Sleep specialist says cooler temperatures improve quality of sleep, help people sleep longer

Having issues sleeping? You may want to turn your thermostat down.

Sleep specialist Dr. Christopher Winter wrote in the Huffington Post that sleep is initiated when one's body temperature begins to decline due to decreased heat production and increased heat loss. So, those with warmer core body temperature may have sleep onset difficulties and could have issues falling asleep quickly. 

He continued on, stating that the temperature one sleeps in is very important as the ability to "shed heat and feel cool can influence how successful an individual will be in terms of falling asleep."

He added that most studies say that a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is best for sleeping, with temperatures above 75 degrees or below 54 degrees being disruptive to sleep. 

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Cooler body temperatures also lead to deeper sleep, Dr. Winter said. Hot environments can increase wakefulness and decrease slow-wave sleep. High humidity can intensify that. Dr. Winter said that sleep quality improves in colder temperatures and that cooler temperatures allow people to sleep longer and feel more awake in the morning.

Dr. Winter recommended products like Sheez, Cool Gelmat, ChillGel, and ChiliPad to create a cooler sleeping environment.