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Not sleeping? This could be the reason.

Karla Walsh
March 31, 2021
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Woman sleeping in her bed
Credit: Getty Images / Luis Alvarez

As we recently reported, sleep is one of the top seven pandemic-related health changes that is making a huge impact not only on our aging but on our overall wellbeing. So it's timely—and a great reminder—that Katie Couric and her team recently posted this on Instagram:

"Ever wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat? [#guilty] As we enter the spring and summer months, it's more important now than ever to keep your bedroom at the right temperature—so you can get better quality sleep," Katie Couric's team says.

We don't know about you, but when we think of what determines the quality of our sleep, we generally think of avoiding caffeine, alcohol and tech use close to bedtime, winding down with some meditation, consuming plenty of sleep-inducing food and tucking in under our weighted blanket.

But Couric and her team nudged us to double-check our thermostats, as there is a scientifically proven best temperature for sleep.

"We all sleep better in a cooler environment, at about 65 to 67 degrees," Alanna McGinn, a sleep coach and the founder of the Good Night Sleep Site, told Katie Couric Media. "It's important that we're not overheating when we're sleeping. If your body is busy regulating its temperature and trying to cool down, or even to warm up, you won't be able to get quality sleep because it's busy trying to regulate your temperature."

This cooler-than-normal temp (most Americans report a typical daytime temp between 70 and 75 degrees) triggers the body to release melatonin, a hormone that plays a key role in the sleep-wake cycle. It also aligns with our body's natural tendency to chill out at night. Our internal body temperature begins to drop near 2 p.m., increasing melatonin production, and around 5 a.m., our internal temp begins to raise and suppress melatonin creation. Lowering the thermostat boosts the melatonin production even more, promoting a more regular circadian rhythm and better sleep.

The Sleep Foundation confirms this, and even turns things down a notch: "most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat set between 60 to 67 degrees."

Beyond temperature, don't forget to keep your bedroom quiet and dark and aim for a consistent evening routine. Still struggling with sweaty sleeps? Try dressing your bed with moisture-wicking materials like SHEEX (buy it: $168.75 for a queen set on Amazon).