13 November 2017 0 Comments Posted By : Administrator

5 Surprising Ways the Thermostat Can Impact Your Health

Setting the thermostat at the exact right temperature can be a challenge. You want your environment to be comfortable without worrying about the cost. As a result, people often set their air conditioning higher or their heat lower to save a few bucks on their utility bills.

However, this may not be the best for your health. Temperature can impact your personal health and well-being in ways you may not realize.

Read on to learn how your thermostat can affect your health.

1. Weight Loss Is Easier When the Thermostat Is Low 

Several studies have demonstrated how cooler temperatures can boost your metabolism and promote weight gain. “The human body has two types of fat,” explains Cathy Cram of Spark People. “The kind we all know and dislike, ''white fat'' and another much more metabolically active fat termed ''brown fat.'' The white adipose tissue (WAT) functions to store excess energy, whereas the brown adipose tissue (BAT) has a much different function of burning WAT stores to produce heat.”

Cram goes on to explain that when the temperatures are cooler, your body tends to shiver ever so slightly, burning those BAT fat stores. It sounds uncomfortable, but setting your temperature just a couple of degrees lower could have you shedding a pound or two every month, just by sitting there.

2. Too Much Heat Impacts Organ Function

Thanks to climate change, it’s not uncommon to see temperatures above 100 degrees in the summer. According to a report from Time Magazine, this is not the last we’ll see of these summer heat waves, and it will be more common to see heat stroke and other heat-related health concerns as a result.

These concerns should not be taken lightly, especially since prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures can harm organ functions, especially the kidneys. Studies show that those who spend too much time in high heat are at greater risk for heat stroke and kidney problems, especially young children and seniors.

Higher indoor temperatures can be just as harmful as outdoor temperatures. Keeping the thermostat at a comfortable, cooler level can be expensive, especially with rising A/C costs. However, it’s not worth risking your health. Apply some cost-saving tips if you feel that your A/C bill is out of control, and get your temperature to a healthier level.

3. You Can Breathe Easier in Cooler Temperatures 

You know that refreshing feeling when you breathe in clean, air-conditioned oxygen on a hot day? It’s not just your imagination: it really is easier to breathe when the temperatures are lower.

One Australian study studied a random selection of patients with respiratory problems. They discovered that those who lived in cooler climates or who lived in air-conditioned buildings reported fewer hospital admissions as a result of breathing problems.

Allergens are less common in cooler climates, which is a significant benefit to those with respiratory problems. What’s more, air conditioners have filters that keep dust, pet dander, mold, and pollen away from your lungs when you’re indoors.

4. Central Heating Dries the Air and Hurts Your Nasal Passages

Dry climates are infamously bad for breathing problems, and if you’re running the heat constantly during the winter months, your indoor air will naturally lack moisture. As you breathe in the dry air, it has a particularly poignant impact on your sinuses and nasal passages, putting you at greater risk for developing sinus problems.

“If the mucus (in the nose) gets too dry, it turns into a scab or turns to thick glue. It causes discomfort in the sinuses, pain in the cheeks and can lead to bleeding,” says George Murty an ENT surgeon at University Hospitals Leicester. He goes on to explain that these problems can turn into infections and inflammation that can make you very sick.

Turning your heat off in the winter is probably not an option, but you can leave it at a slightly lower temperature. It’s also helpful to use a humidifier when indoors. 

5. It’s Easier to Sleep When the Temperature Is Cool

Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience studied the sleep quality of test subjects who slept in temperature controlled rooms—some very warm and some cool. They discovered that those who set the thermostat to between 65 and 70 degrees slept significantly better than those in the warmer rooms.

The principle behind this scientific discovery is fairly simple. As you sleep, your body temperature naturally cools. If you’re unable to cool down because the room is too hot, you’ll be uncomfortable and have a difficult time falling asleep.

Since we know the importance of a good night’s sleep on your everyday performance, it becomes even more important to sleep on a cool mattress and turn down the thermostat.

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