Is your temperature while sleeping ruining your sleep patterns? You might not realize it, but sleeping in a cold room not only saves you money on heating, but it also has numerous benefits to health. We take a look at the benefits of sleeping in a cold room and see how doing this affects your body.
Many of us don’t really consider the room temperature at all; we just get into bed and accept that it’s fine, and if it is warm in the bedroom, it just feels comfortable.
However, research carried out by scientists across the globe, including at Harvard Medical School, and the University of South Australia, suggests that sleeping in a cold room is far better for health and well being than sleeping in a warm temperature. So how does it help?
- Sleeping in a cold room improves the quality of your sleep.
Your body temperature drops before you go to sleep as a natural way to conserve energy. Our ancestors did not have the luxury of electric light and heating, and our bodies are still programmed to go to sleep when it gets dark and cold.
If your room is already cold, when you get into bed, you will fall asleep much faster than you would in a heated place. In addition, you are likely to fall into a deep sleep state within minutes, rather than tossing and turning as you drift off. You are more likely to stay asleep throughout the night too.
Most people who have insomnia have warmer core temperatures than those who don’t. And although the temperature change is minimal, only around half a degree Fahrenheit, this small difference can actually cause restless sleep patterns and insomnia.
So if you suffer from insomnia, try snuggling up in bed in a cold dark room, the way that our ancestors did. It should promote a deep natural sleep that leaves you refreshed the next morning.
- Sleeping in a cold room can help you lose weight.
It’s all about your hormones. As you fall asleep and your body temperature goes down, your stress hormone cortisol decreases too. This vital hormone keeps you awake and focused throughout the day, but if it does not switch off sufficiently with sleep, you will probably wake up feeling stressed thanks to your elevated cortisol levels.
Research suggests that high cortisol leads to bad food choices and cravings for sweet sugary snacks the next day. If you find yourself craving donuts in the morning, it is not suitable for general health, and it will add to more weight gain, and won’t help you lose weight.
- Sleeping in a cold room may lower the risk of diabetes.
Scientists have found that sleeping in a cold room increases the body’s metabolism. This not only helps the body burn off fat faster, but it also increases the body’s formation of healthy brown fat and improves insulin function. These benefits could help improve the risk of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
- Sleeping in a cold room raises melatonin levels.
Melatonin is an essential hormone with many functions in the body. It is produced by the pineal gland in the forehead, and its main job is to regulate sleep patterns by reacting to outside stimuli such as light and dark and also temperature. This means that lower room temperature will encourage levels to rise, and this will help you fall asleep. Insomniacs generally have very low melatonin levels, and it is often prescribed as a sleeping aid for insomnia.
Melatonin’s main job is to help sleep, but it is also associated with reducing anxiety, reducing high blood pressure, helping the recovery from jet lag, and even improving skin tone.
- Sleeping in a cold room decreases the risk of fungal infections
Fungal infections such as thrush and athletes foot flourish in warm moist temperatures, so if your room is cold, you are less likely to become overheated in bed. If you are a woman who suffers from thrush, you might find that sleeping naked also helps improve the condition.
So What is the Perfect Temperature for Sleeping?
The perfect room temperature for sleeping should be within the parameters of 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees to 19 degrees Celsius).
If you live in a colder climate, just switching off the heating may be enough to induce healthy sleep. In summer, it may be enough to leave a window open. For people who live in hot climates, switching on the air conditioning will definitely help cool down body temperature while sleeping.
If you don’t have ac, cooling down your room with a fan or leaving the windows open with the curtains or shutters pulled may be enough to improve sleep patterns.
Your body temperature while you are sleeping is essential for health and well being so if you have not tried sleeping in a cold room to improve sleep, this easy trick may be enough to help you.