Sleeping in A Cold Room (Advantages & Disadvantages)

Key Takeaways

  • Enhanced Sleep Quality: A cooler sleeping environment enhances sleep quality by aiding in the regulation of internal body temperature, supporting deeper sleep stages, including REM sleep.
  • Faster Sleep Onset: A lower room temperature promotes faster sleep onset by facilitating the body’s natural cooling process, leading to quicker transitions from wakefulness to sleep.
  • Improved Sleep Efficiency: Cold rooms can improve sleep efficiency by reducing nighttime awakenings due to discomfort, enhancing metabolism, and boosting melatonin production. Additionally, they can benefit individuals with respiratory conditions and reduce snoring.

A good night’s sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, and the environment in which you sleep plays a crucial role in the quality of your rest.

While many prefer a warm and cozy bedroom, sleeping in a cold room offers numerous advantages that can significantly improve your sleep.

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In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of sleeping in a cold room and share tips on creating the ideal sleep environment for cooler, more restful nights.

Advantages of a Cold Sleep Environment:

The following are the main advantages of sleeping in a cold environment:

1. Enhanced Sleep Quality:

Sleeping in a cool room can significantly enhance sleep quality, leading to a more restful and rejuvenating slumber.

When sleeping in a cool room, your body can better regulate its internal temperature, allowing it to enter deeper sleep stages more effectively.

These deep stages of sleep are crucial for physical and mental restoration.

Also, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is a critical phase associated with dreaming and cognitive processes.

Cooler temperatures support REM sleep, which is essential for memory consolidation and overall cognitive function.

2. Faster Sleep Onset:

The ability to fall asleep promptly is a common desire for many individuals, and the temperature of your sleep environment can significantly impact your sleep onset.

Here, we delve deeper into the science behind how sleeping in a cold room can help you fall asleep faster, along with scientific research that supports this concept.

Sleep onset, the transition from wakefulness to sleep, is influenced by your body’s core temperature.

As bedtime approaches, your body naturally cools down, signaling the onset of sleep.

A cool room temperature complements this process by aiding in the cooling of your body.

A study published in the journal “Sleep Medicine” found that participants fell asleep faster when exposed to a cooler room temperature (around 60-66°F or 15-19°C) compared to a warmer room.

A cooler room temperature aids in lowering this temperature effectively.

3. Improved Sleep Efficiency:

Cold rooms can help reduce the chances of waking up in the middle of the night due to discomfort.

With fewer sleep disruptions, you’ll enjoy a more continuous and uninterrupted sleep cycle.

Also, In a cool room, you’re less likely to experience discomfort from overheating.

This comfort allows you to maintain a preferred sleep position throughout the night, reducing the likelihood of waking up due to discomfort.

The improved sleep efficiency will surely reflect on your mood and overall health during the day.

4. Boosted Metabolism:

Sleeping in a cooler room can stimulate the body to burn more calories as it works to maintain its core temperature.

While this effect isn’t a substitute for regular exercise, it can contribute to overall metabolic health.

In addition, cooler air can be easier to breathe, particularly for individuals with respiratory conditions.

Improved airflow can reduce the chances of snoring and promote more restful sleep for both you and your partner.

5. Enhanced Melatonin Production:

Cooler temperatures can trigger the body to produce more melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles.

This can help synchronize your internal body clock and improve your sleep patterns.

Sleeping in a cool room helps regulate your circadian rhythms, ensuring more consistent sleep patterns.

This consistency can lead to a better overall sleep routine and improved sleep quality over time.

“However, it’s important to balance the benefits with potential disadvantages,” says Dr. Jordan Burns. “A study in ‘The Lancet Neurology’ indicated that excessively cold environments might disrupt sleep and exacerbate certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, by increasing joint stiffness and pain. It’s crucial to find a comfortable temperature yet conducive to good sleep quality.” 

Can A Cold Room Make You Sick?

Sleeping in a cold room by itself typically does not make you sick.

In fact, many people find that a cooler sleeping environment can be beneficial for their sleep quality.

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Immune Response: Exposure to extremely cold temperatures, especially if you are not adequately dressed or covered, can put stress on your body and immune system. If you are not sufficiently warm, it might weaken your immune response over time, making you more susceptible to illnesses.
  1. Respiratory Irritation: Very cold and dry air can potentially irritate your respiratory system, especially if you have underlying respiratory conditions like asthma. This can lead to a dry throat or nasal passages.
  2. Cold and Flu Season: During the cold and flu season, when viruses are more prevalent, maintaining a comfortable room temperature is advisable. Cold air can’t directly cause illness, but it may make your body less efficient at defending against pathogens.
  3. Personal Tolerance: It’s essential to consider your personal tolerance for colder temperatures. What feels comfortable to one person might be too cold for another. It’s essential to find a balance that allows you to sleep comfortably without feeling excessively cold.

Creating the Ideal Cold Sleep Environment:

Creating a cooler sleeping environment in a hot room can significantly improve your sleep quality.

Here are several strategies to help you achieve a comfortable and cool sleep space:

1. Use Air Conditioning:

If you have access to an air conditioner, this is one of the most effective ways to cool down your room.

Set the temperature to a comfortable level, usually between 60-67°F (15-19°C), and let it run before bedtime to cool the room.

2. Ceiling Fans:

Ceiling fans can help circulate air and create a cooling effect in the room.

Make sure the fan is set to rotate counterclockwise in the summer, as this helps distribute cool air.

3. Portable Fans:

If you don’t have a ceiling fan, consider using a portable fan near your bed to create airflow.

Position it so that it blows air across your body.

4. Block Out Sunlight:

Use blackout curtains or blinds to block out direct sunlight, which can heat up your room during the day.

This prevents your room from becoming a greenhouse effect during hot weather.

5. Ventilation:

Open windows in the evening or early morning to let cooler outside air in.

If it’s cooler outside than inside, create cross-ventilation by opening windows on opposite sides of the room.

6. Thermal Curtains or Reflective Film:

Consider using thermal curtains or reflective window film to reduce the amount of heat that enters your room through windows.

7. Use Cooling Bedding:

Opt for lightweight, breathable sheets and bedding materials like cotton or linen, which can help regulate your body temperature.

You can also use moisture-wicking mattress covers and pillowcases.

Cotton or moisture-wicking blends effectively whisk away sweat, preventing that sticky and uncomfortable feeling.

When it comes to your mattress, prioritize breathable materials like latex or well-ventilated innerspring options.

These choices promote airflow and prevent heat from becoming trapped around your body.

To further enhance your mattress’s cooling properties, consider using a cooling mattress topper, often equipped with gel-infused memory foam or other cooling technologies.

Ensure that your mattress protector is both breathable and waterproof, allowing proper air circulation.

Your pillow selection also matters; opt for cooling pillows with features like gel-infused fill or pillows made from breathable materials like buckwheat hulls. “It’s essential to consider individual health conditions when determining the best sleep environment,” states Dr. Jordan Burns. “For some, slightly warmer temperatures may be necessary to alleviate discomfort. Incorporating tools like a heated mattress pad with adjustable settings can offer personalized comfort while keeping the overall room temperature cooler.” 

8. Cold Pack or Ice:

Place a cold pack or a bag of ice in front of a fan to create a DIY air conditioner.

The fan will blow cool air generated by the ice.

9. Unplug Electronics:

Electronic devices generate heat.

Turn off or unplug devices like computers, chargers, and TVs before sleeping to reduce heat production in your room.

10. Take a Cool Shower:

A cool shower before bedtime can help lower your body temperature and make it easier to fall asleep comfortably.

11. Elevate Your Bed:

If possible, raise the head of your bed slightly.

Heat tends to rise, so sleeping with your head elevated can help you stay cooler.

12. Hydrate Properly:

Even in a cooler room, it’s essential to stay hydrated.

Dehydration can disrupt sleep, so drink a glass of water before bedtime if needed.

Stay hydrated, but avoid drinking too much water right before bed, as this can lead to nighttime awakenings for bathroom trips.

13. Sleepwear:

Opt for lightweight and breathable sleepwear, or consider sleeping in loose-fitting, moisture-wicking clothing. Natural fabrics like cotton are excellent options. “To harness the benefits of sleeping in a cooler room without the drawbacks, I recommend using breathable bedding and sleepwear to maintain a comfortable body temperature throughout the night. Layering blankets can allow for easy adjustment based on individual comfort levels. This approach aligns with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s guidelines for creating an ideal sleep environment.” – Dr. Jordan Burns.

14. Reduce Activity Before Bed:

Avoid strenuous physical activity and heat-producing activities, like cooking, immediately before bedtime.

Conclusion:

Sleeping in a cold room offers numerous benefits for your sleep quality and overall health.

By creating the ideal sleep environment with cooler temperatures, you can enjoy deeper, more restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

Experiment with different settings to find the temperature range that works best for you and make adjustments to your bedding and sleepwear to optimize your sleep experience.

A cool and cozy bedroom can be the key to better sleep and improved well-being.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

Sarah Anderson, Certified Sleep Science Coach Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson is a sleep, health, and wellness writer and product reviewer. She has written articles on changing and improving your sleep schedule, choosing the right mattress for chronic pain conditions, and finding the best pillow for you. Sarah Anderson has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to working for Zoma, she wrote for a variety of news publications. Sarah's work has been featured on Bustle, PureWow, and other publications.

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