Is Your HVAC System Thwarting Your Sleep? It Just Might Be.

Each individual varies in their need for sleep. While there's no official 'sleep number,' experts at the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggest that adults need between seven and nine hours daily. Many often believe that a comfortable mattress is the primary key to great sleep. However, temperature and humidity also play important roles, which we'll explain here.

How Temperature Impacts Sleep

When you are sleeping, the body's natural core temperature lowers by one or two degrees. This is the system's way of telling us that cooler temps are most desirable for optimal sleep. What that temperature is will differ from person to person, as everyone has a personal preference and can better determine this number for themselves. However, the NSP suggests that temperatures between 60-67 degrees could promote better sleep.

How Humidity Can Hinder Sweet Dreams

Unless you're in a sauna or steam room, it's likely that feeling hot and stuffy sounds unappealing—especially when trying to sleep. Sweating under the covers can be attributed to both excessive room temperatures and high humidity. When not controlled, humidity can keep you awake and reduce the amount of time that's spent in slow-wave NREM and REM sleep—where the sweet dreams begin. 

Furthermore, excessive humidity is frequently associated with higher allergen concentrations that can easily trigger adverse sinus reactions that can potentially disrupt sleep. In essence, a dehumidification system can allow one to rest better while easing allergy symptoms. Dehumidifiers can be included in an HVAC system or bought as a standalone unit.

Ways to Optimize Your HVAC and Get More Shuteye

With a solid case supporting the concept that overheated and high-humidity rooms disrupt sleep, let's explore some simple solutions. An excellent and affordable way to ensure cooler temps during bedtime is to invest in a programmable thermostat. Routines can be set that coincide with sleep schedules and your daily routine.

It's essential to keep in mind that heating and cooling systems cycle on and off in response to user-set temperatures. The sound of the startup and shut of cycles can be noisy if owners don't have routine HVAC maintenance from a reliable contractor. These experts can keep your system running smoothly while also minimizing cycle sounds.

If you're not getting restful sleep and think that it might be the result of an HVAC issue or the need for a dehumidification system, call an HVAC contractor. These technicians can also determine the best way to make the home more comfortable 24/7 with a whole-home energy audit. As a bonus, this could help you reduce energy costs throughout the home.