An exploration of sleep and insomnia, with a single destination in mind:
a good night's sleep.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Some Like it Hot: What To Do If You and Your Partner Like Different Sleeping Temperatures

By Bill Adler

It would be great if there was a perfect target temperature for sleeping. If all we had to do is dial our thermostats down to 67 degrees and, like magic, we’d be whisked away into a perfect dream state.

But despite what you may have read about there being one ideal temperature for sleeping, the best temperature for sleeping varies by individual. Citing of H. Craig Heller, PhD, professor of biology at Stanford University and Ralph Downey III, PhD, chief of sleep medicine at Loma Linda University, WebMD puts the question of what’s the best temperature for sleeping to rest:
Recommending a specific range is difficult, Downey and Heller say, because what is comfortable for one person isn’t for another. While a typical recommendation is to keep the room between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, Heller advises setting the temperature at a comfortable level, whatever that means to the sleeper.
A directional IDEA Mini-Elefan may help one
person stay cool, while the other stays warm.
But here’s the problem, one that you’ve probably already encountered if you’re married, have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or live in a college dorm room with a roommate: You and your co-sleeper aren’t going to share the same temperature likes. You like it cold, but your partner likes it hot, or vice versa.

What do you do about that? Sleeping temperature really makes a difference. If you’re cold loving creature and the room is too warm, you’re going to have nightmares about being in a desert where the sun has been replaced by those infra red lamps that restaurants use to keep food hot. If the mere thought of winter makes you cry, then a room in which the air conditioner is never off might as well be Siberia.

If you set the temperature to 80 or to 60 that means that one person is going to get a good night’s sleep, while the other person is going wake up feeling miserable, after a night of tossing and turning from shivering or sweating.

Now what?

Does one side of your bed get a north wind from the air conditioner, or can you direct the airflow toward the side of the bed where the Alaskan lays? Give that a try. If one side of the bed is cooler than the other, that’s where the one who likes cooler sleeping weather should be, not matter whose official side of the bed it is.

If that doesn’t work, a direction controlling and quiet fan, such as the Dyson Air Multiplier can save your marriage or relationship. The IDEA Mini-Elefan is another option for highly directional cooling control.

What you’re trying to do is make one side of the bed cooler. Sometimes it can be done, and it’s worth trying as a first resort.

Alternatively, you can make one side of the bed warmer. That’s where a dual control electric blanket comes in handy. An electric blanket isn’t just for winter; it’s for summer, too, if your sleeping companion likes to use the air conditioner to simulate Norway in winter.

Cold lovers might think about sleeping with their feet sticking out from under the blanket. While it’s common to want to sleep under a blanket or sheet, no matter how hot it is in the room, keeping your feet out can make you feel cooler and that might be just enough to do the trick.

Gift your partner some very thick, very warm socks and a fleece night sleeping cap. They may warm him or her up enough to let them make it through the night. And they’re cute, too.

Talk about this problem. Talk about it in a serious, constructive, goal-driven fashion. Sleep is important; so is your relationship. Sleeping temperature differences aren’t about finding a compromise: If one of you likes to sleep when it’s 80 degrees and the other enjoys 60 degrees, splitting the difference and setting the thermostat to 70 may make both of you miserable and sleepless. You need to—and can—find a way to achieve both of your best sleeping temperatures.

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