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What's the Best Temperature for Sleep and Work Productivity?

By HERWriter
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What Is the Best Temperature for Sleep and Work Productivity? highwaystarz/Fotolia

If you live with someone, there may be a constant battle over the temperature in your home. While you like the room temperature hot, they may like it cold.

According to the Wall Street Journal, sleep studies have found that setting the thermostat to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is good for sleep.

"The body’s core temperature needs to drop by about 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit to initiate sleep," Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, said. “If our core temperature is too high the brain cannot easily make the switch from being awake to being asleep, or create the best quality sleep.”

In his interview with WSJ, Walker said, "When treating insomnia patients, sleep experts will often ask about room temperature and advise patients who set their thermostat to 70 or 72 degrees to drop it.”

Walker recommended that if you live in a hot area of the country and if air conditioning is unavailable, that you sleep with open windows, minimal bed clothing and a light bed cover.

Another tip for dropping your core body temperature before bedtime is taking a hot bath. While this may sounds counter-intuitive, the hot water will move the circulating blood to the body's surface. This drop core body temperature quickly.

James Horne, a neuroscience professor at Loughborough University in England, said, “When you get out of the bath you cool down more quickly, which is what the body wants to do at bed time.”

According to Natalie Dautovich, a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University who consults for the National Sleep Foundation, the foundation typically recommends room temperatures for sleep of between 60 and 67 degrees. “We know that a cool bedroom is conducive to better sleep,” she said.

The office is another temperature battleground. While the CEO likes it cold, the rest of the staff is forced to dress in layers or to have sweaters at their desk.

In regards to productivity in the office, Fast Company magazine reported that cold employees were uncomfortable and distracted. Research conducted by Cornell University said that "when temperatures were low (68 degrees), employees committed 44 percent more errors and were less than half as productive as when temperatures were warm (77 degrees)."

Fast Company said, "when our body’s temperature drops, we expend energy keeping ourselves warm, making less energy available for concentration, inspiration, and insight."

The bottom line is you need a balmy office to be productive during the day and you need a cool bedroom for a good night’s sleep.

Reviewed July 7, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Reddy, Sumathi. "The Best Temperature for a Good Night's Sleep." WSJ. Web. 07 July 2016.

Friedman, Ron. "Want More Productive Workers? Adjust Your Thermostat." Fast Company. Web. 07 July 2016.

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July 12, 2016 - 11:21am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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