After a long day at your desk job and packing in a good workout, falling into bed in a toasty room sounds pretty appealing. But have you considered the health benefits of sleeping in a cold room?
That’s right, sleeping in a cold room can improve multiple aspects of your health—as well as help you save on electricity this winter. You personally don’t have to be cold, just the room you are sleeping in, so don’t worry that you have to give up any blankets. Below are the top five reasons why you should try sleeping in a cold room.
Increase Your Sleep Quality
It may seem counterintuitive, but sleeping in a cold room can increase the quality of your sleep, rather than detract from it. Your body cools down naturally when you slip into a deeper sleep, but if you sleep in a warm room, it can wake you up before you reach REM sleep.
This occurs because your body will naturally become warmer as you wake up. So, sleeping in a warm room can make you wake up sooner than you should. Being unable to reach this deeper level of sleep can leave you feeling irritable and poorly-rested, as you need to achieve this deeper state of rest to be fully restored.
Improve Your Metabolism
There are different types of fat found in the human body. These types of fat are generally identified by different colors. For instance, white fat is the less desirable fat and is often associated with diseases like type 2 diabetes. But when you sleep cold, your body will naturally develop more brown fat.
While white fat is used to store excess energy, brown fat uses energy to help you thermoregulate. When you sleep in a cold room—between 60-68 °F—you can encourage your body to create more brown fat. As this type of fat will burn to keep you warm, you can boost your metabolism naturally, as your body becomes accustomed to burning more fat to provide you with warmth.
Reduces Risk Of Certain Diseases
Also, the brown fat produced as you sleep in a cold room can do more than just boost your metabolism. By encouraging your body to create the more metabolically useful brown fat, you can avoid the risk of other diseases.
Like I mentioned above, white fat is associated with a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, and having brown fat can help reduce your risk factors. But early stages of research has also shown that having more brown fat can be effective in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
So far, these studies were conducted on animals. Nonetheless, researchers are hopeful that producing brown fat can help protect people from the rising dangers of obesity.
Boost Melatonin Levels
It seems like whenever you mention that you have had trouble sleeping, someone inevitably suggests you take a melatonin supplement. But, rather than taking a supplement—and potentially becoming dependent on it to help you sleep—scientists have found that your thermal environment can affect your circadian rhythm and help you naturally produce more melatonin.
Your body naturally starts to produce more melatonin as you cool down, which is why you may become sleepier earlier in the day during the winter. So, if you have been struggling to sleep at night, it may be because your room is too warm. By lowering the ambient temperature—even if you are bundled under the covers—you can encourage your body to produce more melatonin to take you off to dreamland.
Reduce Your Stress
As sleeping in a cold room improves your quality of sleep, it also has the effect of reducing your stress levels. When an individual isn’t able to slip into the deeper, more restful sleep state, their body is not able to work to alleviate the day’s stressors. It is during your deepest sleep state that your brain sorts through your day, categorizing and decluttering your mind. And by sleeping in a cold room, you allow yourself more time for this vital process.
Also, as your melatonin production is improved by sleep, so is your serotonin production. Known as the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin is the precursor to melatonin. So, by simply sleeping in a cold room at night, you can enjoy greater stress relief as your serotonin and melatonin levels balance out.
With all the health benefits of sleeping in a cold room, you may want to try it for at least a few weeks this winter. It may be just what you need to get through this holiday season a little healthier and happier.