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Manipulating Bedroom and Sleeping Temperature

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Let’s talk about one quick and easy way to help you sleep better at night.

Note: This article is based on material in our audio course Better Sleep – it’s about how to get a better night of sleep, every night. You can find out more about it by clicking here.

One of the more common (and innocuous) way that we don’t get a good night of rest is when we wake up either sweating or shivering throughout the night. This is because our bedroom temperature is often not ideal for sleep.

As a general rule, your bedroom should be between 18-21 degrees Celsius (64-70 Fahrenheit) while you sleep. You’ll need to experiment a bit to see what is “just right” for you, but if in doubt, lean towards the side of cooler rather than warmer. Also keep in mind that the climate of your city/location and the seasons will change your ambient bedroom temperature quite a bit.

Let’s look at the different ways you can manipulate the temperature of your bedroom:

  • Clothing.
  • Air conditioning and heating.
  • Bedding.
  • Partner.


By far the easiest and least expensive way to manipulate your bedroom temperature is by adding or removing layers of clothing. Technically it isn’t manipulating the room’s temperature per-se, but it will change your experience of how hot and cold it is while you sleep.

This should be simple. If it’s too warm – wear thinner clothing or remove clothing. If it’s cold, wear thicker or more layers of clothing (including thermals, gloves, or double layers of socks if it’s really cold).

Socks are an item that get an inordinate amount of attention because they’re the one thing that seem to make everyone sleep better – set the room temperature to cooler via air conditioning/heating, and wear socks.

Air Conditioning and Heating

If you’re fortunate enough to have an air conditioning or heating system with a thermostat or temperature control, simply set the temperature you want and leave the other settings on auto and then go to sleep.

Tip: If your system blows air, don’t let it blow directly on your face or feet, but into the room.

If your air conditioning/heating doesn’t have automated temperature controls, then you’ll have to test different settings over a period of 3-4 nights and see how it goes. Remember: the aim is to not wake up sweating or shivering throughout the night (that means it was too hot or too cold). Over a couple of days, you should be able to find a setting that is just right for the current season.

If you happen to live in a location that has a good, consistent climate and the ability to open the window for fresh air, you may be tempted to leave the bedroom window open at night. But the last thing you want to happen is for the temperature to rapidly drop and for your bedroom to get suddenly cold while you are sleeping. An easy compromise for this is to open the window 3-4 hours before you want to go to sleep, and then close it just before. This way you retain the “fresh, natural breeze” effect and the lowered room temperature for most of the time you are asleep.

Bonus Tip: If your air conditioning system has a timer function, set it to turn off about 45 minutes before you plan to wake up. As the room temperature rises, you’ll naturally wake up as your sleep cycle ends – this means no grogginess in the morning!


Like clothing, bedding and sheets is a quick and easy way to change how hot/cold it feels at night.

Most people use a combination of a top sheet and a quilt/comforter/blanket when they sleep. Keep in that for most people, just a top sheet won’t be enough to stay warm, and that the filling in the comforter/quilt/blanket makes a large difference to how hot/cold it feels when you sleep. As a general rule, unless you live in a very cold country (you know who you are!), then go for a “summer quilt” rather than a heavy quilt.


People generate ambient body heat so if you’re sleeping with a partner/spouse, be sure to lower the ambient room temperature a little bit more to account for this.

In Closing

Manipulating your bedroom temperature is something that you can do tonight to get a better night of rest.

P.S. If you liked this post, you may like our audio course Better Sleep – it’s about how to get a better night of rest and to wake up refreshed every morning. Check it out here!

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1 Comment

Posted by Jeffrey James  | February 13, 2013 at 11:31PM | Reply

I like the idea about setting a timer to turn off the A/C before you wake up in the morning. I’ll have to try that, thanks for the tip!

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