Settling down to sleep at night, the first thing you do is probably pull up the covers. After all, it’s so nice to snuggle up under your favorite blanket and drift off into dreamland.
And that’s easy to do in the colder weather, when the winter winds howl outside and you’re nice and snug inside. But in the warmer months, you likely fold up the heavier blankets in favor of a lighter sheet. It makes sense when your room’s temperature rises with the temperature outside.
But don’t be so quick to sleep in a warm room. Many people already find it hard to fall asleep in the heat, but studies have shown that sleeping in a cooler environment actually has a number of unexpected health benefits. And we already know that how you sleep, even down to what side you sleep on, can make a huge difference in your health. Here’s one more easy trick to make your waking life all the better.
This summer, as it warms up, try sleeping with a fan in your room, or with the air conditioning on low (there’s no need to jack up your electricity bills too much!). If you already do this, you may not be aware that your instinctual preference for a cooler sleeping environment is actually a healthy choice. If you don’t but find you have trouble sleeping in the heat, try this out! Your body will thank you.
Cover image by Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
Benefits Of Sleeping In A Cold Room
Benefit #1: Helps You Relax And Sleep Better
When we fall asleep, our internal temperature drops slightly, and the cooler our bodies, the more sleepy we feel.
Sleeping in a cool room helps your body temperature drop more quickly, and helps us get to sleep faster.
It also prompts us to sleep under a blanket, the weight of which helps us feel safe and secure, thus relaxed.
Benefit #2: Improves Mental And Physical Health
Getting to sleep quickly and feeling secure under a blanket might seem like small things, but they’re huge helps for both physical and mental health issues in children, teens, and adults.
Issues ranging from anxiety to fibromyalgia to sleep apnea have been helped by simply dropping the temperature in the bedroom and adding a blanket.
Benefit #3: A Cool Room Can Help Manage Weight
You wouldn’t think sleep would burn many calories, but it does! A cooler temperature has been shown to raise metabolism rates.
Brown fat, otherwise known as the “good fat,” has been shown to increase when your body is cold, and this fat produces much more heat than the rest of your body, burning off calories and excess sugars.
Benefit #4: It Keeps Your Head Cool
While your body will be snug under a blanket, the coolness of the room will ensure that you stay at a constant, comfortable temperature thanks to your head being exposed.
A room that’s hot and stuffy can make you feel like you can’t breathe, and will be more likely to keep you up.
Benefit #5: You’ll Get Your Beauty Sleep
Sleeping well not only makes you feel great, but it makes you look great, too!
When you sleep deeply and enough, your body releases optimal levels of melatonin.
Melatonin will boost your mood, but it’s also an anti-aging hormone, so it will boost your looks, too!
Tips For Keeping Cool
Tip #1: Get The Temperature Right
Studies show that sleeping in a cool — but not too cold — room is best for getting the most out of your time asleep.
The optimal temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees.
Places that are too cold or too hot, particularly under 54 degrees and above 75, are not ideal for a good night’s rest.
Tip #2: Stick Your Feet Out
Like your head, your feet are a great temperature regulator.
So if you’re feeling a little overheated, poke your tootsies out from under the blankets, and the rest of your body will cool down.
Tip #3: Watch Out For Memory Foam
Memory foam, a synthetic material that retains the shape of your body or head, can feel nice, but it can also retain a lot of heat.
If you like it in the winter, consider swapping it out for a traditional pillow in the summer.
Tip #4: Sleep Naked (Or Almost Naked)
Less clothing means less layers, less insulation, and less heat.
Plus, a lot of clothing can bunch up during the night, causing discomfort and interrupted sleep. Sleeping in less eliminates that, too!
Tip #5: Use A Fan
Sleeping in a cool room sounds great, but it’s also nice to sleep with the windows open in the summer and hear the crickets, and using your AC puts a damper on that.
An easy solution is to invest in a small fan and keep it on low through the night. An added bonus: the soft hum can also help you sleep!
If you have a ceiling fan, that will work, too!
Now that you know the secret to sleeping, you might find yourself feeling and looking better this summer.
And be sure to SHARE this great tip with anyone who’s fed up with being overheated at night!