Sleeping is essential for good health, as we all know. But, a new study has shown that sleeping in a colder room can improve health. Colder sleeping rooms can subtly transform your brown adipose tissue (considered as a good adipose) into higher consumption of energy and metabolism, even during the day.
Until recently, scientists have considered that adults do not have brown adipose, but during the last couple of years, a very small amount in the size of a teaspoon, has been found in the neck and the upper part of the back in many adults. This is a very important brown adipose, and contrary to the well known white adipose, it is metabolically active. Mice experiments have shown that sugar needs to be out of the bloodstream so that calories can be burnt and inside temperature of the body is maintained.
Apparently, a similar process occurs in people, as well. A new study, published by the American Diabetes Association in July, in collaboration with the National Institute for Health, has researched the influence of controlled climate conditions in bedrooms in which 5 young men- volunteers slept for several months. During the day, the young men lived their normal lives, but it the nighttime they slept in the Institute. All meals, including lunch were provided for them so that proper intake of calories is guaranteed. They were covered with light sheets.
During the first month, researchers have kept a temperature of 24°C, since they considered that neutral temperature would not cause body reactions. The next month, they lowered the temperature to 19°C, which they considered that it would stimulate, in smaller amounts, the brown adipose tissue (but it will not cause trembling, which is a usual reaction of lower temperatures). The next month, the temperature was restored to 24°C so that all effects from the cold room were abolished. At the end of the last month they increased the temperature to 27°C. Blood sugar, insulin level and intake of calories were tracked during the experiment, and also after each month, the amount of brown adipose was measured.
The research showed that cold temperature had significantly changed their bodies. The most surprising fact was that after sleeping in a temperature of 19°C, the volume of brown adipose in the young men had doubled. Their insulin sensitivity was better under the influence of change in sugar in the blood. Francesco S. Celi, one of the researches and a professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University, claims that although these were light changes, they are important. These are young and healthy men, but with the very fact of sleeping in a cold room they gained metabolic benefits in comparison to others. In time, these benefits can decrease their risk of diabetes and other metabolic problems. They also lost several calories during sleeping in a cold room (yet not so much that it would result in weight loss through those few months). The metabolic improvements were gone after sleeping in a temperature od 27°C. In fact, they had even less than during the first scan.
Like Celi says, the message of these researches is:
In order to improve your metabolism, lower the temperature for a few degrees in your bedrooms. My room temperature, and also my office temperature have one more benefit- they shorten meetings. Obviously, lower temperatures of our surroundings enhance certain mechanisms for which there were not much writings or debates, until now.
Sleeping in a cold room or showering with cold water creates full increase of inner body temperature which contributes to the strengthening of the immune system and speeding of the metabolism, especially in the moments when we relax.