The Benefits of Sleeping at Cooler Temperatures

Tara Youngblood Jul 11, 2022

The benefits of sleeping cooler

In recent years, we have all tried to take specific measures to live a healthy lifestyle. Whether it's eating better, exercising more, or drinking more water, our days are focused on being healthier overall. But making healthy decisions doesn't have to stop once you go to sleep.

Getting a full night's sleep doesn't only help you feel more energized and rested when you wake up, but it also benefits your mind, weight, and, most importantly, your heart.

Though the benefits of sleeping cold are significant, roughly 44% of Americans report a restful night's sleep almost every night.

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Benefits of Sleeping Cold

Although several factors can affect how you sleep, 69% of people reported that sleeping in a cool room enhances their ability to sleep well.

The CDC reported that 35% of adults in the US sleep less than seven hours per night on average. If you're one of the individuals with difficulty sleeping, we've listed some benefits of sleeping cold.

Fall Asleep Faster

As evening approaches, our body temperature naturally drops, alerting our body it's time to slow down and rest. If the room temperature is too hot, it can potentially stop that signal (it's time to sleep) and postpone falling asleep. Because the room is too hot, you may also notice restless sleep.

As you fall asleep, cooler temperatures help you acquire deeper sleep, sleep faster, increase the quality of REM sleep, and lower the risk of metabolic diseases like diabetes. In a Harvard study, participants were likely to fall asleep faster, taking an average of 6.2 minutes when their body temperature decreased at its lowest (approx. 97.7?F/36.5 ?C). It took participants 20 minutes to fall asleep when they were warmer (98-99.5?F/37-37.5?C). (Djik & Czeisler, 1995).

A Japanese sleep society (Setokawa, et al, 2007) study reported an intervention that lowered the core body temperature of participants by approximately 1?F (0.5-0.6?C). This resulted in a remarkably shorter time to fall asleep (average 8.9 minutes) by polysomnography, the gold standard in sleep studies.

Temperature & Sleep: Sixty-nine percent of people reported that sleeping in a cool room affects their ability to get quality sleep.

Improve Sleep Quality

Your core temperature drops leading up to bedtime and increases naturally, preparing you to wake up. However, "sleep hot" can cause havoc on the quality of your sleep. Keeping your room and your body cool improves your overall sleep quality. The ideal room temperature for sleep ranges between 60 to 68 degrees, and during those temperatures, it stimulates the production of melatonin, promoting sleep.

Did You Know: Our cooling technology leverages water's amazing thermal powers for deep, restorative sleep. In the Japanese sleep study mentioned earlier (Setokawa, et al, 2007), participants reported that sleeping cooler greatly improved their overall sleep quality. They noted sleeping longer, waking up fewer at night, and taking less time to fall asleep.

Sleep Study: Effects of Thermal Environment on Sleep and Circadian Rhythm

Sleep insomnia

Fight Insomnia

Specific types of insomnia are believed to have ties to body temperature irregularities, suggesting the evening temperature drop is delayed or the morning increase is advanced. Although definitive evidence is unavailable, sleep hygiene specialists recommend keeping the temperatures cool as it may help treat insomnia.

Big meals or even a fever pose problems for sleep if your core temperature is elevated.

Increase Natural Melatonin Levels

Sleeping in a cooler room at night may decrease your body's core temperature quicker, naturally boosting melatonin, the sleep hormone. A nightly decrease in body temperature relates to a rise in melatonin levels. These shifts tell the body that it's time to sleep, while your circadian rhythms regulate your body's sleep cycle.

Interestingly, a much-cited literature review by Cagnaci et al. (1997) indicated that the body-temperature lowering effects of melatonin are reduced with age and the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. So, sleeping colder may help those who are in those certain groups.

An increased melatonin level helps you remain asleep throughout the different stages of sleep. Additionally, it can help produce cancer-fighting properties, enhance your mood, and improve brain health.

Increase Metabolism

Sleeping in a colder room significantly affects your metabolism. How? Your body burns what is known as "brown fat" (considered "good" fat unlike white fat) so that you can generate heat while you sleep at colder temperatures.

Researchers have found that turning the thermostat down to 66ºF at bedtime could potentially burn an additional 100 calories over the course of 24 hours of sleep.

Sleeping in a Cold Room

Although there seems to be a direct correlation between overall health and bedroom temperature, in most studies where cold temperatures affected an individual’s metabolic rate, participants slept with thin sheets. When it’s time for bed, a combination of factors can contribute to heated sleeping conditions such as bed comforters, pajamas, or even the body heat of another person.

According to Dr. Chris Winter of The Huffington Post, temperatures should be between 60 and 67ºF for ideal sleeping conditions. Depending on the person and the sleeping environment, there are different temperature comfort levels for everyone.

Although various factors contribute to a warmer sleep climate, there are ways to decide your perfect sleep temperature without worrying about wasting money trying to cool your entire bedroom with an air conditioner.

Sleep Temperature Study

Many discussions have developed about whether sleeping in the cold is good for you. During a four-month study (Gretchen, et al, 2014), researchers tracked the sleep patterns of healthy young men. Each month, they set their room temperature to 75, 66, or 81º F.

When they slept at a bedroom temperature of 66 degrees, they burned calories more throughout the day, doubled their volumes of brown fat, improved their insulin sensitivity, and accelerated fat loss. Brown fat is metabolically active, implying it burns calories to generate heat.

How to Stay Cool While Sleeping?

As we've discussed earlier, it can become difficult to sleep when the room temperature is higher than the recommended sleep temperature.

If you’re a hot sleeper, you can learn how to sleep cooler at night. We’ve discussed how to stay cool at night, how to properly cool down a room, and different ways you can stay cool while sleeping.

Dock Pro cooling mattress pad

If the room temperature and bed are hot, our Dock Pro Sleep System can come to the rescue. It's a cooling mattress pad with water circulation systems, available in single and dual sizes. Quickly set or schedule your ideal sleeping temperature, ranging from 55 to 115ºF.

How Our Cooling Sleep Systems Work

The science is clear: we sleep deeper with increased recovery at cooler body temperature. Learn more about our water-based cooling technology, giving you the ability to find the right temperature with our mattress pads, ranging from 55 to 115º.

We feel that it's essential to invest in your rest and get a good night's sleep. With the help of our sleeping products, we're dedicated to helping you get your best sleep yet. It's important to continue your healthy habits, even through the night, and we're here to help you do that.

Citations/References

Suni, E. (2021, February 8). 25 Facts about Sleep. Sleep Foundation. View Resource

Setokawa, H., Hayashi, M., & Hori, T. (2007). Facilitating effect of cooling the occipital region on nocturnal sleep. Sleep and Biological Rhythms, 5, 166-172. View Study

Dijk, D-J.& Czeisler, C.A. (1995). Contribution of the circadian pacemaker and the sleep homeostat to sleep propensity, sleep structure, electroencephalographic slow waves, and sleep spindle activity in humans. The Journal of Neuroscience, 15(5), 3526-3538. View Study

Cagnacci, A., Krauchi, K., Wirz-Justice, A., & Volpe, A. (1997). Homeostatic versus circadian effects of melatonin on core body temperature in humans. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 12(6), 509-517. View Study

Chen, K. Y., Brychta, R. J., Linderman, J. D., Smith, S., Courville, A., Dieckmann, W., Herscovitch, P., Millo, C. M., Remaley, A., Lee, P., & Celi, F. S. (2013). Brown fat activation mediates cold-induced thermogenesis in adult humans in response to a mild decrease in ambient temperature. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 98(7), E1218–E1223. View Study

Reynolds, Gretchen. “Let's Cool It in The Bedroom.” Https://ww.nytimes.com/Section/Well, NY Times, 17 July 2014, View Resource.

Okamoto-Mizuno, K., Mizuno, K. Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm. J Physiol Anthropol 31, 14 (2012). View Resource

Lee, P., Smith, S., Linderman, J., Courville, A.B., Brychta, R.J., Dieckmann, W., Werner, C.D., Chen, K.Y., & Celi, F.S. (2014). Temperature-acclimated brown adipose tissue modulates insulin in humans. Diabetes. PMID: 24954193. View Study

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