The Best Air Conditioning Temperature for Sleeping
Posted on 15 September 2023
The Best Air Conditioning Temperature for Sleeping
Did you know that by adjusting your thermostat, you could significantly improve the quality of your sleep and how fast you fall asleep?
We all know the importance of getting enough sleep. There are hundreds of scientific studies underlining the necessity of high-quality sleep for our mental and physical well-being, but despite this, many of us still struggle to sleep long enough. Well, what if we told you that there is something that you can easily control, that can greatly improve the quality of your sleep – the temperature of the room you sleep in!
In this article, we will cover the following:
- Why you should care about your sleep quality
- The impact of room temperature on your sleep
- How air conditioning improves sleep quality
- Cooling your room to improve sleep apnea
- The best type of air conditioning unit for sleep
- How to get more deep sleep by cooling your room
- The impact of age on sleep and temperature preferences
- How to use smart air conditioning systems for perfect sleep hygiene
- How to get more sleep benefits from your air conditioner
The best temperature for sleeping (according to sleep scientists)
Setting your air conditioning unit to 18°C (65°F) before you go to bed will ensure your room is the optimal temperature for sleep. It’s because our body needs to drop its core temperature by about 1 °C (2-3°F) to initiate sleep and then stay asleep, hence why it is one of the first suggestions you may be given by a sleep scientist if you suffer from insomnia.
Why should you care about your sleep quality?
Sleep gives your body time to stimulate physical and mental recovery, support critical brain development, and replenish energy. Without enough sleep regularly, your cardiac function and body metabolism begin to suffer, affecting your learning ability, memory retention, and even your mood over time.
If you need more proof that sleep is important, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that people who on average sleep less than six hours or more than nine hours a night have a 32% increased risk of experiencing a heart attack in their lifetimes.
The Impact of room temperature on your sleep
Temperature plays a pivotal role in sleep quality. Our natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is directly influenced by body temperature, making it critical to maintain an optimal sleeping environment.
The simple reason is that our body temperature is closely tied to falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up from sleep.
- When you fall asleep your body cools by ~ 1 °C (1.8 °F) to around 37°C
- While you sleep it stays relatively stable with only minor fluctuations.
- When you wake up your body warms by~ 1 °C (1.8 °F) to around 38°C
Does air conditioning improve sleep quality?
Yes, sleeping with air conditioning on will improve your sleep, as it is the only way to ensure your room temperature your room maintains perfect sleep conditions (a room temperature of at 18°C) throughout the night.
Your body’s core temperature can be significantly affected by the room’s temperature, thereby impacting your sleep quality. Even minor fluctuations can leave you feeling unrested in when you wake up. If you live in a warm climate like the one we have in Perth, Western Australia, your room is likely too hot for a good night’s sleep, which can hinder your body’s natural dip in temperature. This can lead to lower amounts of deep sleep, both NREM stage 3 and REM sleep (dream sleep). Conversely, if the room is too cold, you could find it challenging to fall asleep or may wake up frequently.
A modern air conditioning system will maintain a set temperature while you sleep, with some systems even allowing you to slowly increase the temperature before your wake to slowly bring you out of sleep naturally, making it easier to wake up comfortably.
Cooling Your Room Can Even Improve Sleep Apnea
For those with sleep disorders such as Sleep Apnea, maintaining an optimal sleeping environment is even more critical. Cooler temperatures have been shown to ease symptoms and aid in restful sleep for individuals with this condition.
The best type of Air Conditioning Unit for Sleep
The best air conditioning unit for sleeping is a central ducted air conditioning system thanks to the following benefits:
- Silent operation
- Precise temperature control
- Smart features such as programmable controls for daily routines
- Zone control
While all modern ducted central air conditioners from big brands like Samsung and Panasonic will give you these features along with very respectable performance, if you are looking for the ultimate air conditioning unit for sleep, there is one brand that stands out from the rest – Daikin.
A ducted air conditioning system from Daikin will not only have all the essential features for optimal sleep, they are generally also quieter and more energy efficient than the competition and have a fantastic 5-year warranty.
Get More Deep Sleep by Cooling Your Room
Did you know that the temperature of your sleeping environment not only affects how quickly you fall asleep but also influences the quality of your sleep? A pivotal stage of sleep, known as Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) or deep sleep, is significantly influenced by your body and room temperature.
According to the Sleep Foundation, body temperature affects not only sleep onset (falling asleep) but also sleep quality and the time spent in different sleep stages. A higher core body temperature has been associated with a decrease in restorative slow-wave sleep and subjective sleep quality.
During SWS, the body recovers, consolidates memories, replenishes energy, and releases growth hormone for cellular repair. This phase is so critical that even slight disruptions, like an environment that’s too hot or too cold, can lessen the quality and duration of SWS, and consequently, leave you feeling less refreshed upon waking up.
A cooler room temperature can enhance the quality of deep sleep. It’s during deep sleep that our bodies see the most significant drop in core body temperature. By setting your air conditioning to an ideal cooler temperature, you can promote more extended periods of deep sleep, aiding in more thorough physical and mental restoration.
The Impact of Age on Sleep and Temperature Preferences
Finding the right sleep temperature isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The perfect temperature for you might change as you age. Infants, adults, and the elderly may have different comfort zones. That’s why it’s crucial to experiment and find what works best for you.
According to the Sleep Foundation, as people get older, their sleep changes due to the effects of an aging Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) – the area of the brain that controls our natural rhythm of wakefulness. Deterioration in the function of the SCN can disrupt circadian rhythms, directly influencing when people feel tired or alert.
With all of this in mind, the key takeaway is that as we get older the time that we fall asleep and wake up may change. If you struggle to fall asleep when you regularly do, try to adjust your air conditioning to suit your changing rhythm by setting it to cool your bedroom earlier in the night. On the other hand, if you are waking up too early, try setting your air conditioning to cool down further around an hour or two before you are waking up as it will prevent your core temperature from rising too early, and consequently waking you up.
Using Smart Air Conditioning Systems for Perfect Sleep Hygiene
Smart AC systems, such as the Stinson Air and Solar recommended MyPlace, offer even greater and more precise control over your environment. From temperature control to zoning options and from timer functions to smartphone app compatibility, there’s a range of features that allows you to ensure every person in every room of your house is sleeping in the best conditions possible.
The key feature of a smart system that allows it to enhance your sleep quality is the ability to set routines for your air conditioning system. Routines allow you to adjust the temperature schedule to suit your personal sleep cycle. For instance, if you have trouble falling asleep, you could program your smart air conditioning to start cooling your bedroom earlier in the night. This drop in temperature can signal to your body that it’s time to wind down, promoting a smoother transition to sleep.
On the other hand, if you are struggling to wake up in the winter months, you can set your air conditioning to warm up by about 1-2°C as a rise in core temperature is one of the body’s natural signals to wake up. This way, smart air conditioning systems can assist you in aligning your sleep schedule with your natural circadian rhythm, leading to more restful and fulfilling sleep.
How to get more sleep benefits from your air conditioner
Now we know the impact temperature has on your sleep and how you can minimise that impact with air conditioning, let’s talk about some you can get better sleep with air conditioning.
Use Sleep Mode
Many modern air con units now come with an inbuilt sleep mode. These high-tech sensors adjust the room temperature to maintain a pre-set level, helping reduce electricity bills and ensuring a balanced homeostasis in the climate of the bedroom. The sleep mode functionality slowly raises and lowers the temperature as needed, so there is no perceptible interruption to your level of comfort while sleeping.
Enjoy the white noise.
Alongside temperature control, many of our smart AC systems produce a gentle white noise. Interestingly, numerous studies show that white noise can contribute to a better night’s sleep. The steady, unchanging sound can drown out other, more disruptive noises that may interfere with your sleep.
Make Seasonal Adjustments
Remember to make slight adjustments to your air conditioning to match the seasons and your body’s comfortable sleeping temperature between summer and winter.
Modern smart AC systems are even capable of adjusting to the changing seasons, ensuring a comfortable sleep environment year-round. They can adapt to the hotter summer months and colder winter nights, providing you with the consistent comfort necessary for quality sleep.
Energy Efficiency Tips
Using your AC’s sleep mode is not only great for maintaining a comfortable sleep temperature, but it’s also energy efficient. The gradual adjustment of temperature prevents drastic changes that can spike your energy usage, helping you save on your electricity bills while enjoying restful sleep.
Consider the Position of your air conditioning unit in your bedroom.
The placement of AC units or vents can impact the effectiveness of the system. We recommend placing units or vents on either one of the sides of the bed rather than directly over it. Also, consider the amount of noise and light your air con emits. Bright LED flashing or noisy air con units might interrupt your sleep, despite maintaining a comfortable temperature.
Clean your Air Conditioner Filters to Prevent Allergies
When thinking about air conditioning placement and its impact on sleep, it’s also worth considering allergies. Air conditioning units can, unfortunately, circulate dust and allergens if not maintained properly, aggravating allergies. Regular cleaning and choosing the right filters can significantly reduce these allergens and contribute to uninterrupted sleep from poor breathing.
Maintaining your AC unit doesn’t only increase its lifespan but also significantly affects your sleep quality. Regularly cleaned and serviced air conditioning units run more efficiently, provide better temperature control, and can reduce unwanted noise, contributing to uninterrupted sleep.
If you are struggling to fall asleep at night and stay asleep, cooling your bedroom before bed is a quick and easy change that is scientifically proven to improve your sleep quality. Adjusting your air conditioning to the optimal sleeping temperature of 18°C could be the answer you are looking for. Don’t forget that while our bodies need to cool down to fall asleep, they also need to heat up to wake up, so if you have a smart air conditioning system, try to take advantage of routines to further enhance the quality of your sleep!
If you are searching for an air conditioning unit that ensures the best sleep possible, contact the friendly team at Stinson Air & Solar.