Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sleep Well with a Healthy Room Temperature

If you are lacking good sleep, then the temperature of your room needs a little attention! Your bedroom may be either too warm or too cold. Either way, the temperature can affect your sleep.

Medical experts agree that the room temperature is an important factor that influences sleep. According to H. Craig Heller, PhD, professor of biology at Stanford University, “When you go to sleep, your set point for body temperature — the temperature your brain is trying to achieve — goes down. Think of it as the internal thermostat. That mild drop in body temperature induces sleep.”

The next thing that comes to your mind is the question:

What is the best bedroom temperature for getting a great night’s sleep? 

Well, it is difficult to recommend a specific range.

You might be surprised to learn that to sleep better, it does not matter how you prefer the temperature to be. A cooler room is likely to give you better sleep and certainly improves the quality of your sleep.

Ralph Downey III, PhD, chief of sleep medicine at Loma Linda University says that if your bedroom is warm, and is likely to get uncomfortably hot later in the night, you are more likely to wake up from sleep during the night, and going back to sleep will be difficult.

When a person goes to sleep, the set point for the body temperature and the temperature brain strives to achieve dips. Thus, if it is too cold or too hot in the room, there is a struggle within the body to achieve this set point.

Researchers and medical personnel feel that the key to good sleep is to match the room temperature with the lowered temperature of the body. This is a theory well supported by doctors and psychologists as well.

In addition to the right temperature, there are other strategies too, for creating ideal sleeping conditions.
  • The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that your bedroom should resemble a cave. Experts from the academy say that the bedroom should be cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Observe the bats. They follow this logic and can sleep well. They are sometimes called champion sleepers because of their ability to sleep for as long as 16 hours a day.
  • Avoid the soft and smooth foam pillows. They feel real good as they conform closely to the shape of the body, but they can make you feel hot too.
  • Try wearing socks on your feet while sleeping. The toes are most vulnerable to cold. There is nothing better than cold feet to disrupt the sleep.
  • Work out a mutual understanding regarding the temperature with your bedmate. The recommended range is between 65° and 72° Fahrenheit. However, higher and lower can be individual preferences. The idea is to get improved quality of sleep.
Research also says that for normal sleepers, a drop in the core temperature of the body increases the temperature in the feet and the hands. This happens because the body radiates heat and blood vessels dilate.

However, for troubled sleepers, studies show that a cool room and feet placed on a hot-water bottle, rapidly dilates the blood vessels, and helps in adjusting the internal thermostat to set a better temperature.

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