बेडरूम टेम्परेचर को लेकर पति-पत्नी एक राय नहीं होते! What is your bed room temperature?

आपके बेडरूम का तापमान क्या है? 

Men and his wife never agrees to set one

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

(Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India)


Room temperature setting is a personal choice and personal preference varies however, there is often said to be a big gender divide when it comes to feeling the cold among young couples It is interesting to note that when they become old they may agree.. But why would men and women have such different temperature comfort ranges? It is all scientific, nothing personal; nature has made us like that only.

The biggest factor is the skin

While skin cells are important since they carry free nerve endings that detect temperatures and relay this information to the brain. These cells sit right next to where the outermost layer of the skin meets the next layer.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and performs many functions. It is a protective barrier against pathogens and ultraviolet radiation from the sun, a restrictive barrier to retain water, it helps synthesise vitamin D from sunlight to strengthen our bones, and it regulates internal body temperature. It is also the primary detector of external temperature.

The skin is made up of three distinct layers : the outermost epidermis, the dermis in the middle and the hypodermis. The hypodermis is the deepest layer (think hypodermic needle for injections) and is also known as the subcutaneous fat layer. It’s insulating and designed to keep us warm. If you go through all these layers you usually reach muscle.

Is all skin the same?

There are many differences in skin – colour is perhaps being the most visible. Less visible is skin thickness. The dermis and epidermis is thickest on the buttocks and thinnest on places such as the thighs and middle of the back. However, the thickness of the deepest subcutaneous fat layer also differs. It is thickest on the buttocks, and thinnest on the arms and thighs. Skin thickness also varies with gender. Women’s subcutaneous fat layer is almost twice as thick as that in men; men carry most of their fat in their abdomen around their organs,

women subcutaneously beneath their skin.

But fat is said to be an insulator, so why is there such difference in comfortable temperature? Well the body’s natural reaction to cold temperatures is to shiver, this is where your muscles contract involuntarily or shake to generate heat and it’s controlled by nerves. It is well documented that men have a higher amount of muscle with which to generate heat in cold temperatures, but also ability to generate heat while resting. Men also have a higher basal metabolic rate – energy expended at rest. These two factors give them a higher resting temperature.

If we consider the basic distribution of subcutaneous fat, the female body should maintain warmth better than the male, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. When you take into consideration skin thickness, subcutaneous fat thickness and muscle mass, it becomes clear that although female muscles shiver the same as those in the male, their thicker insulating layer potentially means that the heat they generated takes longer to get through to the outer layers of the skin where the temperature-sensing free nerve endings are located.

Hormones also play a large part in determining comfortable temperature and they cause a more dynamic change in thermoregulation in females than males due to the menstrual cycle. There are also clear differences between amounts of body fat in females depending on ethnic origin. Geographical location can have a huge impact on the need for thick layers of subcutaneous fat to maintain temperature. Some individuals of the Inuit population in Greenland, for example, have 34% body fat to maintain temperature in temperatures that range from -8 to 7°C during the year.

So all of these factors may account for why some women and men say they feel the cold differently. Of course many of these differences can also differ between individuals.

The Effect of Age on skin

As we age, subcutaneous tissue starts to thin out. This weakened layer of insulation makes the body more sensitive to the cold because less tissue makes it harder to stay warm.

The loss of subcutaneous tissue due to aging also causes the body to sweat less, which, in turn, makes it harder to stay cool in warm weather.  It can also affect the body's reaction to certain medications that are absorbed by subcutaneous tissue.

While the hypodermis is not visible, it can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of the skin and the way aging impacts the skin, specifically in the area of the face and neck. With aging, the volume of facial fat decreases, and there is less supportive tissue to support the normal elasticity of the skin. 

The facial skin begins to droop and sag; the bones and muscles of the face also lose volume. Some people may choose to receive chemical cosmetic fillers to "plump up" the skin in these areas. (The author has his own study and views)