Do you look forward to bedtime? To your cozy bed and warm covers? Most people would answer yes to this. Although we may look forward to sleep, most of us don’t get nearly enough sleep each night. Sleep is as essential to well-being as eating healthy and exercising.
While there are many reasons why we often don’t get enough sleep, one thing you may not have put much thought into is the temperature of your bedroom. Believe it or not, it is best to sleep in a cool room. According to Dr. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, the optimal temperature for a good night’s sleep should be between 60 and 67 degrees F. If the temperature rises above 75 degrees or below 54 degrees it can cause a great disruption in sleep patterns.
Here are five reasons why you should be sleeping in a cool room:
- Fall asleep faster: A cool room will help you fall asleep more comfortably and faster. If your room is too hot or too cold, your body will waste energy trying to regulate. This will keep you tossing and turning.
- Look your best: Sleeping in a cool room helps the body release melatonin – an essential anti-aging hormone.
- Stay thin: Believe it or not, sleeping in a cool room can help you get stubborn fat at bay. In a 4-month study, it was found that sleeping in a 66 degree room helped you burn more calories while you were awake by activating the brown fat, also known as good fat, in the body. The more brown fat you have, the more calories you burn. This helps reduce the risk of metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
- Stay asleep: Do you toss and turn at night? Research shows that if you fall asleep in a cooler room you are more apt to stay asleep.
- Wake up refreshed: When you fall asleep in a cool room you are likely to wake up refreshed and energized. A room that is too hot will leave you groggy and make it more difficult to get up.
Five ways to keep your room cool at night:
- Use a floor fan to circulate air. The best fans are the ones that rotate.
- Ceiling fans work great to keep a room cool. Install one directly above your bed for best results.
- Keep your window open a crack, even during the winter.
- Keep your blinds closed during the day, especially if your windows face south.
- Replace carpet in your bedroom with hardwood or tile. These types of floor coverings allow for good air circulation. Carpets, on the other hand, trap heat and get in the way of circulation.
Other tips for keeping cool:
- Put your top sheet in a bag and freeze it. Put it on right before you go to bed.
- Keep your feet out of the covers.
- Sleep naked – the fewer clothes you have the less insulation and the cooler you will be.
- Soak your top sheet in cold water and ring it out really well. While it dries, it will draw out heat.
- Keep some ice water close to your bedside. If you wake up and feel warm take a sip.
- Use organic cotton sheets. Synthetic or polyester sheets don’t allow your skin to breathe.
- Paint your room in calming colors. Whites, blues, and greens are soothing and promote relaxation. Reds and orange colors can excite and should be avoided in the bedroom.