The Scientific Argument for Sleeping in the Cold

It's actually better for you. They proved it with charts and numbers.

Cold temperatures are better for sleep
If you prefer to sleep in warmer temperatures, you are scientifically incorrect.

Differences in room-temperature preferences are among the biggest nonsexual issues a couple may encounter in the bedroom, but it turns out there is actually a right and wrong answer when it comes to sleeping temps.

According to the Atlantic, science is on the side of those who argue in favor cooler sleeping temperatures. Sleep quality affects various fundamental aspects of health and wellbeing, and people sleep better in cooler temps than warmer ones. A 2012 study published in the journal Sleep found that participants slept longer in temperatures of 61 degrees Fahrenheit than 75 degrees, and that colder sleepers were more alert the next day.

The reasoning has to do with the natural way your body prepares for sleep. When you fall asleep, your core and brain temperatures drop, so sleeping in higher temperatures works against the body’s natural sleep readying process. As the Atlantic reported, insomnia has actually been linked to problems in the body’s heat-regulation cycles.

Given this sleep physiology, experts recommend keeping sleeping temperatures below those of average daily temperatures in the home. Various experts have recommended specific temperatures, but most tend to fall somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends keeping a daily room temperature of 68 degrees, and turning the temperature “lower while you’re asleep.” A neurologist in Virginia told that the perfect sleeping temperature is 65, while others have advised sleepers cap their room temperature at 64, and the Atlantic‘s own James Hamblin settled on a cool 60 degrees.

While there may not be any single right number, there is a right answer, and science says that answer is “colder.” Congratulations to anyone on the cooler side of the bedroom temperature argument, and my condolences, if not my sympathy, to hot sleepers everywhere. Maybe just try an extra blanket?

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