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By Julia Haimovich, Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

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Role of Temperature in Sleep Quality: Scientific Evidence.

Temperature undeniably plays a significant role in regulating sleep quality, and
scientific research thoroughly analyses this relationship, providing valuable evidence.
One of the most well-known hormones associated with the sleep-wake cycle is
melatonin. Its release is stimulated by the decrease in body temperature in the
evening, signalling the body about the onset of sleep time. 1

A study conducted by the University of Kent confirmed that the optimal temperature
for sleep usually falls within the range of 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees
Celsius), which promotes the natural release of melatonin. 2

In addition to melatonin, other neurotransmitters such as serotonin and
norepinephrine also plays an important role in regulating sleep and wakefulness. A
a study conducted at Yale University found that a moderate lowering in temperature
contributes to reducing the activity of these neurotransmitters, which, in turn, leads to
deeper and higher quality sleep. 3

Further research also confirms the influence of temperature on sleep quality. Even
small changes in room temperature can significantly affect a person’s sleep structure
and duration. Optimal sleep temperature balances thermoregulation and hormone release, keeping the body ready for rest. 4

Moreover, prolonged examination of the temperature regime in the sleeping
environment has shown that consistency and stability of temperature also play a
significant role. Temperature changes can cause awakenings and disrupt the normal
sleep cycle. Thus, temperature regulation becomes necessary to ensure
quality sleep and support overall health. 4

Based on this, optimising temperature conditions in the sleeping environment
becomes crucial in ensuring quality sleep. According to scientific research,
the comfortable sleep temperature falls within the range of 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit
(15-19 degrees Celsius). To achieve the best conditions, thermoregulated mattresses, pillows, and adjustable thermostats can be used.

Research also shows that meal timing influences sleep quality. Consuming a large meal 2-3 hours before sleep is optimal for the body to digest and avoid discomfort. However, it has also been proven that a small snack less than an
hour before bedtime can improve sleep duration and wakefulness the next day. 5
Some products contain substances that contribute to better sleep. For example,
foods rich in tryptophan, such as milk, cottage cheese, figs, meat, and nuts, can
promote melatonin synthesis and improve sleep quality. Adding complex
carbohydrates helps to absorb this neurotransmitter faster. Foods rich in complex
carbohydrates include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Research confirms that tryptophan-rich foods can improve sleep quality
in people with insomnia. 6

In conclusion, optimising temperature conditions in the sleeping environment and
proper meal timing plays an important role in ensuring quality sleep and overall well-
being. It is important to remember that consuming tryptophan-rich foods 1-3 hours
before sleep, combined with a comfortable temperature and a peaceful atmosphere
in the bedroom can significantly improve sleep quality and contribute to better rest.


  1. Okamoto-Mizuno, K., & Mizuno, K. (2012). Effects of thermal environment on sleep
    and circadian rhythm. Journal of physiological anthropology, 31(1), 14.
  2. Obradovich, N., Migliorini, R., Mednick, S. C., & Fowler, J. H. (2017). Nighttime
    temperature and human sleep loss in a changing climate. Science advances, 3(5),e1601555.https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1601555
  3. Kräuchi, K., & Wirz-Justice, A. (2001). Circadian clues to sleep onset mechanisms.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of
    Neuropsychopharmacology, 25(5 Suppl), S92–S96. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0893- 133X(01)00315
  4. Kim, T. W., Jeong, J. H., & Hong, S. C. (2015). The impact of sleep and circadian
    disturbance on hormones and metabolism. International journal of endocrinology, 2015,
  5. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/
  6. Iao, S. I., Jansen, E., Shedden, K., O’Brien, L. M., Chervin, R. D., Knutson, K. L., &
    Dunietz, G. L. (2021). Associations between bedtime eating or drinking, sleep duration
    and wake after sleep onset: findings from the American time use survey. The British
    journal of nutrition, 127(12), 1–10. Advance online publication.
  7. Sejbuk, M., Mirończuk-Chodakowska, I., & Witkowska, A. M. (2022). Sleep Quality: A
    Narrative Review on Nutrition, Stimulants, and Physical Activity as Important Factors.
    Nutrients, 14(9), 1912.
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