Want to boost your metabolism? Since for many of us that's a stupid question, here's another trick for you to keep up your sleeve this autumn and into winter, according to Reader's Digest. Scientists have discovered that sleeping in a room between 60° and 67°F (that's between 15.5° and 19.4° in Celsius) can boost your metabolism.
In a study published in the journal Diabetes, researchers found that not only did people who slept in 66°F rooms (18.8°C) burn over 7% more calories than those who snoozed in warmer rooms, but the cool temperatures could protect them from metabolic diseases like diabetes.
Add that up, and 7% extra calories works out at around 100 calories every three nights (if you sleep for eight hours each time). That's around 230 extra calories a week, roughly 1000 per month and 12,000 per year. Not a huge number, but every little bit counts, right? When I completed a run streak (running a mile every day for 500 days), I burnt an extra 100 calories daily too. During that time, I generally didn't have to watch what I ate. You don't have to run to get the same benefits, though—you just have to leave your heating switched off (it's money-saving, too).
So why is a cold room beneficial? The researchers have been led to believe that in a cooler room, our bodies have to work harder to raise our core temperature to the normal 98.6°F (37°C). This extra work means you're burning more calories even when you're sleeping.
Not convinced to ditch that snugly throw just yet? Well, weight loss isn't the only perk to shivering in your sleep; a cold room has been linked with anti-aging benefits, too. According to research, we release more melatonin when sleeping at cooler temperatures. (Melatonin is an anti-aging hormone.)
If you're planning to leave your window open to let the cool air in, buy a pair of earplugs to ensure the outside noise doesn't interrupt your slumber.
Next up: A guilt-free pancake recipe that doesn't taste healthy at all.
Lee P, Smith S, Linderman J, et al. Temperature-acclimated brown adipose tissue modulates insulin sensitivity in humans. Diabetes. 2014;63(11):3686‐3698. doi:10.2337/db14-0513
Kleszczynski K, Fischer TW. Melatonin and human skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):245‐252. doi:10.4161/derm.22344