Mia Shulman, Managing Editor
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 10:54 AM EDT
Prefer the chilly air of a breezy bedroom while you sleep? A new study covered by the The New York Times has found colder bedrooms might be the secret to living a long and healthy life. Is that enough to make you give up your flannel onesie?
The National Institute of Health conducted a study using five healthy men over the course of four months to test whether cold bedrooms could transform a person’s stores of brown fat, also known as “good fat.” Brown fat is metabolically active and can help remove sugar from the blood stream and burn calories.
Each night, for four months, the subjects slept in climate-controlled chambers at the N.I.H. During the first month, the chamber was 24°C, for the second month, the temperature was lowered to 19°C. During the third month, the temperature was raised back to 24°C and for the fourth month, the temperature was raised even higher to 27°C. The subjects’ blood-sugar, insulin levels and daily caloric intake and expenditures were tracked.
At the end of the study, researchers found that the men had doubled their brown fat, insulin sensitivity had improved and they’d gained metabolic advantages, which can all go a long way in preventing diabetes and other metabolic concerns.
Turns out a case of cold feet isn’t the worst thing after all.