Each year, temperatures continue to rise by a few degrees to the point that one record summer follows the next. As leaving the window open while we sleep doesn’t provide the relief it once did, night time becomes a struggle to fall asleep while feeling hot and sweaty.
Since a healthy sleeping environment plays a critical role in our sleep quality, many people nowadays play around with the idea of getting an air conditioner for their bedroom. In this blog article, we’ll show you the advantages and disadvantages of having an air conditioner in your bedroom and give you useful tips and tricks on what to look out for when using your air conditioner at night.
What role does your bedroom’s sleeping environment play in your sleep quality?
A comfortable sleeping environment in the bedroom is particularly important for restful sleep. So, what’s the optimal bedroom temperature for sleep? Our grandparents’ generation often said that a colder temperature in the bedroom was good for the immune system, but this is believed to be a myth nowadays. Ideally, your bedroom temperature should never fall below 12 degrees.
Excessively low temperatures can cause our muscles to tense up and even become painful. Furthermore, nighttime temperatures below 12 degrees force our body to work harder to maintain a steady temperature of 36 degrees. This does not strengthen our immune system in any way; in fact, it leaves us even more susceptible to illness.
However, too warm a bedroom can have just as negative an effect on our sleep. In the evening, our body temperature starts to gradually fall as part of the process by which sleep is induced. In a bedroom that is too warm, the body has trouble slowing down processes like the pulse and heartbeat and we take longer to fall asleep.
What temperature is best at night?
A temperature of 15 to 20 degrees is conducive to deep and restful sleep. Of course, there are individual factors that influence our optimal sleeping environment, such as our age. Other health aspects, such as unhealthy blood pressure levels, can also negatively impact our sleep.
Inadequate bedroom ventilation also plays a role. The presence of too little oxygen in the air, for example, leads the body to breathe faster, which can interrupt our sleep.
The advantages of having an air conditioner in the bedroom
The main purpose of an air conditioner is, of course, to cool the bedroom to a comfortable temperature, so that we can sleep without feeling hot and sweaty. Modern air conditioners can not only cool your bedroom, but also heat it, filter the air in the room and regulate its humidity level. The filter can not only make the air more humid or dry, but can also reduce the presence of allergy-causing substances such as pollen and dust.
As stated above, it’s generally easier to fall asleep at night in a bedroom at or below 20 degrees Celsius. This kind of environment not only makes it easier for us to fall asleep, but also to sleep through the night. The body of the average person releases around half a litre of sweat per night, which of course increases in a warmer temperature.
The disadvantages of having an air conditioner in the bedroom
Air conditioners that don’t regulate your bedroom’s humidity level can dry the air in your bedroom out while cooling it down. This dry air can in turn cause our mucous membranes to dry out throughout the night, thereby increasing our risk of catching a cold. The mucous membranes in the mouth and nose act as the body’s protective layer and prevent pathogens from entering it. If this protective layer is damaged or no longer present, colds, sore throats and inflamed eyes can follow.
Cost is the second disadvantage of having an air conditioner in the bedroom. This applies not only to the appliance’s purchase price, but also to its operation and maintenance. Mobile units start at around 200 euros, while permanently installed units are much more costly and must be fitted and installed by a professional. In addition, air conditioners consume a great deal of electricity and usually require a long running time to bring large rooms to the desired temperature.
Where to put the air conditioner in your bedroom
If you’ve installed an air conditioner in your bedroom, don’t blow the air directly at your body, as this is likely to leave you feeling cold and cause your muscles to tense up. Many air conditioners allow you to adjust the draft, which should ideally be directed upwards towards the ceiling.
Permanently-installed air conditioners should not be placed too close to the bed for this reason.
Tips for a healthy bedroom environment
When looking for an air conditioner, make sure that it doesn’t make too much noise. Quiet systems often come with the label 'whisper quiet'. An excessively noisy machine not only impacts your sleep negatively, but can also irritate your neighbors.
Set the temperature
Although it may seem tempting at first, the air conditioner should not be set too cold. Ideally, the difference between the temperature outside and inside should never be more than 5 degrees. This is not only bad for your health, but also for your electric bill.
For health reasons, it is best to turn on the air conditioner an hour before you go to bed, as it needs a certain lead time to cool the room. So it doesn't run all night, you can also opt for an air conditioner with a built-in timer.
Air conditioner maintenance
Last but not least, you should have your air conditioner serviced regularly. Dirt, mold and bacteria can accumulate in the air conditioner over time, which is why it should be professionally cleaned.
Choose the right bedding for the optimal sleeping environment
While an air conditioner can help create the right conditions for sleep, often a change of bed linen also helps. Which duvet is right for me? With this question, you should think about whether you tend to feel too warm or too cold at night. Thick down comforters will keep you nice and warm in the winter, while thinner comforters made from cotton or wool are better choices for the summer.
In general, natural fabrics are the best options for comforters and bedding, because they are very good moisture absorbers and release heat to the outside thanks to their breathability.
Products from Zizzz for a better sleeping environment
At Zizzz, we do our best to provide you with the best materials for your bedding. That is why we only offer bedding made from GOTS-certified organic cotton.
Due to its breathability and moisture absorption, organic cotton is perfect for hot summer nights. We offer our pillowcases and fitted sheets in the same colors to match our duvet covers, of course. Our bedding has one color on the top and another on the bottom, so you can flip them over to give your bedroom a whole new look!