Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Achieve Better Sleep with the Right Temperature

Temperature Tune-Up (or Down!)

Much like Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, the temperature must be “just right.” The air temperature of your bedroom, that is. Not too hot and certainly not too cold. Finding a comfortable environment is one key to a better night’s sleep.

 As you’re turning in for the evening, your body ideally has reached  a comfortable equilibrium or middle ground, so when the air is too warm or too cool, the body is then made to work to achieve that “happy medium” it started out with.  Dr. H. Craig Heller, professor of biology at Stanford University says “A mild drop in body temperature induces sleep. Generally, if your are in a cooler room, it is easier for that to happen. But if the room becomes uncomfortably hot or cold, your are more likely to wake up which can also affect the quality dream state of REM sleep."

Recommending a universal room temperature for quality rest sounds simple enough, but realistically, experts find it more difficult as what may be a comfortable temperature for one is not necessarily comfortable for another.  Experts from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine advise thinking “cave-like: cool, quiet and dark, an ideal setting for bats who are known for sleeping 16 hours at a time. They also suggest limit the layers of clothing you sleep in, including socks on your feet as they tend to increase body temperature. 

If your house or bedroom tends to be on the cool, drafty side, trapping cold air, perhaps a personal space heater would warm the room just enough to keep the thermostat bill from creeping too high. Consequently if the room tends to trap heat, keep the ceiling fan running at a constant speed to allow cooler air to circulate at a more comfortable rate. With more than 70 million Americans suffering from chronic sleep disorders and sleep problems, seeking relief from these tips are seemingly necessary and will help increase energy, health and safety.