Lets Cool It in the Bedroom - NYTimes.com
Courtesy of The NY Times, we're talking about sleep again today. But this time its not about quantity but the quality of that sleep. Most particularly, the temperature of your bedroom.
"Sleep is essential for good health, as we all know. But a new study hints that there may be an easy but unrealized way to augment its virtues: lower the thermostat. Cooler bedrooms could subtly transform a person’s stores of brown fat — what has lately come to be thought of as “good fat” — and consequently alter energy expenditure and metabolic health, even into daylight hours."
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health tested volunteers with the same diet under sleeping temperatures of 75 degrees for one month, 66 degrees for one month & 81 degrees the last month. The results?
"The cold temperatures, it turned out, changed the men’s bodies noticeably. Most striking, after four weeks of sleeping at 66 degrees, the men had almost doubled their volumes of brown fat. Their insulin sensitivity, which is affected by shifts in blood sugar, improved. The changes were slight but meaningful, says Francesco S. Celi, the study’s senior author and now a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. “These were all healthy young men to start with,” he says, “but just by sleeping in a colder room, they gained metabolic advantages” that could, over time, he says, lessen their risk for diabetes and other metabolic problems. The men also burned a few more calories throughout the day when their bedroom was chillier (although not enough to result in weight loss after four weeks). The metabolic enhancements were undone after four weeks of sleeping at 81 degrees; in fact, the men then had less brown fat than after the first scan."
A cold bedroom won't make up for a bad diet or a sedentary lifestyle as the articles states & will likely have no real noticeable effect on weight loss goals, but the fact that cooler sleeping temperature may affect the type of 'metabolically active' fat stores you have has some interesting implications. One more reason to enjoy the cool nights of Cache Valley, save some money on utilities & enjoy a little cuddling ;)