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Is Sleeping In A Cold Room Bad For You?

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Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

The sleep advisors sleeping happily

3 April 2024 7 min read

Sleeping during the summer or in a room that is overheated in the winter is usually not comfortable since we are constantly sweating even though body temperature naturally drops. That leads us to the conclusion that sleeping in a cold room is more pleasant and healthier for the human body.

You must have been thinking about how to create the ideal sleeping environment in your cool bedroom. This includes the purchase of high-quality mattress, comfortable pillow, winter duvet, curtains, lighting and TV. But most people do not remember that temperature is one of the most important factors for a comfortable night's sleep.

If you are too hot and sweat constantly or on the other hand if it is very cold, you will not be able to fall asleep or maintain sleep. Whether you choose to make the bedroom warmer or colder certainly depends on your preferences. But you also need to consider what is healthier and better in the long run.

Benefits of sleeping in a cold room

An image of a woman in a sleeping bag.

You are probably going to be surprised to learn how many benefits of sleeping in a cold room there are. Certainly the most important benefit is improved sleep quality, but there are many other benefits to our health.

Sleeping in a cold room can even improve your mood and slow down aging, which is really fascinating. Let's find out more about different benefits of sleeping in a cold room.

Falling asleep much faster

Body begins to drop body's core temperature when we get sleepy. This can be seen in the example of extreme situations such as hypothermia that causes sleepiness. When you sleep in a colder room, your body will prepare for sleep much faster, because it is natural instinct in a cold environment, as opposed to heat.

Better sleep quality

a young woman sleeping on her side

Just as it is a natural process for body temperature to drop when you are getting ready for bed, so it is also a natural process for body temperature to rise in the morning. In this way, your body and mind are prepared to get out of bed and start the day.

That is why it is necessary to give your body a cool sleeping environment. Otherwise, your body temperature will jump during the night and you will wake up feeling drowsy. As you know, this often happens in the summer if you do not use an air conditioner. Learn more about sleep quality here.

Slower aging

an image of a young woman eating healthy food to remember dreams

Numerous scientific studies have proven that melatonin is one of the main anti-aging hormones. It reduces oxidative stress damage, reduces p53 activation and does many other positive things in the body.

It was also found that melatonin is secreted the most at temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Therefore, sleeping in a cold room will make you look younger.

Optimal melatonin level

Melatonin is not only the main anti-aging hormone, but it is also the most important sleep hormone. Many people who have problems with insomnia are prescribed melatonin supplementation to get their sleep cycle in order. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, and supplementation should not be taken for too long. A cold sleep environment will help keep your melatonin level optimal at all times. It can also be helpful to women with irregular menstrual cycles.

Metabolic disease prevention

There are a number of metabolic diseases, among which diabetes is the most common, which we will discuss in the next paragraph. Obesity is also considered a metabolic disease, and melatonin has an effect on weight loss. This brings us back to the fact that melatonin will be secreted more in a cold room.

Less chances for diabetes

There is Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs most often due to genetics, while Type 2 is acquired, although genetics also have an impact. A cold sleep environment can help with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes. Melatonin will play a significant role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, as well as obesity, which is closely related to diabetes. You will reduce chances of Alzheimer's disease and some other diseases even they are not metabolic.

No insomnia

Insomnia can be a consequence of an organ disease, but it can also be a consequence of the anxiety and stress we are exposed to on a daily basis. It has been proven that many people who suffer from insomnia have an average higher body temperature than those who do not have the same problem. Cold room will lower the core temperature and you will fall asleep faster, which can cure insomnia in the long run.

Mood improvement

An image of a positive woman.

The most obvious way a cold bedroom can cause mood improvement is by making you fall asleep quickly and not waking up during the night which will result in you being rested and full of energy. Also, you will not be grumpy like when you wake up sweaty and thirsty.

So, if you're typically not a morning person, this could be the advantage you need! After all, it's rather difficult to be upbeat if you wake up with bags under your eyes and a headache. And even on a more serious note, there is a connection between depression and a lack of sleep.

Less stress

Pace of life is such nowadays that the average high school student is exposed to stress like the CEO of some company 40 years ago. It is something we cannot avoid, but it is also something that is causing more and more mental problems in people. When you come to your cold bedroom after a long and stressful day, stress hormones like cortisol will not be secreted and you will fall asleep quickly and easily enjoying refreshing night’s sleep.

Can sleeping in a cold room make you sick?

A man laying down in a bed sick and covered with an orange blanket.

In theory, sleeping in a cold room can make you sick. But that can only happen if the room is too cold, for example, below 10 degrees Celsius. Or if your duvet is too warm, so you sweat and then catch a cold during the night. But none of that is likely.

As long as you are comfortable staying and sleeping in the room, it means that it is not too cold. If you have a winter duvet, optimal temperature is somewhere between 15 to 18 degrees. In case the baby or child sleeps with you, then temperature should be around 20 degrees, just in case, because children are more susceptible to colds.

In the end, we just want to leave you with one final piece of advice to help you stay awake, and that is – to get a full night of sound sleep. If you wake up feeling rested – you won't need a power nap to help you make it through the day. It's that simple.

Does sleeping in a cold room help you lose weight?

Because of everything you have read so far in this article, you can probably conclude the answer to this question yourself. Since melatonin is secreted more when you sleep in a cold room and melatonin affects the prevention of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and reduces the likelihood of being obese, then the answer to this question is yes – sleeping in a cold room can help you lose weight. 

Also, the scientist came to some new ground-breaking conclusions. A research has shown that your metabolism speeds up in response to a cold environment and thus your body burns more calories at rest compared to sleeping in a warm room.

How to make a room cooler?

There are many ways how you can make a room cooler and each one is simple. You don't have to spend thousands of pounds or remodel your bedroom.

Buy a cooling mattress topper

Panda mattress topper close up view from our review video

The air temperature in your bedroom may be ideal, but if the mattress retains heat and is not breathable, you will be hot every night. Buying a mattress is a big investment and if your current mattress is comfortable, there is no need to change it. All you need is a cooling mattress topper.

You can opt for a gel mattress topper which is a cooling type of topper, or some of the most breathable toppers on the UK market.

Invest in a fan

Air conditioning is a far superior option compared to a fan, but also incomparably more expensive. As summers in the UK are usually not scorching hot, you do not have to spend substantial amount of money for the AC system. Buy a fan that will constantly cool and stir the air to sleep comfortably during the summer.

Keep your window open

Summer nights in the UK are not as hot as in Spain or Italy, so open window will often be enough to keep the temperature in your bedroom comfortable. You can keep the window open during spring and autumn too, but in winter we do not recommend leaving the window open even if you have central heating.

Use natural cooling sheets

You should avoid synthetic bed sheets, especially during the warmer months. Synthetic bed sheets will make you feel like you are sleeping on a grill. Instead, use cotton bed sheets or bed sheets made of eucalyptus, which is considered a supreme cooling material. In addition to cooling you down, such sheets also wick moisture away from you.

Turn off unnecessary lighting

If you have LED lighting then it will not further heat your room. But if you have some other type of lighting, you should turn off all unnecessary lighting. While this may seem insignificant to you, trust us, lighting can significantly warm a room. If you have ever been on stage or in a television studio, you know what we are talking about.

Use blackout curtains

The primary purpose of blackout curtains is to make the room completely dark, which is certainly one of the important prerequisites for a good night's sleep. But that's not all blackout curtains have to offer. Since they are thick to completely block out light, they are also good insulation. High quality blackout curtains will prevent the sun from warming your room too much. If you bedroom is on the sunny side, then you should definitely consider buying this type of curtains.

What is the ideal room temperature?

An image of a thermometer.

During the day, when you are awake, the air temperature in the room should not be too warm or cool. The healthiest temperature is around 20 degrees, so it should be in the range of 18 to 22. In the bedroom the temperature should be lower than that to sleep well, in the range between 15 and 18.

Of course, you should listen to your body, so if someone likes to sleep in a colder or warmer environment than what is considered ideal, that is totally fine, as long as you don’t excessively swear or shiver.

What is considered to be too cold for sleeping?

Temperatures below 13 degrees Celsius are considered too cold for sleeping. If you have been sleeping in a very cold room since childhood, you may find that temperature comfortable, but if you are used to central heating then it is too cold for you. Even if you want to sleep in a very cold room, allow your body to gradually get used to it. So gradually reduce the temperature, do not immediately make the room very cold because you can get sick.

So, is sleeping in a cold room bad for you?

An image of a man wrapped in a purple blanket.

No, sleeping in a cold room is not bad for you, on the contrary. Sleeping in a cooler environment has numerous health benefits and everyone should sleep in a colder room than the one where they spend the day to achieve deep sleep and rapid eye movement phase faster. So if the temperature in your living room is around 20 degrees, it should be less than 18 degrees in the bedroom. Hot sleepers have warmer core body temperature so they may want even cooler room.

You will notice how much faster you fall asleep and how the quality of your night's sleep improves.

Also, you will experience many other benefits such as less wrinkles, faster metabolism and a much better mood in the morning. There are plenty of ways to keep sleeping temperatures optimal, but you should also be careful not to get sick if it’s too cold or if the duvet isn’t appropriate.

Conclusion

In conclusion, sleeping in a cold definitely comes with some rather surprising benefits. And, if you're having problems with falling asleep, it could give you the edge you're looking for! Do you sleep in a cold room? Tell us in the comments!

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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