Sleeping in a cold room benefits the body more than a warm bedroom. While nobody relishes feeling cold and shivering at night, a hot and stuffy bedroom interferes with your sleep cycle.
A hot bedroom can dehydrate you during sleep due to sweating. Sweat can also stain your pillows and bedding or even lead to mold growth.
A hot room can lead to shorter sleep cycles and intense dreams or nightmares.
When the bedroom temperature is low, cortisol production is reduced, and melatonin release will be elevated. This will enable you to fall asleep faster than a warm room, so you’re likelier to remain asleep.
Sleeping in a cold room can also slow the impact of aging, as melatonin reduces the effects of oxidative stress, and cooler temperatures mean you’ll burn more calories while sleeping.
Just be aware that a cold bedroom may also make you need to pee more during the night.
Reducing your body temperature before bed and dropping the ambient temperature in a bedroom to less than 65°F at most will encourage a peaceful night of sleep.
Is It Better To Sleep in A Cold Room or A Hot Room?
A bedroom is a sanctuary and should provide optimum comfort after a long day. This makes a warm and cozy bed appealing for many, especially when ambient temperatures drop during the winter.
You’ll enjoy quality sleep and remain asleep longer if you cool the room before bed. Cooler temperatures lead to better rest and will likely make you more alert in the morning.
Sleep scientists recommend maintaining a bedroom temperature of 60–65°F for optimal sleep.
Does a Warm Bedroom Disturb Your Sleep?
A warm bedroom might sound like a nice idea, but there are many ways that excess temperatures can disturb your rest. These include:
- General stuffiness and discomfort that prevent you from relaxing enough to fall asleep.
- Dehydration leads to unwelcome side effects, including muscular cramps and headaches.
- Disturbed REM sleep that results in vivid dreams and nightmares.
- According to Science and Technology for the Built Environment, shorter sleep cycles may cause you to awaken several times at night.
Sweat can also be a concern in the bedroom. Why do I sweat? If a bedroom is too hot, your body will release sweat and perspiration to cool down the skin.
A warm bedroom may cause feelings of physical and mental fatigue but leave you unable to sleep. This can be frustrating and prevent you from relaxing in the evening.
Is Sleeping in A Cold Room Good for You?
While sleeping in a cold room may initially be unappealing, you’ll soon reap the rewards. These include:
Easier To Sleep
Even if a cold bedroom initially shocks the system, it’ll help you fall asleep sooner. Why is it easier to fall asleep in a cold room?
Current Opinion in Physiology explains how cool temperatures minimize energy expenditure as the body seeks to maintain what heat is available.
This means your heart rate will slow and your muscles will relax, both components essential to rest.
Cold temperatures reduce cortisol levels, so you enjoy a sense of calm and sleepiness. Cool temperatures also promote the release of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.
As the body receives more melatonin due to cold and dark conditions.
You’ll fall asleep and remain at rest throughout the night rather than waking multiple times and experiencing all the frustrations associated with broken sleep.
One of the advantages of sleeping in a colder bedroom is that it can slow the impact of aging. This is another consequence of greater melatonin production.
The more melatonin is produced, the less oxidative stress the body experiences overnight.
According to Clinical Interventions in Aging, oxidative stress is linked to neurological decline, cardiovascular issues, and kidney underperformance and failure.
Sleeping in a cold room and encouraging melatonin production slows aging. Dermatoendocrinology explains how melatonin refreshes the skin and hair, making you look younger.
If you want to burn calories and lose weight while you sleep, reduce the bedroom temperature.
The body must work harder to stay warm and functional in a colder climate, usually burning calories 30% faster than when we’re warm.
This doesn’t mean sleeping in a cold room is a substitute for a sensible diet and exercise regime. Avoid carb-heavy comfort foods in the winter, as we burn fewer calories while sleeping than awake.
Problems with Sleeping in A Cold Room
Prepare yourself for these possible issues while sleeping in a cold room:
One of the many unwelcome effects of growing older is a weak bladder. It’s common to need to pee more during the night as we age. This is known as nocturia.
The body protects itself from hypothermia in cold temperatures by entering a state of cold-induced diuresis. This means the blood vessels become constricted, reducing blood flow to the extremities.
A side-effect of cold-induced diuresis is an increase in blood pressure.
This causes the kidneys to work harder, filtering more fluid to avoid diluting the blood. These filtered fluids will go to the bladder, meaning more trips to the bathroom.
Don’t make the mistake of avoiding fluids and growing dehydrated. Remaining hydrated increases circulation, creating a balance where you’re less likely to wake up needing to pee at night.
According to WHO Housing and Health Guidelines, cold air exposure can cause lung inflammation, which is especially problematic if you have asthma or COPD.
It’s unlikely that a healthy adult will develop a respiratory infection purely by sleeping in a cold bedroom unless the room is chilled to below 50°F.
Another concern is chilling a bedroom but attempting to combat this with thick, flannel pajamas and warm bedsheets. This will cause you to sweat, potentially spreading viruses and bacteria.
Keep the temperature in the 60°F range to avoid any adverse effects. Be vigilant about the warning signs and symptoms of respiratory distress, like sore throats and nasal congestion.
Is It Bad To Sleep in A Cold Room When Sick?
If you have a cold or flu virus, increasing the temperature in your bedroom is bound to be tempting. Despite this, it remains advisable to lower your body temperature.
To overcome a respiratory infection, you’ll need ample rest. This partially involves maintaining optimum temperature in your sleep space.
Should Children Sleep in a Cold Bedroom?
Young children are an exception to the ‘cold is best’ rule when heating a bedroom.
While a sleeping space that’s too warm will increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, children in their first year of life will benefit from an extra couple of degrees.
According to the Archives of Disease in Childhood, children aged 11 weeks or older begin to achieve body temperature maturation to match adults.
It takes longer for a child’s body to warm up, so cold air is bad for their lungs. Increase the temperature to 69°F in an infant’s bedroom and check the child’s temperature and comfort levels.
How To Cool Down A Hot Bedroom
If your bedroom feels too hot and stuffy at night, you can take steps to cool it down. These include:
- Open windows before bedtime if it is safe to do so, closing them during sleep.
- Keep heat out of the room during the day by drawing blackout blinds or drapes.
- Sleep with a tower fan in operation. Try to avoid placing this fan close to your head.
- Change your bedding. Bamboo sheets and pillows are much more breathable and regulate temperature better than cotton.
- Get a cooling mattress topper to make your bed more tolerable.
- Strategically place bowls of iced water around the room. Air will pass through the ice and distribute this chill around the room. Alternatively, fill a hot water bottle with icy water.
- Change any incandescent light bulbs for energy-efficient LED alternatives. They produce less heat.
If you share a bedroom with a partner and endure varying tolerances to heat in the bedroom, consider getting in a smart mattress. These can offer different temperatures on either side of the bed.
Sleeping in a cooler bedroom is recommended for adults, assuming a temperature drop isn’t uncomfortable. Lower your body temperature in the evening and adapt to a cooler climate overnight.