According to the National Sleep Foundation, the optimal temperature for sleep is between 65 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit (F). The body naturally decreases temperature to initiate sleep, and sleeping in a room that’s set at a cooler temperature can help facilitate this process. Interestingly, research suggests that some instances of insomnia may be related to poor body temperature regulation.
In addition to optimizing sleep, new research also shows that sleeping in a cooler bedroom may also have a positive impact on metabolism and metabolic health. In a recent study published in the journal Diabetes, a group of researchers affiliated with the National Institutes of Health assessed the effects of varying bedroom temperatures on brown adipose tissue (BAT), metabolic rate, and insulin sensitivity in a group of healthy young men.
Before continuing, it’s important to note that BAT is a very distinct type of fat and drastically different than unwanted body fat (i.e., white adipose tissue, WAT). The function of BAT is to burn calories as heat in order to keep the body warm when exposed to cold temperatures. However, BAT levels seem to decline with age and appear to be lower in individuals with higher levels of WAT. Activating BAT and tapping into its ability to increase thermogenesis (and burn WAT) is a novel, cutting-edge angle of the anti-obesity equation.
During the first month of the crossover study, participants slept in a climate-controlled research facility set at 75 degrees F. During the second month, the temperature was set at 66 degrees F. During the third and fourth months, the temperature of the rooms was set at 75 and 81 degrees F, respectively.
The results of the study were striking. During the second month when the young men slept in the moderately cooler room (i.e., 66 degrees F), they experienced significant increases BAT amount and activity. In fact, their amount of brown fat nearly DOUBLED. What’s more, sleeping in the colder room also led to significantly increased metabolic rate, improved insulin sensitivity, and beneficial changes in the hormones leptin and adiponectin.
According to the study’s senior author Francesco S. Celi, “These were all healthy young men to start with, but just by sleeping in a colder room, they gained metabolic advantages” that could add up over time. By lowering the temperature (to 65 – 67 degrees F), you may not only sleep better, you may effortlessly tweak your metabolism for the better. To Solid ZZzzzzz...
I hope you are enjoying your weekend, Change That Up.
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