Do you know the ideal temperature for sleeping? Research suggests that sleeping at colder temperatures is better for your health than sleeping in a hot room. Although this sounds counterintuitive, there are multiple studies that back the habit of sleeping in a cold room. Read on to find out why you may want to turn on your air conditioner tonight.
Cold bedrooms may reduce insomnia
The temperature of your bedroom at night may help to prevent insomnia. A study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2011 found that when individuals with self-reported insomnia slept with cooling caps on their heads, they reported better sleep than a group who took medication to promote better rest. The individuals who had cooling caps reported less wakefulness, better rest and less daytime sleepiness than both the medicated group and the control group, suggesting that a cooler temperature can significantly reduce insomnia. If you are a restless sleeper, try cooling down your nighttime air.
Cold bedrooms can reduce diabetes risk
In a surprising twist, one study suggests that a cooler sleeping temperature can reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The study, conducted by the National Institutes of Health in 2014, was small, containing just five male volunteers, but the findings were significant.
The men slept in climate-controlled chambers for four months. During the first month, the bedroom temperature was set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The next month, the temperature was dropped to 66 degrees. In the third month, the researchers raised the temperature back to 75 degrees, and in the final month they raised the temperature to 81 degrees.
The researchers wanted to test if bedroom temperature could affect brown fat levels, blood sugar and insulin levels, which have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. When sleeping in the cold, the men had the highest levels of brown fat (which is considered a healthier form of fat), reduced insulin resistance and improved blood sugar levels. The researchers stated, “… just by sleeping in a colder room, they gained metabolic advantages.”
Find your ideal sleeping temperature
According to numerous studies, the ideal sleeping temperature is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is aligned with the natural rise and fall in body temperature that humans experience. When you get sleepy, your body temperature drops; it reaches its lowest level at about 5 a.m. and gradually increases from there. If you do not have the opportunity to lower your temperature to ideal levels, you’ll likely feel restless during the night.
What temperature you personally need to set for a good night’s sleep may vary from the norm, and will be dependent on several factors, such as the efficiency of your air conditioning system, the bedding that you use, and if you sleep with a partner. Thick bedding and a sleeping partner will increase your sleeping temperature dramatically. Sleep experts recommend sleeping with a thin blanket or sheet only and staying just warm enough to avoid shivering, which will be triggered at different temperatures for different people.
If you think you won’t be comfortable in a cool room, try gradually lowering the temperature of the room where you sleep. If you can’t stand the thought of extra cooling bills, try exchanging your normal layers of blankets with a thinner blanket or sheet only. Just by removing extra blankets, you’ll feel significantly cooler and experience the health benefits that sleeping in the cold provides.
—The Alternative Daily