Sleeping well can take a lot of work, especially when you have common sleep problems. Sleep science blog Sleepdex points out that raising the temperature of the bedroom may help you sleep better.
Photo by StockLite (Shutterstock).
A recent Dutch study shows just how important temperature is when it comes to sleep quality and fragmentation. Fitting human subjects with thermosuits, the scientists were able to lower skin temperature less than a degree Centrigrade without affecting core body temperature. The changes were dramatic. People didn't wake up as much during the night and the percentage of the sleep spent in stages 3 and 4 (deep sleep) increased. The effects were most pronounced in the elderly and in people who suffered from insomnia. A 0.4 C decrease in skin temperature caused a decline in the probability of early morning waking from 0.58 to 0.04.
The same researchers found that people with narcolepsy tend to have higher skin temperature when asleep, and also when awake. They speculated that that hypocretin (orexin) deficiency in the brains of narcolepics affects skin-temperature regulation. It was also found that increasing the skin temperature can promote sleep.
If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to raise the temperature of your room a degree or two during the night. This may help you sleep better and keep your body temperature more consistent so you don't wake up at the wrong time.
The Body's Themoregulation During Sleep [Sleepdex]