We all have our own preferences when it comes to falling asleep. But did you know that keeping cool while you sleep is actually beneficial for your health? Studies have shown that keeping the brain and body cool when trying to catch some zzz’s will not only help battle insomnia but also improve your general health and well-being. We take a look at some of the core benefits of keeping cool while you sleep;
If you suffer from insomnia you will already know that your brain activity is supercharged at night time. Researchers from the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine have found that this excessive activity keeps the brain and body too hot to sleep, and makes it almost impossible for the sufferer to “switch off” their thought processes. Dr Daniel Buyesse, a psychiatrist at the university, found that this is because the body’s natural circadian rhythm usually lowers the body’s temperature in the evening to help you doze off, but insomnia sufferers increase their body temperatures with their brain activity.
The study observed the effects of using cooling caps on insomniacs to regulate their brain temperatures. It found that the insomnia sufferers were able to fall asleep with an average of 13 minutes, compared with 16 minutes for the controls.
Keeps you looking younger
Studies have shown that sleeping in cooler conditions help the body to keep releasing melatonin, one of the most crucial anti-aging hormones. As the body responds to the onset of darkness by lowering its temperature, large amounts of melatonin are released into the bloodstream to help induce sleep. Naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner states that sleeping under conditions warmer that 21 degrees Celsius prevents the body from naturally cooling down and therefore inhibits the production of melatonin.
Encourages a deeper sleep
Research has shown that a temperature between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius is optimal for sleeping, anything above or below that can mean a disruptive night’s rest. Dr Christopher Winter has confirmed that body temperature is directly linked to the amount of deep sleep you get during the night, so it is vital to ensure that your sleeping conditions are cool to maximise your rest. Higher temperatures can decrease slow wave sleep which reduces the body’s ability to recover from the day’s activities.
Lowers risk of metabolic disease
Studies have shown that sleeping in environments with consistent temperatures of around 18 degrees Celsius not only helps the body to burn calories, but also encourages the production of brown (good) fat in the body, which lowers the risk of metabolic disorders such as obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. The research confirmed that in addition to production of brown fat, sleeping in a cool environment also helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
How do I keep cool?
The most obvious step is to turn the thermostat down before you go to bed. Investing in breathable or Tencel sheets will also help the body to keep cool during the night. Sleeping on a gel-infused memory foam mattress such as the REM-Fit 400 can regulate the body’s temperature and prevent overheating, as the open cell structure of the material helps to encourage air flow and transfer heat away from the body.
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