Do you routinely toss and turn at night, finding it difficult to relax enough to fall asleep? Then, do you often wake up feeling too hot or too cold? The temperature and air quality in your bedroom can greatly impact your ability to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night. Here are the HVAC adjustments we recommend for better sleep.
Know the Ideal HVAC Setting for Sleeping Hours
During the day, your internal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees. When it’s time for bed, your body releases sleep hormones and sends blood flow to your arms and legs to lower your core temperature by a couple of degrees. This helps to induce sleep and promotes quality rest.
Because your body relies on a drop in temperature to fall asleep, an overly warm bedroom can cause tossing, turning, and an elevated heart rate. Research also suggests that warm temperatures can reduce sleep efficiency, leading to daytime drowsiness and fatigue.
So what is the ideal HVAC setting for sleeping hours? According to Sleep.org, most people enjoy restful sleep when the room is set between 66 and 70 degrees F. Be aware that your ideal setting may vary from this recommendation by a few degrees, so feel free to experiment.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Most people prefer a daytime, at-home temperature of at least 70 degrees in the winter and closer to 78 degrees in the summer. So how can you remember to adjust the thermostat before bed? You could set a reminder for yourself—or you can install a programmable thermostat, which lets you set it and forget it.
Programmable thermostats cater to you, offering automatic setbacks you can program based on your schedule. This allows you to set the temperature back while you’re gone all day to save energy, yet an automatic recovery period ensures you still return to a comfortable home.
You can also program the thermostat to adopt your preferred nighttime temperature around the time you usually go to bed. That way, your bedroom is nice and cool by the time you’re ready to slip in between the sheets.
Sleep with a Fan On
Many people enjoy the soothing air circulation created by a ceiling or box fan. Running a fan at medium speed can help you stay cool in the summer without cranking the thermostat down to 70 degrees F. Even running it on low in the winter is a good idea to prevent the room from feeling stuffy.
Run a Humidifier in the Winter
Dry indoor air is a common complaint in Utah’s desert climate. To prevent a sore throat and dry nasal passages from keeping you awake, try running a humidifier. Sure, you can set up a portable unit in your bedroom, but a whole-house model is even more beneficial.
Whole-house humidifiers tie into the HVAC system to deliver comfortably humid air to your entire house every time the furnace runs. You’ll enjoy healthier skin and hair, better indoor air quality, and less static shock when you make this upgrade.
Install a Zoning System
Zoning is a method of heating and cooling sections of your home at a time. Multiple temperature sensors and ductwork dampers direct conditioned air to specific rooms when you need it. This allows you to pump up the AC in your home’s sleeping areas without paying to air-condition the entire house.
Zoning also proves useful if anyone in your family works night shifts. That way, you can lower the temperature in the bedroom during the day, even as you keep the rest of the house warm for those who are awake.
Other Tips to Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
In addition to making the above HVAC adjustments for better sleep, here are some other ways to promote a good night’s sleep:
- Swap out your bedding with the seasons: Choose lightweight cotton, linen, or silk sheets to help your body cool off in the summer. Then, trade your bedding for heavier flannel or fleece materials to provide extra insulation in the winter. Temperature-neutral bedding is especially useful if you tend to overheat at night.
- Dim the lights: Artificial lighting can throw off your circadian rhythm, which naturally aligns with the rising and setting sun. To help your body wind down at night, start dimming the lights around your house about an hour before bed. Make sure your bedroom itself is nice and dark as well. Consider installing blackout curtains over the windows if you plan to sleep in past sunrise.
- Block out the noise: Loud sounds can disrupt your sleep. Help drown them out with a white noise machine or soothing music. You might also wear earplugs to block out noises altogether.
- Avoid screens close to bedtime: The blue light from your TV, computer, tablet, or phone screen can signal your body to wake up, leading to restlessness or insomnia. Set a rule to turn off all screens an hour before bed to help you fall asleep faster. It’s also a good idea to remove the TV from the bedroom.
- Don’t eat sugar, caffeine, or large meals late in the day: Sugar and caffeine give your body energy, which is not what you need right before bed. A large, heavy meal can also strain your digestive system and leave you with a stomachache while you’re trying to fall asleep. Do yourself a favor and avoid these things starting a few hours before bedtime.
Clearly, the way you run your HVAC system at night can either help you sleep or keep you awake. If you’re looking to get a more restful night’s sleep, turn to Triple T Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We have nearly 50 years of experience repairing, maintaining, and installing HVAC systems. Our services focus on energy efficiency, home comfort, and indoor air quality. For more information, please call us at 801-798-7711 if you live in Utah County or 435-275-4011 if you’re a Washington County resident. You can also schedule HVAC services online.