Why does the number on the thermostat matter? Our body temperatures naturally peak and decline during a 24-hour period, with the highest numbers occurring in the late afternoon and the lowest ones around 5 a.m. Sleep usually begins when our body temperature drops, so a colder room can encourage us to fall asleep faster.
If the promise of more sleep isn’t enough, there are plenty of other reasons to keep the air on cool:
1. You’ll have a more restful sleep.
Research done at the University of South Australia found that certain forms of insomnia occur with poor body temperature regulation. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, a colder room could help your body cool down enough to reach a level of deeper, restorative sleep.
2. It’ll keep you looking young.
Sleeping in a room warmer than 70 degrees will stop your body from releasing melatonin, one of the body’s best anti-aging hormones. Once we’re asleep in total darkness and our body temperature drops, it releases melatonin and triggers a slight cool-down in the body.
3. It can help you lose weight.
According to the Huffington Post, naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner says that as your body temperature drops and growth hormone is released, the stress hormone cortisol will also decrease with healthy sleep patterns. When you aren’t able to sleep enough, you’ll wake up with high levels of cortisol-meaning you’re more likely to reach for a box of cookies and have increased anxiety.
4. You lower your risk for metabolic disease.
One study found that sleeping in a room set to 66 degrees can help prevent certain metabolic diseases, like diabetes. Participants not only burned more calories when they were awake, but also nearly doubled their amount of brown fat, or good fat, which allows the body store fewer calories. Over time, this can lower the risk of metabolic diseases.
So, put on your favorite PJs, turn the A/C down to 65 degrees, and get ready to catch some zzz’s.