Turn your Thermostat down to Sleep Better

turn down thermostat to sleep betterMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Are you looking to burn fat and reach a healthier weight? Sure, we are told that eating right and exercising will do the trick, but what happens when that doesn’t seem to work? It could be in the way that you sleep! Did you know that scientific research shows that you can burn calories just by changing the temperature in your bedroom?

Research at Virginia Commonwealth University determined that sleeping with cooler temperatures in the room released endocrine hormones that burn fat cells while you sleep. Francesco Celi, MD, the lead researcher and Chair of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the VCU School of Medicine, discussed these findings, which were published in 2014.

Celi likened the contraction of skeletal muscle when a person shivers in cool weather to the contraction of skeletal muscle during exercise. In both cases, hormones called irisin and FGF21 are released. These hormones stimulate brown adipose tissue, also known as “brown fat,” to produce heat to maintain the core temperature of the body. This production of heat keeps your organs as warm as they need to be, and burns excess fat cells in the process. This process also is a crucial survival skill in situations where a person experiences hypothermia.

Although the research at VCU focused on fat burning, it lined up with previous scientific study on sleep protocol and agreed on the ideal temperature for your sleeping environment—68 degrees, to be precise. That’s the temperature that, according to the study led by Celi, begins production of irisin. Simply setting your thermostat at 68 degrees stimulates brown fat and can burn as many as 100 calories per day.

On the converse side of this issue, individuals who are obese have lower quantities of this brown adipose tissue. This means they burn fewer calories when they sleep, and as a result, maintain a higher percentage of body fat. The better your sleep, the more calories you burn. Is it any wonder, then, that one of the consequences of living with sleep loss over an extended period of time is weight gain? Individuals who live with long-term sleep loss also are more prone to become obese, creating a vicious cycle where sleep is negatively impacted by the increases in weight.

Sleep can be affected by a wide variety of issues—be they environmental, behavioral, or medical. One medical problem that can have a major impact on your ability to get sleep is obstructive sleep apnea. This is a serious sleep breathing disorder that occurs when there is a blockage in the airway that either makes it more difficult to breathe or entirely disrupts the flow of air. These blockages lead the brain to wake up the body, signaling it to breathe—even if you never consciously become awake. A person with severe, untreated sleep apnea may experience these blockages hundreds of times in a given night, so you can imagine the effects that can have on your ability to get quality rest.

Living with sleep apnea can have a serious impact on your health. In fact, the consequences of untreated sleep apnea can be deadly, raising your risk of life-threatening diseases such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and depression. Luckily, relief is at hand. Sleep apnea dentists in Miami like Dr. Raul Garcia and Dr. Conchi Sanchez-Garcia can identify a case of sleep apnea, and then provide treatment through a course of oral appliance therapy. This entails providing the patient with a customized mouthpiece that has been fabricated from specific impressions of your teeth and mouth, making sure there is a snug and comfortable fit. This oral appliance repositions the lower jaw, and helps to maintain an open airway throughout the night. If sleep apnea is diminished, your sleep will improve, and you will burn that excess fat while getting the rest you have been denied for far too long!

How to sleep better in Miami

Learn more about how Miami Designer Smiles can treat sleep apnea by calling our office at (305) 595-4616 to schedule a consultation. We are proud to serve patients in the areas of Miami and Coral Gables in Florida.