Sleep is a fundamental human need, so there’s no arguing that it is important. However, many factors can lead to sleeplessness – work, diet, environment, stress, etc. In order for us to get a good amount of sleep, we have to address these factors.
The room temperature is the crucial factor that affects how fast, comfortable, and deep we fall asleep. According to sleep.org, the ideal room temperature should be between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything too far from this range can make it difficult for you to sleep or can disrupt it. Keeping the temperature cool works to your advantage because it comes with many great health benefits.
Here are five reasons why you should be sleeping in a cold room:
#1 It helps you fight sleeplessness
Your body temperature plays a role in inducing sleep. There is a mild drop to signal your body it’s time to sleep. If your room temperature is cool, it allows your body to go into sleep mode faster. So, if you are having trouble sleeping, try adjusting the thermostat – it’s a quick fix to sleeplessness.
A cold room also allows you to sleep better because it prevents disruptions. If it’s too cold or too hot, then your body would need to regulate your body temperature.
#2 It triggers the release/production of melatonin
A cold room also triggers the release of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps control your sleep-wake cycle. An increase in melatonin can trigger sleepiness. Our bodies produce them naturally, but there are also sleep aids and jet lag pills that have synthetic melatonin in them. Aside from the room temperature, light also triggers the melatonin production in the body. Your melatonin levels naturally rise during the evening and drop early in the morning.
Melatonin has more benefits than just helping us sleep. It’s an anti-aging agent and is an immune booster, cancer inhibitor, and a mood enhancer. It is also used to treat high blood pressure and migraines.
#3 It can help with weight loss
To understand how the body can lose weight from cold temperatures, you have to know the different kinds of fat. The human body has white fat and brown fat. White fat has many different purposes – it serves as a thermal-insulator and as a cushion for our organs. However, too much of it is unhealthy and increases the risk of diabetes and obesity. Brown fat, on the other hand, is a good type of fat that has a purpose of burning calories to create heat.
It may seem too good to be true to be losing weight while you sleep, but some scientific studies back it up. The research done by the US National Institute of Health in 2014 revealed that the men who slept in the lowest temperature had body changes that allowed them to lose weight. Apparently, brown fat is doubled in the cold, which speeded up the metabolism.
There’s still a lot of research to be done, but overall, cold temperature seems to have a positive effect. Of course, you don’t want it to be too cold because you might not be able to sleep at all. Keep it on the cool side (60-67 degrees Fahrenheit), use thin blankets, or sleep naked.
#4 It lowers the risk for metabolic illnesses
About speedy metabolism, the presence of more brown fat also lowers the chances of diabetes. In the same study mentioned earlier, the cold temperature improved insulin sensitivity. There were also changes in metabolic hormones which suggest that glucose metabolism got better.
Of course, this intervention has to go together with proper diet and exercise. You can’t expect to get great results (same with weight loss) if you continue to live an unhealthy lifestyle. It will help to sleep in a cold room, but you shouldn’t count on it alone.
Related: 6 Home Remedies To Help You Beat Snoring And Sleep Better
#5 It promotes long life
Overall, a cool room promotes long life as a long term effect. How? Well, when you sleep better, you’re more alert, thus more aware of your surroundings. Being alert prevents you from getting into accidents. Being alert also makes you more efficient and more productive during the day, so we don’t have to stress about it at the end of the day. Otherwise, you’re starting a cycle of stress and lack of sleep. So, overall, sleeping in a cold room prevents these things from happening, which in turn improves your quality of life.
Another way it promotes life is when you sleep better, you’re less stressed. Less stress, means less chances of other illnesses like hypertension. Finally, as mentioned earlier, sleeping in the cold aids in weight loss and lowers your chances of diabetes. SO, it promotes good health and long life.
Ways to stay cool while you sleep
Now that you know the benefits of sleeping in a cold room let’s also look at other ways you can stay cool. Not everyone has air conditioning, and even if you had one, it wouldn’t be economical to have the AC on throughout the whole year. Here are some ways you can keep cool for sleeping:
- Prevent heat build up in your bedroom by using the blinds during the day to maintain the sunlight out. If the temperature outside is higher than inside, then keep the windows and door closed. At night, it is cooler, then consider opening the windows to let the cool air in.
- Drink water before going to bed to cool down. However, not too much that you’ll end up waking in the middle of the night to use the toilet (if that’s an issue to you).
- Shower at least an hour before bedtime. This will leave you feeling cool and help you fall asleep faster.
- Have a spray mister on your bedside to cool you down if you wake up from heat.
- Sleep naked! It has many benefits for individual and for married couples. If you’re not comfortable with sleeping naked, then just wear very light clothing. The lesser the clothing, the lesser the insulation. Also, choose a material should wick away moisture or sweat.
- Choose light bedding. Freeze or refrigerate your top sheet and pillows during the day and use it just before you sleep.
- Go for natural latex over memory foam pillows or mattresses. Memory foam tends to retain heat, which might not be comfortable if you don’t have air conditioning. However, there are also newer memory foam pillows and mattresses that have addressed this issue and have added a cold layer for comfort.
- Keep your sheets clean and wash them regularly.
If you sleep in a cold room, then you should give yourself a pat on the back. As you can see, it has many benefits and is overall more ideal than sleeping in a warm room. If you dread the cold, I suggest you suck it up and practice braving it instead. It might take some time to get used to, but the benefits are great. I mean, wouldn’t you want to sleep better, look younger, prevent illnesses, and overall have a better life? Even if you don’t have the means to have the comfort of an air conditioner, you shouldn’t lose hope. There are ways you can still try to keep cool – sleeping naked, cooling your sheets, showering before bedtime, etc. It’s won’t be the same as having a regulated room environmental temperature, but it sure is better than nothing.
We hope you enjoyed this article and that you found it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them using the comment section below.
Author bio: This is Sandra McElroy. My mission is to help BedtimeFriends readers research, & pick mattresses, pillows & various other sleep products that suit their needs, & budget.