By Sierra Air Conditioning & Heating
During the summer months, it’s sometimes hard to get comfortable and fall asleep. We’re sure it can sometimes be a battle within the family about what temperature to keep the thermostat at, especially during the summer. For all of you who prefer to lower the temperature at night, you can now give scientific proof to your family about why there are health benefits to sleeping in a cooler room.
The summer months actually throw your circadian rhythm for a loop as your body associates the summer heat with activity and wakefulness. Your 24-hour circadian rhythm consists not only of your sleep-wake rhythm but also your 24-hour core body temperature rhythm. When you are awake, your body is naturally warmer than when your body is resting. Your body naturally decreases your core temperature in order to initiate sleep and lowers it even further once asleep, which is why keeping your bedroom cooler at night can help facilitate better sleep. When you become hot at night, your body naturally increases wakefulness, wakes itself up, and disrupts your sleep.
What is the Ideal Tempurature?
Ideally, for the maximum health benefits, it is suggested to keep the temperature between 60 and 68 degrees. These temperatures may seem extreme, especially since we get so used to the heat in the summer, so keep in mind that these are just guidelines and in order to achieve the maximum benefits, the temperature just needs to be a bit cooler than what is comfortable when you are awake. Be careful not to go too extreme with lowering the temperature as staying up due to shivering will be counterproductive.
Benefits of Keeping Your Bedroom Cool at Night
- Fall asleep more quickly: Lowering the temperature in your bedroom reinforces your body’s natural circadian rhythm to lower your core body temperature and induce sleep more easily.
- Improves sleep quality: Your body continues to lower your body temperature as you go through REM cycles. The deeper you sleep, the lower your body temperature gets. Cooler temperatures will help keep you asleep and regulate your REM cycles.
- Improves melatonin levels: Sleeping in a cold room stimulates melatonin production. You have most likely heard of people taking melatonin to help with their sleep. Not only does melatonin help you sleep better, but it also helps fight to age, fights Alzheimer’s, regulates menstrual cycles, enhances your mood, weight loss, fights cancer, and increases brain health.
- Prevents and decreases the risk of diseases: As mentioned above, sleeping in a cold room helps you with weight loss as the melatonin will cause your body to produce and store more beige fat, which helps your body to burn calories rather than white fat cells which store fat. Even small amounts of beige fat can help burn large amounts of calories. The increasing number of beige cells which burn calories also increases insulin sensitivity and promotes glucose disposal. Both of these effects decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Prevents insomnia: Studies have shown that those who suffer from insomnia have a warmer core body temperature before falling asleep. By forcing your core body temperature to lower, you will have a better chance of falling asleep and staying asleep more easily.
- Enhances mood and reduces stress: Good quality sleep improves your mood because you feel more rested and generally better when you wake up than when you are lacking sleep. Not only are your melatonin levels increase when you sleep in a colder room, but so are your serotonin levels. Melatonin is made from serotonin so both levels of these hormones are increasing in your brain, helping you sleep better, feel more rested, and in general happier. Better quality sleep has also been found to reduce stress throughout the day.
How to Keep Your Room Cooler at Night
- Turn down the thermostat
- Gel bed topper
- Use a fan or ceiling fan
- Drink water
- Sleep barefoot
- Use LED lights
- Invest in blackout curtains and keep your blinds closed