Cooler Sleeping Temperatures Can Boost Health

Did You Know… that people who sleep in cold rooms are healthier?

Most people don’t realize that cooler sleeping temperatures can have a significant impact on your health.  According to Dr. Chris Winter (who writes for Huffington Post), 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit encourages optimal sleep.

Research also shows that cooler sleeping temperatures enhance your metabolism.  As reported recently in the New York Times, “Cooler bedrooms could subtly transform a person’s stores of brown fat—what has lately come to be thought of as ‘good fat’—and consequently alter energy expenditure and metabolic health, even into daylight hours.”

What is Brown Fat?

Brown fat, unlike the white fat we want less of, is metabolically active.  Research with mice has demonstrated that brown fat removes sugar from the bloodstream, thus contributing to burning calories and maintaining core temperature.

Lower Your Odds of Metabolic Disease 

A study published in the journal Diabetes showed that cooler sleeping temperatures cuts your risk of certain metabolic disorders, including diabetes.

For the study, healthy young male volunteers slept in climate-controlled chambers at the National Institutes of Health for four months.  Their meals were also provided in order to keep their caloric intake consistent.

  • For the first month, the chamber was kept at 75 degrees (which the researchers considered a neutral temperature).
  • The second month, the chambers were kept at 66 degrees (a temperature the researchers expected might stimulate brown-fat activity)
  • The third month, the bedrooms were reset to 75 degrees
  • The fourth month, the temperature was raised to 81 degrees

     All through the experiment, the men’s blood-sugar and insulin levels were checked, their caloric expenditures were tracked, and their brown fat was measured at the end of each month.

It turns out that sleeping at 66 degrees produced significant advantages:

 The “brown fat” of test subjects almost doubled
 The men burned more calories throughout their day
 Their insulin sensitivity improved

Sleep Cold and Look Younger 

Researchers also say that sleeping at temperatures warmer than 70 degrees prevents your body from cooling naturally and thus impedes the release of melatonin.

Melatonin is an all-important anti-aging hormone that your body releases at night, triggered by total darkness.  Melatonin, in turn, causes your body’s temperature to drop.  That drop causes your body to release human growth hormone, yet another critical anti-aging hormone.

Both of these hormones work in tandem to keep you looking and feeling much younger!

Fall Asleep More Easily 

Sleeping conditions that are too hot (or excessively cold) make it difficult for your body to moderate its internal thermostat.  As a result, you’ll feel more restless and have more difficulty attaining slumber.  Furthermore, you’ll be less likely to reach deep sleep, which is essential to vibrant health.

Ultimately, experts say you can improve your metabolic health and therefore your overall health simply by turning down the bedroom thermostat a few degrees.