February 7, 2020

Benefits of Sleeping in a Cold Room

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Believe it or not, your body prefers to be cold when you sleep. Getting too hot can interrupt the quality and amount of sleep you receive. Find out the ideal sleep temperature and the benefits of sleeping cold below.

Your body naturally cools down as it prepares for sleep. But a cold room may help speed that process along. With a cooler environment, your body cools down too, which may help sleep occur faster and more naturally.

Sleeping in a room with a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.

Keeping a cool temperature is crucial during your REM sleep, which occurs 90 minutes after you fall asleep. During the REM stage, your body restores itself, which is crucial to good health.

Experts believe REM sleep should consume approximately 20%–25% of your sleep. If you sleep a standard eight hours, that means 1½ to 2 hours should be in REM, which requires cold temperatures.

How cold is too cold to sleep?
Gauging what temperatures are "too cold" will be based on personal preference. But experts agree that any temperature below 54 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold and offers no benefits.

Reasons to Sleep in a Cold Room

Aside from getting enough REM sleep, sleeping in a cold room offers other benefits, such as:

  • Falling Asleep Faster
    If you find it hard to fall asleep at night, your room may be too warm. That means your body can't shut down for the night until its temperature falls at least one or two degrees. Creating a cooler room may speed the process along, allowing you to get more sleep.

  • Possible Weight Loss
    It seems crazy that sleep can help you lose weight, but there's scientific evidence behind it. When your body keeps a cooler temperature at night, it creates more "brown fat," which is what burns calories and keeps blood sugar levels even. A higher level of brown fat may help you lose unwanted weight.

  • Lower Risk of Diabetes
    Sleep loss can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Sleeping in a cooler room helps your body fall (and stay) asleep. This helps your body produce adequate insulin, which regulates your blood sugar and the stress hormone cortisol.

  • Fight the Signs of Aging
    If you worry about fine lines and wrinkles, it's yet another reason to sleep in a cold room. Colder temperatures help boost your body's melatonin levels. Melatonin helps prevent wrinkles by protecting the skin from the sun's damaging rays and by promoting more collagen growth, which also helps stave off wrinkles.

Is It Better to Sleep in a Cold or Warm Room?
Typically, sleeping in a cold room is better since it enhances the amount and type of sleep you get. But if you are sick or have a baby in the house, keeping the temperature higher may keep you and the baby more comfortable. It's harder to regulate your temperature when you are sick and if the room is too cold, you'll likely bundle up. That will raise your body temperature and making it hard to get to sleep.

Ways to Make Your Room Colder

Sleeping in a cold room certainly sounds beneficial, right? But how do you make sure your room is cold enough? Check out the following tips:

  • Open windows at night (not during daytime heat) to allow cool air into the room.

  • Run a fan to circulate the air.

  • Use a box fan facing outside to reduce the warm air in the room.

  • Add a cooling mattress topper, especially one made of gel or gel-infused foam.

  • Buy blackout curtains that help keep the heat out of the room during the day.

  • Keep your curtains or blinds closed during the day, especially in the summer months.

Can a cold house make you sick?
Technically, a home's temperature can't make you sick. You need to catch a germ for that. But common cold germs spread faster and in greater quantity in cold temperatures. If someone at home is sick, you may want to kick the thermometer up until he or she feels better.

Ways to Keep Yourself Cooler

It's not always your bedroom that's too hot for sleep. Even with some of the above steps, you may find yourself overheating because that's how you naturally operate.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to lower your own body temperature at night:

  • Drink a glass of cold water before bed.
  • Sleep with fewer covers or even on cooling sheets.
  • Sleep with your feet sticking out of the covers.
  • Wear light pajamas to bed.

Reasons to Not Sleep in a Cold Room

Sleeping in a cold room can do good things for your health. But a too-cold room can interrupt your sleep.

People who get too cold have a tendency to bundle up. If you find yourself piling on the blankets or wrapping yourself in thick pajamas, you are actually increasing your body temperature. This defeats the purpose of sleeping in a cold room and could leave you with a less than optimal night's sleep.

If you have babies in the house, you may also want to limit how cold your room gets. Babies should sleep in temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit—anything colder could make them fussy.

When babies can't regulate their body temperature, they cry. Since you can't wrap newborns in blankets, it becomes an issue for everyone involved. Keeping a cold room wouldn't do you any good because the baby would keep you up at night instead.

Bottom Line

Sleeping in a cold room has its benefits. But if you can't handle the colder temperature, you may end up losing its benefits. Set your room to a temperature that allows you to sleep comfortably without piling up blankets or heavy pajamas.

If setting the thermometer low makes you too cold, consider using a few of the other tips above to cool your room slightly, without making it too cold.

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