Sleep specialist: Lower your thermostat at bedtime

Dr. Krishna Mettu said a temperature range between 60 and 74 degrees is ideal for sleep. FILE.

March is Sleep Health Month, and doctors say creating the right bedroom environment can improve your sleep.

KRCG 13 spoke with SSM Health Sleep Medicine Specialist Dr. Krishna Mettu about the benefits of “cooling down" for sleep.

Dr. Mettu said 65 degrees is the very best bedroom temperature for sleep. "While 65 degrees is the best, there is an acceptable range of sleep temperatures outside of that," he said. "Somewhere between 60 to 74 degrees in heat should be okay for sleeping for most people, but it can vary from individual to individual."

While personal preferences might fluctuate within that range, Dr. Mettu cautioned against making the bedroom much cooler or warmer. "A temperature above 74 or under 54 degrees can disrupt the sleep," he said.

He said there's a biological reason that 60 to 74 degrees is the best place to keep your bedroom thermostat: "Approximately one to one-and-a-half hour prior to bedtime, our internal core body temperature drops by .5 degrees centigrade. That correlates with the initiation of the sleep," he said.

He suggested turning down your thermostat slightly if you experience occasional insomnia.

"Having the room temperature a little bit cold it makes it easier to fall asleep," he said. "If it's too warm or hot, or above acceptable range, it can stop you from falling asleep properly."

For those who still find themselves tossing and turning at bedtime Dr. Mettu suggested taking a cold bath. "At least 10 or 15 minutes before bed time, run some slightly cool water and take a bath," he said. "That helps to drop the temperature in your body and then helps you fall asleep."

Dr. Mettu said there's nothing wrong with a warm glass of milk or caffeine-free tea before bed -- but for the quickest route to sound sleep, keep your bedroom environment just a little on the chilly side.

Tune in to KRCG 13 next Friday at 5 p.m. for our next Family First segment. We'll talk with a pediatrician about how much sleep is enough, depending on your child's age.

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