The Link Between Temperature & Sleep

If you’ve ever suffered through a heat wave with no air conditioning or a cold January while your heating system was on the fritz, you know how extreme temperatures can make getting a restful night’s sleep nearly impossible. But the truth is, we don’t need to go to extremes – even a small fluctuation can ruin bedtime. According to the Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for sleeping soundly is approximately 65 degrees F, give or take a couple degrees. If you have an infant at home, adjust the temperature to around 68 degrees F. Their smaller bodies are more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. The goal is not to be cold and shivering but rather to lower your body’s core temperature which aids in falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer.

Follow these simple tips and start getting the sleep you’ve been dreaming of.

Keep Cool and Comfortable

The ideal nighttime temperature in your bedroom should hover around the mid-60s, though this may take some trial and error. Play around with the thermostat to get the temp just right or supplement with a fan or space heater.

Take a Shower or Bath

A couple hours before you normally fall asleep, enjoy a relaxing shower or bath. The warm water will raise the temperature of your skin, causing your core to shed heat and cool you down.

Don’t Get Cold Feet

If your feet get cold at night, wear socks to bed. Your feet contain many blood vessels which affect the temperature of the rest of your body.  Wearing socks made of breathable materials like cotton or wool will warm your skin and bring blood flow and heat to its surface. The heat dissipates into the air and cools your core.

Add Layers

Keep an extra sheet, blanket, or comforter on or near your bed so you can adjust your bedding accordingly should you feel too hot or too cold. Choose natural, breathable fibers like cotton or linen.

Rethink Your HVAC System

If you haven’t yet, install a smart thermostat that can automatically cool things down for you during the night based on your preferences. Place your main living area on one zone and bedrooms on another so you’re not paying to keep or cool the entire house.  Or if your home’s layout or existing HVAC system isn’t getting the job done, consider installing a ductless mini-split in your primary bedroom for the ultimate in fine-tuned, sleep promoting comfort.

At Relief Heating and Cooling, we can help you and everyone in your home sleep better night after night. From annual preventive maintenance and heating or air conditioning repair, to new system installation, our team of home comfort specialists is ready to get to work for you.

6 Tips to Transform Your Empty Nest

Through the years, our lives, needs, and circumstances change. And so does what we want to get out of our homes. You may have purchased your home while your children were little, or maybe before you had children. But now, the kids are grown and on their own, and your home is an empty nest. And the home you needed when they were growing up no longer fits this next season of your life.

If you’re dreaming of making changes to your kid-free home but don’t know where to start, here are 6 tips to get you on your way.

1. Set a budget. Decide what you’re willing and able to spend, remembering to include a contingency fund for all those little surprises that are bound to pop up. If a major remodel is in your future, get a few quotes from reputable contractors and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. For example, are permits included? Do they bring in a team of electricians, tile installers, and HVAC technicians or do you have to hire your own?

2. Fix problems first. If there are underlying problems with your home, like old, drafty windows, an aging, energy-hogging heating or cooling system, or an unsafe, rotting deck, tackle them first. They may not be as fun as say getting the kitchen of your dreams, but they’ll make your home a safer, more comfortable place to live.

3. Futureproof your home. You might be able to move about your home with ease now, but what about in 15 – 20 years ? Consider projects that make your home more accessible for those of all ages. If you’re planning a bathroom renovation, consider installing a walk-in shower. Finishing the basement? Add a half bath to eliminate the need to run up and down the stairs when nature calls. And swap doorknobs for handles which are easier for arthritic hands to use.

4. Rethink your space. Whether you’re undergoing a full remodel or simply putting a now-empty bedroom to good use, don’t be afraid to rethink how you’ll use your space. Consider combining an adjoining bedroom with your master bedroom to make a luxurious en-suite. Or maybe you know longer need that mudroom with cubbies but instead could benefit from a large, main level laundry room. No matter how minor or ambitious the renovation, it’s worth rethinking the current layout of your home and how it might be improved.

5. Buy the best you can afford. When selecting new flooring, cabinets, furniture, and appliances, buy the best you can reasonably afford. This is the time to invest in quality materials that will stand the test of time, without fear of scratches from hard plastic toys and stains from sticky fingers.

6. Don’t downsize too much. Have a space where the kids can comfortably stay when they visit and remember that they may eventually be visiting with families of their own. Equip a rec room or spare bedroom with a sleeper sofa, daybed with trundle, or a murphy bed so guests have a place to crash.

If a finished attic, room addition, or a more open main floor are in your plans, will your current HVAC system will keep up? Contact Relief Heating & Cooling for workable ideas on how to maximize any space for the ultimate in indoor comfort now and for years to come.

Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan

There’s no right or wrong way to design a home floor plan. Very persuasive arguments can be made for open or cordoned spaces alike.

With an open floor plan, for example, you’ll enjoy these and other advantages:

  • Interconnected space
  • More natural light
  • More family togetherness
  • Enhanced child safety with more open sight lines
  • With fewer walls, you have more usable space
  • Better suited to entertaining large groups of people
  • More flexibility when it comes time to remodel

Pretty compelling, don’t you think?

But what about those aspects of an open floor plan that aren’t so tantalizing? You should at least consider them before making your final decision.

Higher Construction Costs

Because they lack interior support walls, open concept homes require heavier wood or steel beams.

Less Privacy

It’s hard to escape for some peace and quiet when the entire main living area is within everyone else’s sight line.

A View to a Meal

If you prefer prepping a meal in private to eliminate the distractions and confine the mess, an open kitchen design might not be for you.

Odors Have Nowhere to Stop

No matter how amazing that simmering sauce might smell, you may not want the odor settling into your upholstered furniture and drapery.

Less Efficient Cooking

Open concept kitchens are typically less efficient for cooking. The sprawling design makes the cook take more steps to get from the fridge to the food prep area, and more again from the prep area to the stove, which means that cooking becomes a little more difficult and time-consuming.

Beware of the Kitchen

There’s no escaping clutter while it is easier for parents to keep an eye on their children while cooking in an open concept kitchen, the design also makes kitchen hazards, like scalding-hot water, hot pots and pans, and sharp objects more accessible.

Hard to Get Cozy

Some open floor plan designs can make a house feel less like a home and more like a gymnasium or public room.

“Can You Turn That Down, Please!”

Something must give when one person is trying to unwind with a glass of wine and a good book while another family member is taking a call or helping a child with their homework.

Less Energy Efficient

Large, open spaces generally cost more to heat and cool, especially homes with vaulted or cathedral ceilings. Plus, you can’t split an open area into HVAC zones, so you end up heating and cooling the entire space vs. only those currently occupied.

Since heating and cooling lead the way in home energy costs, Relief Heating & Cooling before deciding on sweeping changes for your new or remodeled home.  We’ll give you workable ideas on how to maximize your space without over-paying for the ultimate in indoor comfort.