A quick non-scientific survey of friends and colleagues suggests that about half people like to be cool when they sleep, while half prefer to be warm. What is unclear, however, is whether being warm of cold is better for our health. Does this vary dependant on the individual?
There is no doubt that humans are pre-programmed to want to store up fat and spend longer periods of inactivity during winter. Whilst this is not quite hibernation, it is coded in our genomes to conserve vital energy and store weight during the darker months. When winter starts many people start to put more covers on beds and buy a warm pair of PJs. Many people admit to wearing warm socks at night.
More than anything, though, we think it’s time to turn on the heating. As well as costing more money, the problem with excessive heat is that it can disturb our sleeping patterns. A Daily Mirror article and survey published in September 2017 suggests that 50% of respondents, “had problems sleeping because their rooms were too toasty.”
The reality is that sleeping in temperatures over 65º F isn’t good for our health (or the planet). There is a large weight of advice that indicates we should let our bedrooms cool down at night if we want to stay in good shape and sleep well. This is expressed well on nova969.com.au who say, “When you sleep your body temperature goes down and then starts to warm up towards the end of your sleep as a signal to wake up. So if you sleep in a cooler room you are likely to be more comfortable, less likely to wake up during the night and generally get a better night’s sleep.”
The scientific reason for the above point is that our bodies can activate their thermo-regulation systems at moderate temperatures. In other words, if we put on too many layers, our bodies become lazy.
Also, if we keep the ambient temperature between 60 ºF and 65 ºF, it helps our bodies wake up easier, which helps us to stay active during the day.