Everyone has their own preferred environment for a good night’s sleep. Some people need complete darkness and silence while others can doze off easily with the TV blaring. Most of us like to sleep snug as a bug under covers, even during the warmer months.
But did you know that burrowing under layers of blankets isn’t exactly the best for your body? In fact, there are proven health benefits to sleeping in cooler temperatures! Here are just some of the advantages of sleeping in a cold room—and tips for reducing the temperature while you snooze.
1. It can help you manage your weight: Who doesn’t want to lose weight without going to the gym? Studies have shown that exposing yourself to cooler temperatures can help raise your metabolism. But how?
Despite not moving much, your body actually burns calories while you sleep—so go ahead and snooze with the A/C on and let your body do the rest. It’s the only form of exercise that you can do without being awake!
2. You’ll look your best: The deeper your slumber, the more melatonin you’ll produce. Not only does melatonin help you get restful sleep, but it’s your body’s natural anti-aging compound, which means that you can stay youthful forever… or something like that.
So, how does that work? When you sleep in warmer temperatures, the hot air can dehydrate you, which wrinkles your skin and clogs your pores. Cooler temps, however, can help close pores and restore moisture to your skin.
3. It regulates body temperature: Staying under the covers with your head exposed is the healthiest way to sleep. While the rest of your body stays warm, your head will remain cool, ensuring that you remain at an overall consistent temperature.
Definitely don’t hide your head under the blankets! If you want to try sleeping in a colder room, but you dread catching a chill while you rest, you can bundle up the rest of your body as much as you want. Just keep your head exposed.
4. It can lead to better physical and mental health: Getting a good’s night sleep—in cool air—is the cornerstone of keeping your body and your mind healthy and energized for the day ahead. Your brain processes so much while you sleep that it’s the only way to physically recharge!
Additionally, sleep studies have shown that symptoms of diseases, such as sleep apnea and fibromyalgia, may decrease when sleeping in cooler temperatures. It’s just another reason to tap that thermostat.
5. You’ll just flat-out sleep better: Your body’s temperature naturally decreases after you fall asleep. This is why it’s common to feel cold when you wake up in the middle of the night, even when it’s summertime. By lowering the temperature in your room, you’re encouraging those Zs!
If you’re sleeping in a cooler room, your body temperature will drop more quickly. This sends you to super-efficient REM sleep faster instead of wasting time just waiting for sleep to come to you.
Unfortunately, sometimes sleeping in cooler temperatures isn’t always as easy as getting up and punching a couple of buttons on the air conditioner. Some folks don’t even own air conditioners! If that’s you, these tips can help you stay cool…
1. Sleep with fewer clothes on: This one’s kind of a no-brainer; removing your clothes should let your skin cool off more, right? But you don’t necessarily have to sleep completely in the nude! Try just removing your pants.
If you wear a sweatshirt to bed, change into a simple T-shirt instead. It’s all about removing layers and finding what works best for you. Sleeping in lightweight all-natural fabrics, like cotton, will enable your body to breathe as you sleep, keeping you from overheating.
2. Stick your feet out of your covers: Sure, you’ll have to untuck your blanket, but that may be the easiest fix ever! It might seem like a silly thing to try, but it can make all difference when it comes to cooling down.
If you find yourself feeling too cold with your bare feet exposed on the bottom of your bed, you could always try keeping them beneath the sheet. Just make sure your comforter isn’t covering them.
3. Turn on a fan: Even those without access to air conditioning probably have a fan lying around. If not, they’re easy to find in local hardware stores! Usually even the largest fans are pretty affordable, and there’s nothing quite like feeling that cool breeze on your skin.
The great thing about fans is that, while they don’t lower the temperature of the air, they can dry sweat as it cools on your body. This in turn can help lower your core temperature just enough to see results.
4. Get the temperature just right. Studies have shown that there is actually a near-perfect temperature to sleep in that will prevent you from becoming too blazing hot or freezing cold. So, what is it?
Believe it or not, the ideal temperature falls between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a thermostat in your home, make sure you check that it’s set at an optimal temperature before you hit the hay.
Trying to sleep in cooler temperatures could be the key to improving your health! But what if you want to improve the exterior of your body too? Well, there’s a new fad going around that apparently works just like the fountain of youth…
Cory Williams — a comedian, musician, and YouTuber — recently invited cameras into his bathroom to film something very peculiar. As if that scenario doesn’t sound odd enough, what actually unfolded was even weirder than you’re probably imagining.
SPMFilms / YouTube
Cory first provided some instructions: find a large bathtub — even a kiddie pool would work — and fill it with scalding-hot water. Then, as he put it, “it’s time to add the magical ingredient.” Just what could that be?
SMPFilms / YouTube
The special ingredient was… ramen. Seriously. He dumped it right into his jacuzzi! Soon, the hot tub water softened the noodles, and a thin layer of cheap pasta covered the surface. That’s when things got really weird.
SMPFilms / YouTube
Once the noodles were al dente, Cory hopped into the water and vigorously scrubbed at his arms and face with the ramen. Later, he described the experience as “actually quite relaxing.” But that begged a question: why, dude?
SMPFilms / YouTube
Was it just a comedy bit for a highly-watched YouTube channel? Maybe—but not entirely. See, pasta baths weren’t a thing simply cooked up by one attention-seeking YouTube personality…
SMPFilms / YouTube
Ramen baths like Cory’s were actually becoming quite popular. Though the origin of this odd practice couldn’t be precisely pinpointed, many articles credited Ichiro Furuya, owner of the Yunessan Spa House in Hakone, Japan, as the leading figure spearheading the movement.
Diagonal View / YouTube
Ichiro’s spa didn’t only offer ramen baths for its patrons’ amusements, either. A number of zany, off-the-wall treatments included sake baths and even wine baths, as pictured here. But that wasn’t the weirdest one…
There were even chocolate baths! For just 3,500 yen—or about $29—attendees of the world-famous spa could actually stew in actual chocolate. Wonder if anyone indulging in this would be considered a chocoholic?
Believe it or not, this all wasn’t just some throwaway, novelty idea; it actually came with a medicinal purpose. “Lately, people are very concerned about having beautiful skin,” Ichiro said.
He added, “And they know the effect of collagen, which is contained in our pork-based broth. At this bath, everybody can have fun and take advantage of the healthy elements of ramen noodles.” Huh? Healthy? That couldn’t be right… could it?
Susanna Forrest / Twitter
The professor confirmed her suspicions: the passage she’d found told of children bathing in horse broth. She dug further and found some additionally fascinating information about the topic…
The Weekend Gourmande
As Susanna wrote in a piece for Atlas Obscura, “Broth bathing appears to share a tandem history with ‘hydrotherapy,’ the therapeutic immersion of the body in warm mineral water.” In fact, 19th-century doctors once prescribed hydrotherapy for mercury poisoning!
Susanna continued, “Physicians believed that skin was permeable, so if mercury could seep out, then surely the hearty properties of spring water or bouillon could seep in.” Surprisingly, the treatment caught on.
By the mid 19th-century, legitimate medical texts discussed the benefits of broth bathing. Stories of sickly children who regained strength after a broth bath spread far and wide—even to America. But was this legitimate?
Susanna provided anecdotal broth bath support from her friend. “On a research trip in rural Armenia, she met an Assyrian woman who followed local practice and bathed her baby boy in beef broth ‘to strengthen his bones,'” she wrote. “The baby thrived.”
Guava Juice / YouTube
So how exactly did this work? Well, Ichiro mentioned his broth containing collagen, which was a key factor. Naturopathic doctor Kellyann Petrucci would attest to the protein’s health benefits…
Foods of Jane / Instagram
“Collagen is a protein that’s a major building block of your skin, bones, and connective tissue,” she told The Huffington Post. “This is why it’s smart to start adding collagen to your diet as you age.” Thankfully, supplements are easy to find in stores.
Nutri Health One / YouTube
A 2014 study backed up the benefits of collagen supplements, too. So maybe it’s not so crazy to think a bath in a tub of piping hot ramen soup—flavor packets included—might actually give you smooth skin and iron-tough bones?
Kali Muscle / YouTube