I’ve personally found that I tend to fall asleep more quickly and get a better night’s rest when I bump the thermostat down a degree or two before bedtime, and it turns out that scientific studies suggest that sleeping in a cooler room promotes deeper sleep and overall health.
Dr. Christopher Winter, the medical director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, published an article at Huffington Post that claims that your bedroom should be set between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for the optimal sleeping temperature, and that anything above 75 or below 54 degrees will be more likely to result in a restless night of tossing and turning in bed.
The logic behind this is that your body temperature naturally peaks and falls to a low point every 24 hours, specifically during the late afternoon and at about 5 a.m. respectively. Your body is more inclined to sleep when your body temperature is lower, so keeping a chilly bedroom will help you to fall asleep.
Dr. Cameron Van den Heuvel from the University of South Australia’s Centre for Sleep Research elaborates on these findings:
About one to one and a half hours before falling sleep, the body starts to lose heat from its central core and that brings on increased feelings of tiredness in normal, healthy adults.
Not only does having a cooler body temperature help people to catch a more restful snooze, it can also assist in weight loss. Anti-aging hormones are released as you sleep, such as melatonin, growth hormone, and most importantly, the stress hormone cortisol. If you don’t get the deep restorative sleep that your body needs to recover each day, you will retain greater levels of cortisol hormones in your system, which can trigger a stronger appetite and additional stress.
Who knew that cranking the AC at night would lead to a relaxing night’s sleep, less anxiety, and fewer cravings for comfort food?