Body temperature & Sleep 😴
Happy New Year and welcome to this first blog post in the New Year!
Today I'm going to talk about body temperature & sleep and everything that it entails.
Lots of people have asked me when they should exercise, when to take a hot bath, if body temperature is something that they should consider? What is the perfect room temperature and so forth... I'm going to tell you a little bit about the science behind it all and give you some tips on what you can do in order to get the most out of this topic.
First thing you need to know OR what is basically the most important kind of pillar for body temperature and sleep is the following: When going to sleep, your core body temperature goes down. In general terms, it is very often said, that if you can help that process of cooling down, it can help you fall asleep faster. Having said that, let's take a look at exercising, for example.
We all have a different way of cooling down our bodies. Some of us are really great at regulating that body temperature; whereas others struggle with it. The body temperature is also going to be a factor on when I recommend to exercise, because some people have a heightened body temperature when exercising and they cool down pretty quickly, which helps them fall asleep a little bit faster. However, it can be more difficult for others. If they heat up and cannot cool down very quickly, it might be that they have a quicker heart rate and a heightened body temperature for a bit longer and therefore it's going to take longer to fall asleep. On top of that, if you are in an environment that's super bright with very loud music, a spinning class for example that's full of pumping energy, it might be more difficult for you to wind down as well. So, I would tell you to experiment and see what your body does. If in doubt, then exercise in the morning. Also, look at what kind of exercise you do.
I really like fit/ sporty yoga. Something, where you have a beautiful dark environment in the end and that can help you wind down, be comfortably tired and have the body temperature rising, but already cooling down, as you do a nice death pose or corpse pose at the end of your practice. That's something I like for example, but as usual, it's completely up to you! That's my recommendation on that front.
The same applies for hot baths. If you manage to cool your body down and it helps you drift into sleep, it's perfect. However, if you have a hot bath and everything is keeping up to a higher temperature and you have a quicker heart rate, then it might be detrimental to your sleep.
Again, you need to see how your body is reacting. During summer, when everything is very hot and you don't have air conditioning, you can very simply take a towel, put it in the freezer and put it on your neck when you want to go to sleep. That cooling feeling will help you cool down faster as well. The other thing though, which is a little bit of controversial to what I just said, is that the skin actually likes heat or likes to be warmed up a little bit. It doesn't like to be cold. If you have to shiver, because you're cool, your body is producing energy. It will make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Having a comfortable skin temperature can actually help you fall asleep. Studies have shown that a warm touch to your skin can increase your deep sleep by 30%, which is a lot, and it can also help you reduce early morning wake ups.
The reason why I know this, is because this week, I'm going to be in Frankfurt at the HEIMTEXTIL TRADE FAIR, together with a company called FRESHBED. They have a bed with a ventilation and a temperature system that is staying at a stable temperature. Obviously, this is going to be very individual to everyone’s preference, but once you figure that out, you can just enter it into their system. It measures your body temperature and it keeps it stable, so that you can sleep better. You won't have this constant game of covering and uncovering yourself and being active in that way. It is a very neat invention that I really like and statistic have shown that it helps.
So, you have body core temperature and a skin temperature. In general, the cooling down process helps you sleep. However, a warm touch to the skin can also be very helpful. So, there are two different ways of looking at it, basically two different impacts and again, it's individual. This might be helpful if you don't know when to exercise or if you don't know, if you should take a bath or not.
Now that you know why it can help you, you might understand better, why you couldn't sleep when you did all those things that some people have advised you to do, like exercise very hard, but if you still can't sleep, it’s maybe because your core body temperature is just too high!
I hope this was helpful and that you were able to learn something new!
I wish you happy exercising, happy soaking in bathtubs & happy sleeping!
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