It's a story that's as old as thermostats: A couple that can't agree on how warm the room should be at night. Fortunately, though, research has worked out the ideal sleeping temperature — or at least a pretty small ideal temperature range. So, you know, instead of fighting, you can just let science decide. Or you can try, at any rate.
As a new video from Science of Us explains, you should be sleeping in a cool room, rather than a warm one. That's common knowledge — but it gets trickier when you consider the fact that different people have a different idea of what constitutes "cool." So what is the ideal sleeping temperature? Well, different researchers have arrived at different conclusions, but it seems that you want a room that's somewhere in the range of about 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit — though some think it should be between 65 and 69. But as a general rule, somewhere in the 60s should definitely be good.
Of course, it's still a big enough range that it might not solve your fights over the thermostat, but hey, you do what you can. If it helps, most studies seem to think 65 is probably best, though they acknowledge that doesn't work for everyone.
So why is the temperature so low? After all, 60 degrees is pretty chilly. Well, it turns out that when you're sleeping, your body temperature goes down, and then starts to warm up towards the end of your sleep cycle as a signal to your body to wake up. And so while you sleep, your body is likely more comfortable in a cooler room than the ones you prefer while awake.
In other words, if your partner wants you to sleep at an uncomfortably high temperature, they're messing with your body's rhythm.
On the other hand, though, sleeping at too low a temperature isn't great, either. If your room is too cold or you don't have enough blankets, your body might try to lock in heat by narrowing the blood vessels in your skin — which then increases your core temperature, signaling to your body that it's time to get up.
In other words, if your partner wants you to sleep at an uncomfortably low temperature, they are also messing with your body's rhythm — especially if they also hog the covers.
So when will the thermostat wars end? Probably never. But hey, at least now you have science to help you both explain why the other person's desired settings make you uncomfortable. So maybe that will be enough to coax a compromise.