With the dropping temperatures, there is a real temptation to leave the heater on for the whole day and night. Not only does this have a considerable impact on your bank account, but it can also actually be detrimental to your health—especially if you’re sleeping with your heater on full blast.
Risks of sleeping with the heater on
A 2019 survey conducted by Slumberdown, a company that manufactures bedding, revealed that 46% of people who slept with the heater on woke up the next morning feeling unwell. 37% of the people reported symptoms that ranged from dehydration to dry mouth, and in some cases severe headaches. A further 20% of the participants said they had disrupted sleep and broke out in sweats at the middle of their sleep cycle.
According to Slumberdown’s sleep expert, Professor Jason Ellis, there is a very logical reason for this. Ellis explained that in order to get a comfortable sleep, our body naturally begins cooling down towards bedtime and similarly it ‘then naturally warms up towards the morning.’
So the chances of you waking up in the middle of the night, or not getting proper rest, automatically increase if your body temperature is higher from the beginning of the night.
Dr. Karan Rajan, NHS surgeon and famous TikTok doctor, also took to his social media recently to warn people from turning up their heater as the colder months approach. He said:
Our body's core temperature needs to drop to initiate sleep.
So a cooler temperature gets you closer to the target sleep temperature of your body, so you fall asleep a lot faster.
He added that sleeping in a warmer environment can also negatively affect the way your body recharges during the night. He explained:
Warmer temperatures means your brain and body are more active trying to cool you down.
This increased brain activity limits the amount of REM and slow wave sleep your body needs to recharge.