While in the colder months, you’re probably more likely to turn up your thermostat before climbing into bed for a hopefully cozy night sleep, you could be sabotaging your health by doing so. Science says that sleeping in a cold room is actually one of the keys to good health.
We’re not talking freezing, of course… No one would suggest that you should be so cold in bed that you’re shivering and unable to sleep. In reality, the suggestion by Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine medical director Dr. Christopher Winter (nice name!) is that your room should be somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit overnight.
Any higher or lower and your sleep quality suffers. When it’s too cold, you’re so distracted by trying to get warm that you won’t be able to sleep. When it’s warm, you might be able to fall asleep but chances are you’ll be too hot to actually stay asleep restfully and will probably do a lot of tossing and turning. Between 60 and 67 F is the sweet spot for good sleep.
So how does it work? Basically, our bodies have a natural temperature cycle and we find it easier to fall asleep as our body temperature falls. Ergo, a cooler room will help lower our body temperatures and therefore encourage us to get to sleep faster. In fact, research out of the University of South Australia has found that those whose body temperatures are out of wack tend to suffer from insomnia disorders, so this is the real deal.
There are other benefits too. Not only can sleeping in a cooler room keep you from looking older since it prevents your body from releasing melatonin, but it could also possibly help you lose weight by decreasing stress hormones and upping certain growth hormones. Sleeping in a cold room can even help decrease your risks of developing Type II diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Bottom line? Turn down the temps. Get out your big blankets and put on your warm jammies, but keep the air temperatures cool. Your health will thank you!
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