The real reason you should be sleeping in a cold room
We all have our preferences when it comes to bedroom temperatures. Some of us prefer to sleep in warmer conditions, others need to have room temperatures that aspire to replicate the feel of an arctic tundra. But what if we told you doctors have actually said sleep quality improves when you sleep at a specific temperature range… and that range doesn’t go toward the higher end of the thermostat?
The reason why some people need colder rooms to fall asleep more quickly comes down to how our bodies self-regulate its temperature. Sleep specialist Dr. Christopher Winter explains that sleep usually comes when our bodies start to cool down after a day of activity, which is when we move less, and produce less heat as a result. He says people who struggle to sleep at night may have higher core body temperatures, and cannot cool themselves down as efficiently as others might, making an air conditioner (or a heater) critical for keeping sleeplessness and insomnia at bay (via HuffPost).
There are health benefits to sleeping in a cold room
Dr. Winter explains that most studies agree that a room temperature range of between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit is best for sleeping, while temperatures below 54 and above 75 degrees Fahrenheit disrupts it. When the room is warmer, you’re more likely to be more wakeful, and less inclined to fall into a deep sleep, which is critical if you want to feel refreshed the following day
There are other health-related reasons for wanting to keep your room within the magic 60 to 67 degrees while you are sleeping. Naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner explains for HuffPost that sleeping in rooms with temperatures above 70 degrees can wreak havoc with your body’s ability to release anti-aging hormones, melatonin (which is critical for sleep), as well as growth hormones — which helps your tissues, muscles, and bones heal and regenerate. She also says researchers have discovered that sleep has a positive impact on people that suffer from high blood pressure, because their blood pressures drop by as much as 30 percent, and heart rates lower by as much as 20 percent during sleep.
If you're overeating, a cold room could help
Want to get rid of the spare tire around your midsection? Sleeping in a colder room could be the answer. Turner says missing a good nights sleep means waking up with cortisol levels that are higher than they should be. This in turn triggers your appetite for comfort foods, because more cortisol raises your anxiety levels and makes you really want that extra cookie/muffin/slice of cake. Higher levels also translate into a weaker immune system, higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and hormonal imbalances. Turner also thinks sleeping naked may be the best way to get your good night’s sleep… but that could be down to personal choice.
So while we’re not advising you to throw open the window to let in the cold, this winter could be a good time to save pennies on your heating bill, and hit the reset button on your sleep temperature habits in the process. Because remember, not getting enough sleep can be hazardous to your health.
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