Sunday, October 23, 2005


One day a co-worker told me, in a not so complementry way, that in the mornings I looked like a person that had only recently come to life. I looked in the mirror and had to agree. Despite good grooming and a daily morning shower my face was puffy, eyes droopy, and lips looking chapped, dry, and swollen. And furthermore, she told me she knew what caused it and how to cure it.

The problem, she said, was from sleeping in a warm room. I thought for a bit and had to admit this was true. More often than not, when I went to bed, the thermostat remained on 70 or 72 degrees F.

So that night I turned down the heat a couple of degrees. I slept better and the next morning felt better. So a few nights later I turned it down a couple more degrees. I slept better and felt even better the next morn. So I added a few more cozy blankets to the bed and continued this routine. Eventually the thermostat was down around 60 degrees.

That’s when Hub started to complain. "God, woman," he said, "do you know what is going to happen here? How cold does it have to be before you are satisfied? If you turn down that thermostat one more degree, we are going to wake up to a disaster – bloody frozen pipes in the basement!"

Now he had me running scared so I cautiously set the thermostat to 65 although I would have preferred to set it lower. After all, ‘the cool room theory’ made good sense to me. You can prevent rapid decay or spoilage of flowers, fruit, medicine, juice, pretty much anything if you keep it cool. (Even psychologically. Where cool heads prevail, things remain in sync.) So it seems totally rational to me.

And this therapy was certainly working better than that menagerie of beauty products that I had been sucked into buying to keep myself looking youthful.

So I’m convinced the theory is right. It does work. If I sleep in a cool room I wake up without that morning puffiness. Better preserved as well. So now I seek an expert opinion on this whole matter. I can’t ask Hub. He won’t tell me because he thinks I will go there. So maybe you can tell me how far I can turn down the heat before Hub will end up repairing broken water pipes?

And I’m also curious if anyone agrees with this theory.


Blogger plumleigh said...

Hmmm... my eyes have only gotten puffy from allergies or crying. But I have always preferred sleeping in a cool room. Even if it means having the window open crack in winter. Didn't realize my choice for comfort had side-benefits!

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Bee said...

I believe it is more "natural" for human beings as animals to sleep in cool, even cold ambient temperatures. That could account for why so many people like to camp or rough it whenever possible. Even with warm blankets, most people sleep with their face exposed and breathing cool air makes one feel more refreshed in the morning. I usually make it through the whole winter season with my thermostat set on 68 degrees at all times. We simply wear more clothes during the winter when indoors. OK! Taking a shower in 68 degree temps can be bracing.

3:24 AM  
Anonymous Esther said...

I suppose if you turn the temperature way down low, you would just freeze and stay at whatever age you were at the time.

I agree a cool room and house is what I prefer (our kids are always complaining the house is too cold), but hey I'm younger for it.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Aurora said...

There is scientific evidence for this theory. The human body requires a drop in temperature to trigger sleep. This is why it is difficult for people to sleep in a hot room, and much easier to sleep in a cooler room. Perhaps you've noticed when you get a little chilly, you might start yawning... perhaps doesn't work for everyone, but it certainly did for me, especially when I was a child. Anyway, the reason you sleep better is because you're giving your body what it requires to trigger the sleep cycle.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Wandering Willow said...

What an interesting post and comments! I've recently found the same thing to be true... I sleep much better when the temp is turne down.

Your pipes won't freeze at 60 degrees. If you have delicate old wood furniture, you might get some cracking from cold temps combined with dry air, but still 60 degrees should be safe.

Let's hear it for sleeping in the coolness! yaaaaay

5:18 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

plumleigh, nice to see you. As miserable as puffy eyes can be, I tend to think that the discomfort of allergies (as long as they are very mild) might be preferred to the sadness of the soul that causes weeping. Either way, hope this bit about the benefits of a cold room ends your puffy eyes, whatever the cause.

mr. bee. Thanks for the comments. You've adapted well. Takes a bit of bravery to climb into a shower at 68 degrees, especially if it takes a minute or two for the hot water to reach the nozzle.

As to a daytime temp of 68, as much as I prefer cool, rather than too warm, I cannot endure cold hands for work that requires dexterity (typing, crafting, knitting) it won't do. When I have cold hands, my fingers are impossibly stiff and clumsy. But for vacuuming, making beds, preparing meals, 68 would be just right for me.

esther, as always you make me chuckle. Glad the cold house is working so well for you. I aged a lot before I learned the secret of remaining young.

aurora, I was totally fascinated by your comments. Thanks for sharing them. I think everyone reading this was intrigued by the more factual information you provided.

wandering willow, glad you enjoyed this post and thanks for the benchmark but I'm going to go one better. I think I'll go to 59 and see what happens.

This was a pretty blaise bit of writing but you all made it into something fascinating with your various comments.

1:56 PM  
Blogger zinath said...

Hey I really appreciate the comments you made on my blog... Thanks a lot! Haven't been blogging recently so I only got to read your comments and advice today...

2:11 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi zinath, nice to hear from you. I very much enjoyed your blog and would like to continue visiting but I seem to have lost your addy. If I may be permitted to continue visiting please let me know where you are by e-mail. You can contact me at Hope you'll let me know.

7:48 PM  

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