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Sleeping in the Cold: Tips for Staying Warm and Cozy

by Angeline T. 18 Jun 2024

     Sleep is a big deal for our overall health and wellness and the temperature of our sleep environment greatly impacts our sleep. The temperature in our bedrooms can get us to sleep and keep us there all night, whether in a hot summer or cold winter.

     Although not very appealing initially, sleeping in the cold has many advantages you might not realize about cooling off. According to research findings, our bodies tend to cool naturally as we fall into sleep because there appears to be a connection between temperature and sleep.

Bedroom for all seasons

The Influence of Temperature on Sleep Stages

     Apart from the initial sleep onset, temperature can affect the different stages of the sleep cycle, including REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep. During non-REM stages, the body temperature drops to its lowest point, but REM sleep causes a small increase in core temperature.

     Heat and cold have been shown to mess with the natural progression and duration of the different sleep stages and reduce the sleep benefits. For example, heat can reduce the time in deep slow-wave sleep for physical recovery and memory consolidation.


     Sleeping in the cold has been linked to less REM sleep which is needed for cognitive function, emotional processing, and overall brain health. If you keep your body in the ideal temperature range you can ensure your sleep cycle is not disturbed and you can get through all the stages of sleep.

Sleeping in Warm Temperatures

     When it is hot, our bodies struggle to sleep. This happens because our body temperature drops when we sleep, and heat can disrupt this. A warm room makes it harder for our bodies to cool down, leading to more discomfort, trouble sleeping, and restless nights.

     According to studies the ideal
¬†bedroom temperature¬†for sleep is between 65¬įF (18.3¬įC) and 70¬įF (21.1¬įC). Temperatures outside this range can result in more fragmented and less restorative sleep because the body must work harder to regulate its temperature. This is especially tricky during the summer when hot and humid weather makes it hard to create a comfortable sleep environment.

Sleeping in Cold Temperatures

     In contrast to warm temperatures, sleeping in the cold atmosphere can help improve the quality of our sleep. Since the average core body temperature is known to drop along the sleep cycle, sleeping in the cold bedroom will facilitate this process and thus make falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night much easier.

     Sleeping in the cold can also improve melatonin production, which influences the sleep-wake cycle. Sleeping in the cold has also been linked with fewer sleep-disruptive events, a parameter that comprises waking and turning in bed.


     Research shows that sleeping in the cold room can help you have a deeper, more restorative sleep. We usually get more peaceful sleep at a lower body temperature, generally assisting one in waking up rejuvenated and energized.

     It should be just right during freezing weather.
¬†Sleeping in the cold or an overheated room brings about discomfort, shivering, and a disturbed cycle of sleep, just like those caused by sleeping in an overly warm environment. Normally, sleeping in the cold temperature that would feel comfortable and perfect for sleeping would be 60¬įF to 67¬įF (15.6¬įC to 19.4¬įC).

Practical Tips for Sleeping in the Cold

     Now that we have explored the science behind the relationship between temperature and sleep, let us dive into some practical tips to help you create the perfect environment for sleeping in the cold:

1. Get an extremely efficient programmable thermostat: As a way of sleeping in the cold, you literally need to be in control of the temperature that is in your bedroom. Look out for a thermostat that will allow preset schedules in selecting particular temperatures to ensure perfection in the event of sleep. 

2. Keep bedding that allows breathing and regulation of temperature. Other factors impacting the comfort with which sleeping in the cold is possible include the materials your mattress, blankets, and sheets are composed of. These should be of moisture-wicking synthetic blends, cotton, and linen to help in controlling body temperature and avoid overheating.
 Hybrid Mattresses, Memory Foam Pillows, and Cooling Blankets can help regulate temperature. 


3. Fan or air conditioner: This alone might make a very big change in sleeping in the cold temperatures, particularly in warm places and summer. Be sure to get a quiet unit so it does not interfere with your sleep.

4. Thermal layers: If you get cold sleeping in the cold at night, implement some additional layers‚ÄĒa blanket or even a light, breathable base layer.


5. Change your bedtime routine: Daily activities and rituals could impact the natural ups and downs in body temperature. For this reason, having a hot shower or other vigorous exercise that raises your temperature right before bed is best avoided if you want to achieve sleeping in the cold. 

     By applying these recommendations and using the ideal temperature for you personally, you shall set up a sleeping in the cold environment that gets you ready for a refreshing, restful night's sleep. Bear in mind that temperature is one of the bigger and more important variables concerning sleeping in the cold, so be prepared to put effort into trying variations of methods to find what works best for you.

Who Can Benefit from Sleeping in the Cold?

     While sleeping in the cold may offer numerous advantages, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Certain individuals may find the practice particularly beneficial, including:

1. Athletes & Fitness Enthusiasts: It has been noted that sleeping in the cold might prove very effective for the recovery of muscles and, more importantly, reduce inflammation; it thus becomes highly desirable for those with highly active lifestyles and serious athletes. Lowered body temperature will allow for faster recovery between exercise sessions and help in the reduction of muscle discomfort.

2. Sleep Disorder Patients: Sleeping in the cold can make someone suffering from insomnia, sleep apnea, or any other sleeping disorder sleep better and for longer. Overall sleep quality may be improved as a result of an increase in melatonin and also through very efficient sleep cycles.


3. Those Who Wish to Raise their Metabolic Rate: From the previous information, sleeping in the cold, in general, helps trigger brown fat, which would aid in metabolic rate enhancement. Thus, sleeping in the cold would turn out to be of particular help to those who wish to maintain weight or enhance their general metabolic variable health.

4. Those Who Want to Improve Intellectual Activity: It is confirmed by research that sleeping in the cold may boost a person's memory, focus, and even decision-making ability to a great degree. Hence, sleeping in the cold is the best option for working professionals, students, or anybody else interested in improving their mental activity.

Considerations and Precautions

     Even though there are many advantages to sleeping in the cold, do it cautiously and thoughtfully. People who are suffering from different diseases, in particular from Raynaud's phenomenon, hypothyroidism, and poor blood circulation, must consult their health professional before they start sleeping in the cold when they could be susceptible to its adverse effects.

     More important is that you allow yourself enough time to acclimatize and be protected against such temperatures. Ideas for precautions that can be taken include proper sleeping attire, additional blankets or insulation, and gradual acclimatization to sleeping in the cold. Extreme temperatures for longer periods can easily set one off into one's discomfort, shivering, and even hypothermia.

Conclusion

¬† ¬† ¬†Temperature and sleep do have a very complex relationship‚ÄĒand a rather subtle one‚ÄĒbut both warm and cold conditions are capable of messing up our sleeping cycles. You can take a huge leap toward more quality sleep and overall well-being if you learn the proper temperature range for peaceful sleep and implement ideas for creating the perfect sleeping habitat.¬†First, however, you really need to work out your specific needs, medical history, and comfort level before diving into such a technique. You may want to weigh the potential advantages of sleeping in the cold climate against possible downsides by checking if it is really good for you by making a list of the pros next to the cons and taking the necessary precautions. It is all about finding balance, remember: what will let your body regulate its temperature on its own and dive deep into restorative sleep.

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