Sleep is a vital component in our overall health, so the lack of the needed rest during the night can seriously negatively impact our well-being. Sleep deficiency is linked to severe short-term and long-term effects on health, and according to the Harvard Medical School:
“In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.”
Yet, most of us have not given much thought to the temperature in our bedroom, but apparently, there is an optimal temperature we should all try to maintain when we need to fall asleep.
According to Dr. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, the temperature in the bedroom should range between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep, as anything below or above this can disrupt sleep.
Namely, it is natural for the body temperature to vary during the day, being highest in the morning, and lowest around 5 am. As the body naturally cools off while sleeping, helping the temperature to lower can stimulate deeper sleep.
Dr. Cameron Van den Heuvel, of the UniSA’s Centre for Sleep Research, explains:
“About one to one and a half hours before falling asleep, the body starts to lose heat from its central core and that brings on increased feelings of tiredness in normal healthy adults. These physiological changes happen well before going to bed and may be occurring before people realize them.”
Sleeping in a cooler room offer several health benefits, since it:
Improves Night’s Sleep
Since the body will not struggle to regulate its temperature, you will fall into deeper, sound sleep.
Helps you Fall Asleep More Quickly
Sleeping in a bedroom with a comfortable temperature will prevent tossing and turning during the night, and help you fall asleep easily.
Lowers the Risk For Certain Metabolic Diseases
Studies have shown that sleeping in a 66-degree room stimulates the fat-burning process, and increases the not “brown fat” (or good fat) amount, and thus decreases the risk for metabolic diseases.
It will stimulate the release of melatonin, which is a powerful anti-aging hormone.
Here are several ways to keep the bedroom cool enough to reap all these benefits:
- Sleep naked to reduce the insulation
- Freeze the top sheet and put it on the bed just before going to sleep
- Freeze a stuffed toy and tuck it between the knees
- Keep a foot or both feet under the covers
- Buy a programmable thermostat and a cooling pillow
- Buy blackout curtains that will prevent the entrance of heat in the bedroom during the day
- To help the air circulation in the room, use a fan
- Make sure you keep the curtains and blinds closed during the entire day, especially in the warmer months, to avoid heat from being trapped inside
- Open a window to help the circulation of air in the room
- Drink plenty of water during the day, as its cooling effect will help you lower the temperature of the body
We all need restful sleep at night, so sleeping in a colder bedroom is something we should all implement in our routine, in order to get the best out of it.