Even people who find little to like about long winters have a few good reasons to celebrate: lowering the temperature at night will improve sleep and save energy at the same time. Researchers have found that cool temperatures foster sound and beneficial sleep, which promotes good health and well-being.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends dropping the temperature to 18 degrees at night and lower to improve sleep. As fatigue sets in, the core body temperature falls and it doesn’t rise until the body is rested. This phenomenon is due to natural Circadian rhythms that drive bedtimes and preferred sleep temperatures.
If you don’t sleep in a cool house already, the NIH recommends setting the thermostat a degree or two lower each night to learn your best sleeping temperature. Keep an extra blanket nearby if you wake up chilled to return to sound sleep quickly.
Spending the time to experiment will probably be worth it. Besides sleeping better, sleep experts report that cooler temperatures raise the metabolism, which burns more calories as you sleep. REM sleep deepens in a cooler room, a sleep phase that benefits the brain.
Making Energy Savings Even Easier
Installing a programmable thermostat will eliminate the need to remember to turn the temperature down at night. However, keep the temperature above 12 degrees to avoid frozen pipes on particularly cold nights. If you’re away from home routinely, such a thermostat will also help you save energy. You can program the thermostat to start heating your house shortly before you rise in the morning.
A zoning system simplifies managing temperatures in each area of your home without affecting the comfort of others. Each zone has its own thermostat that turns the HVAC system on only when that area needs heating. Zoning systems have a proven record of measurable energy savings and are an option when installing a new HVAC system or retrofitting an existing home.
Turning down the heat does make sleeping easier and it will save energy. To learn more, contact Arpi’s Industries, proudly providing HVAC services for Calgary area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.
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