Adults spend just about a third of their lives snoozing, yet sometimes you may feel that you’re simply not getting enough sleep. Typically women suffer from insomnia less than men; studies show that between the ages of 16 and 50, men have around 80 percent less deep sleep and after 44 they wake up more frequently throughout the night.
Although you may not realize it, the temperature of your bedroom can significantly affect how much or little you sleep. This is an important factor to consider when you’re choosing a new mattress, especially if you’re prone to insomnia. Nothing is worse than buying a mattress only to find it is too hot or cold for your sleeping comfort, so here are some tips and information on what affects mattress temperature and how this, in turn, impacts sleep.
How Temperature Affects your Sleep
The relationship between your sleep pattern and your body temperature is quite complex. Sometimes you feel too cold or too hot in your bedroom to sleep comfortably. Other times the temperature abruptly may seem to swing so you can’t settle. Even if you do eventually fall asleep, you may find that the changing room temperature soon wakes you again. After a few nights of this, your sleep pattern may become permanently disturbed.
If your bedroom temperature is fluctuating, it is most likely due to a problem with a faulty thermostat. Replacing it or moving it to a more conducive location – somewhere that is not cooler or warmer than the rest of your house – can soon solve the problem. If necessary you can also try using a portable heater or cooler in your bedroom; one that has its own thermostat.
So how can you choose the best temperature for sleep? Research shows that if you have to choose between too cold or too warm, the cooler option is, the wiser one. This is because milder temperatures can enhance sleep, while hotter temperatures interfere with a good night’s rest. The recommended bedroom temperature is 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. Another option might be a Casper Mattress that helps maintain body temperature.
How Your Mattress can Affect your Temperature
The materials used to make your mattress can affect your body temperature and thus the quality of your sleep. Sleep experts recommend a mattress made from natural materials such as lamb’s wool and latex. This will help to regulate your body temperature at night and prevent you from getting too hot. If you find yourself getting too chilly in bed at night, a memory foam mattress can be a good option for you because as they mold to your body, they will also insulate it. If you want a good overview of a selection of mattresses, including reviews, check out Nectar mattress complaints.
During your sleep pattern, the largest drops in body temperature occur between the two longest episodes of sleep. If you are an insomniac, here are some other tips to help you lower your body temperature before you go to bed.
- Take a soak in a hot bath 90 minutes to two hours before you hit the hay. This will bring your body temperature down once you’re out of the bath. However, you shouldn’t take a hot bath just before you go to bed as this can prevent you from falling asleep for up to two hours.
- Avoid exercise for at least two hours before you go to bed. Exercise is beneficial for insomnia only if it is performed earlier in the day. This is because it sometimes takes several hours for the body temperature to drop down again.
- Try and be aware of your own body temperature and notice when it drops. You should start feeling sleepy when this happens.
Maintaining a regular sleep pattern is an important part of your healthy lifestyle. If you get insufficient sleep, you are at an increased risk of vehicle crashes, occupational injuries, and diseases including diabetes, hypertension, depression, obesity, and cancer. It is estimated that around 50-70 million adults throughout the Unites States suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia, interrupted sleep and sleep apnea.
You may not realize it, but what you eat, particularly before you go to bed, can significantly affect how well you sleep. Although it is not a good idea to eat right before you go to bed—you should have your last meal at least an hour before sleeping—the type of food you eat can make the difference between a night of restful sleep and hours of tossing and turning. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol. If you must have a snack chose oatmeal, a banana or a hot milky drink.
Tina Brown is a physical therapist who recognizes the healing powers of a good night’s sleep. She likes to share her insights on many home and family web sites.