Although Chicago has had some spring like temperatures in the past week, this is late October and colder readings are on the way. Personally, while I don’t like to feel the cold, I do like the fact that I can insulate myself with another layer of clothing and still enjoy the outdoors. As regular readers know, I ride my bike here year ’round.
Here’s what Medical News Today has to say about colder temps.
Winter’s here now, temperatures are dropping, and chances are that it’ll get even colder. All that most of us want to do is cozy up indoors with a mug of hot tea and a heartwarming movie, but do cold temperatures bring us any health benefits? If so, what are they? We investigate.
Research has suggested that cool temperatures could bring a range of health benefits, and that we shouldn’t always shun exposure to cold. In this article, we give you an overview of some of these reported benefits.
The cold can boost sleep quality
Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm that self-regulates eating, sleeping, and activity patterns according to day-night cycles, thereby allowing us to function normally. Researchers have found that a dysregulation of circadian rhythms can lead to a disrupted sleep, which, in turn, can lead to a number of health problems.
Studies that were recently covered by Medical News Today have found that insomnia and other sleep disorders can impair our perception and cognitive function and heighten the risk of kidney disease and diabetes.
Research has revealed that, when we fall asleep, our body temperature begins to drop. Insomniacs, however, seem unable to regulate body heat appropriately, leading to difficulties in falling asleep.
This is where external temperatures come in. One study experimented with “cooling caps” — that is, headwear that keeps the sleeper’s head at cooler temperatures — and found that insomniacs benefited from the exposure, which allowed them to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Current sleep guidelines — supported by existing research — suggest that the ideal temperature in our bedrooms as we prepare to go to sleep should be somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be freezing cold, of course — that won’t really help your sleep — but moderately cool environments might do the trick. Continue reading →