How to quickly cool down a room? Use a fan. Not so fast, though. Although some people really like the feeling of having air blow on them while they are asleep, research shows that you could be putting your health at risk in a number of ways.
This isn’t to say you should never ever use a fan again but, according to The Sleep Advisor, there are four reasons you should keep reading if you do :
- Allergic Reactions: Although it’s not always visible, a fan will whip up flurries of dust (and depending on the season, pollen) that you end up inhaling during sleep. If you’re someone who suffers from allergies, hay fever or asthma, dust stirred up by a fan can aggravate the problem cause unnecessary discomfort. Should you choose to use a fan, just make sure you clean both your fan and room regularly.
- Dry Air: While it may feel cool and refreshing, constantly circulating air can take a toll on your skin (especially if you’re prone to dry skin). While this may be remedied by moisturizing your skin before bed, your eyes and mouth still pose a health risk. Because of the constant stream of air, people who sleep with their mouths or eyes slightly open (creepy, right?) can experience extreme, irritating dryness. If you’re stuck with using a fan to stay cool, go to bed with a glass of water on your side table or an eye cover.
- Sinus Irritation: Similarly, constant inhalation of cool air will dry out your sinuses and have you waking up with a painful, sharp or scratchy feeling. Surprisingly, your body can start producing an excess of mucous to compensate for the intense dryness caused by the fan. Of course, this can lead to a combination of uncomfortable dryness, sinus headaches, stuffiness, and unwanted blockage.
- Sore Muscles: Are you the type of person who needs the fan air directly on you, instead of circulating around the room? If so, you probably wake up stiff and sore more often than you would like… Painful or camping muscles can occur after hours of cool air hitting your body.
All those issues caused by a little plug-in fan? Yup. However, not everyone is affected the same way (or at all)! In fact, if your body is totally fine with you sleeping in room cooled by a fan or otherwise, there are some health benefits to reap!
Science Says Sleeping in a Cold Room Is Better for Insomnia, Weight Loss, and More
Are you always flipping your pillow over to the cooler side? Do you love that feeling when your feet hit the cooler part of your sheets? There’s a reason why.
Our bodies are actually meant to cool down both before we go to sleep and as we’re asleep. As our body temperature naturally fluctuates, we experience a cooler internal body temperature about two hours before we go to sleep. We also are at our coolest early in the morning, around 5 a.m.
Since your body drops temperature while it sleeps anyway, the faster you can get it to that temperature, the quicker you could be experiencing deeper sleep! Research shows that sleeping in a cooler room is better for your health in all kinds of ways. Here are a few!
Insomnia can be linked to many things , but apparently, inability to regulate temperature is a “significant” risk factor for insomnia .
When your body temperature is properly regulated, you can fall asleep faster. This also creates less work for the body when it comes to cooling down your internal temperature, so you’ll be more relaxed and ready to slip into that deep sleep when the time comes.
Cooler temperatures actually trigger your body to sleep, while hotter temps will trigger you to stay awake. So turn down the thermostat or kick off the sheets to help regulate your body temperature and remedy your insomnia!
Curb Weight Loss and Diabetes
Research shows that sleeping in a room that’s about 66 degrees can actually help increase your metabolism and have better insulin resistance, therefore lowering your risk for diabetes and promoting weight loss .
Sleeping in a cold room regularly can increase good fat (also called brown fat), increase your metabolism, and help you lose weight .
If you’ve been hitting the gym without results or want to drop a few pounds through a new diet, you can help yourself out by simply sleeping a little cooler at night. The best part—you only need a few months to see the results and experience better sleep and increased metabolism!
Anti-Aging and Other Health Benefits
Did you know melatonin is an anti-aging hormone that can actually help you to look younger while you sleep? Yes, the proper sleeping temperature will make your body produce more melatonin . Pretty cool!
You could also experience less stress and depression since the warmer temperature keeps you awake and can cause insomnia as well as irritate you since you’ll be tossing and turning all night trying to get the temperature just right.
How to Make Your Bedroom Cooler
If you’re a fan of… fans, then do you! But there are some other ways you can keep your home at an optimum sleeping temperature without blasting the air conditioning and have higher energy bills. Here are a few things that can help:
Use a programmable thermostat. This can help you program your thermostat when you’re not home in order to keep the temperature appropriate for when you’re not there as well as for when you come home.
Sleep naked. Yes, you’ll be cooler and the best part—it can actually be better for you. Your skin will be able to breathe a little more, and you’ll be less sweaty, therefore promoting a healthier skin and body.
Freeze your sheet or pillowcases. Weird, yes, but if your freezer is running anyway, this can work. Give it a try on really hot nights!
Stick your feet out. Sticking your feet out can release excess heat and help lower your body temperature.
Invest in better bedding. Seriously, bedding such as cotton rather than polyester just breathes better. Yes, organic cotton is expensive, but polyester is cheap and has chemicals such as flame retardants in it. The same is true for your mattress! Invest in an organic mattress and sleep up to 7 degrees cooler .
Layers can help. Yes, layer your bed. This will help you to more easily maintain your body temperature, as you can throw sheets or blankets off to keep cooler throughout the night without much effort.
Are you ready to experience the benefits of a cooler, optimum sleeping temperature? 60-67 degrees is the best temperature  when it comes to getting the perfect night’s rest. So whether you turn down your thermostat or just ditch the pajamas, you can curb insomnia, weight gain, and diabetes simply by sleeping in a cooler room!
This amazing post was written by Jenn Ryan, a freelance writer, and editor who’s passionate about natural health, fitness, gluten-free, and animals. You can read more of her work at thegreenwritingdesk.com.