to have this issue addressed by a naturopath, acupuncturist or with homeopathy, feel free to contact us here at our Toronto Office at  (416)-656- 8100.  We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.  We also offer a full roster of health services that can be perused on the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website including natural cleanses, anti-aging therapies, Toronto weight loss,hypnotherapy, infrared blood analysis and more.

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