Cooler Temps and Better Sleep

The market for cooling technology is booming! From gel-infused memory foam and latex involved in pillow production, to mattresses and mattress toppers made from environmentally sustainable fibers like Lyocell (https://www.simplififabric.com/pages/lyocell), the world of temperature regulated sleep is at the click of the order link. Let’s be honest, we don’t all go to the local mattress store to bounce from bed to bed searching for the perfect back support anymore. We now jump online, order and unpack a king size mattress folded into a box smaller than a microwave. And magically, in 24 hours, it’s ready for slumber.

There’s a really interesting study conducted on the effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm published in 2012 (see link at the end of this article if you want the in depth scoop). Since there’s a lot of medical lingo in the study, we’re going to give you the abbreviated, uncomplicated version. This study discusses how sleep is strongly linked to thermoregulation. The human body has a sleep-wake rhythm that’s repeated every 24 hours. The core body temperature will cycle along with this rhythm, increasing when awake and decreasing (cooling) when in the sleep phase. There are several variants to this pattern, dependent on age (for example, the elderly body tends to wake in the early hours of the morning and, if you’re interested, the study goes into extensive explanation as to why this happens). In addition, the thermoregulatory reaction during sleep differs on sleep stages. The conclusion to what you’re learning is that cooler temperatures are more beneficial to sleep. Here’s the proof.

If you’re a penny pincher, disregard the next sentence and move on. The recommended thermostat temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees fahrenheit. As the human body prepares for sleep, it will naturally drop in temperature, and setting the air temperature lower will help facilitate this process. If the penny pincher didn’t follow directions, there are options to lower sleeping temperatures without necessarily lowering the thermostat and increasing electrical costs. As mentioned in the beginning, there are plenty of retail options advertised all over such as cooling pillows and again, mattress choices. Google “temp controlled sleeping products 2019” and watch the pages and pages generate. There is no shortage of options!

Cooler sleeping temperatures also assist the body in natural production of melatonin. Higher melatonin levels are associated with sleep (melatonin is a hormone made in the pineal gland and it helps your body know when to rest) and is also believed to have anti-aging antioxidants. Studies are being done to confirm the effects of melatonin as a protector against UV-induced skin aging. Let’s face it, getting a good night’s sleep also improves moods and reduces stress. Dragging into the office after a night of tossing and turning can make for a very long, unproductive day filled with mood swings and easy irritants.

Sleep Advisor has some great ideas for cooling your bedroom. Keep the blinds closed, use a fan, open the window when temperatures outside are equal or colder than your inside temperature desire, invest in blackout curtains, and stick your feet out (as long as you’re not watching horror flicks before bedtime!). Obviously, we all want better and more beneficial sleep so, test it out and give us your feedback on our Facebook link. 

Sweet dreams!

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427038/

 

~Shannon Hadeed 

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