Are you a hot sleeper? Here’s what you can do…
Guest post from James M. Gregory
There’s no aspect of our lives that is as crucial to our well-being and yet so poorly understood as sleep.
Every health-conscious person will know it all about every diet in the book…how the human body uses food for fuel, what’s good or not…but what do we know about sleep?
I know that I need 8 hours of it…
This is one of the most common misconceptions about a good night’s sleep – crudely reducing it to a number of hours.
In reality, sleep is much more intricate than that. If it wasn’t each of us who gets 8 hours of sleep would be buzzing with energy.
That’s not the case, is it?
The harsh truth is that this clumsy approach to planning our sleep might be one of the reasons so many of us get the hours but don’t get the rest.
How little we understand
Next time you see your MD, ask him a simple question,”Why do we need sleep?”
The response is likely to be something commonplace and generic like, “That’s when our body repairs its cells and replenishes energy…”
That’s the response to the question, “What happens during sleep?”
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with your MD – science is yet to come up with an answer to the basic question about why we sleep.
While we’re waiting for that to happen…
For a person suffering from insomnia or a more delicate sleep disorders that often result in feeling groggy and chronically tired, digging into the nitty-gritty of sleep science won’t help.
Instead, let’s talk about something actionable.
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of planning your sleep environment is the temperatures of the space, so let us dig into the issue.
Ideal sleep temperatures
The range of ideal sleep temperature is 15-21 °C.
Why is this important?
Because, as we drift off to sleep, the temperature of our bodies decreases. If the room is too warm, the hot air interferes with that mechanism. Even you do fall asleep; your body will struggle to keep its temperature down.
The result is a night of restless sleep – it’s a classic example of getting the hours but waking up more tired than when you went to sleep.
It’s not just about the thermostat
If you have a classic air-conditioning system, dialing down the temperature setting might not be enough.
The air conditioner will measure the temperature using a built-in sensor.
The issue here is that these are usually mounted high on the wall.
Cold air is heavier and and drops down.
As result, the air around you is actually colder than the air conditioner setting so being too cold can interferes with our thermal regulation.
A smarter way to do it
Instead of simply relying on the numbers of the thermostat, place a simple standalone thermostat on your bedside table.
This will be at the approximate height of your sleeping surface and accurately measure the temperature of the air around you.
You’ll be surprised by the difference between the number on your air conditioner remote and the standalone thermostat, especially if you’re sleeping in a large open space.
Are you simply a hot sleeper?
If you’ve ever been told by your partner that it feels like you’re emitting heat, that’s probably good news. It means that you have good circulation and your blood does a good job at carrying that heat to your limbs.
So, yes, it’s good news.
For you, that is. For your sleeping partner…not so much.
Here’s what you can do
If you can relate to the situation above and you’re not the kind of person to just dismiss the complaints of the person sleeping next to you, you do have options.
Let’s look at two of them:
Cooling mattress pads
Cooling mattress pads are designed with this scenario in mind.
They come as thin pads or topper that your dress your bed in.
The best cooling mattress pads out there will allow you to choose if you want to cool down only your half of the mattress.
They are inexpensive and the better ones are so thin you won’t even notice them as they do their work and help you drift off . . . .. you can read more about this nifty cooling gadget here.
Adjustable air beds
Adjustable air beds are the pinnacle of sleep technology. The best air beds will not only give you control over the temperature of the two halves of the bed but will allow you to change the firmness & positions of the mattress.
They are sleep luxury embodied but they do come with a price to match. If the temperature is the only issue, you might want to give the cooling pads a go before you dig this deep into your wallet.
Never wake up sweaty again
It’s the 21st century and technology plays a huge role in our lives. We get excited about video games and new features on our phones.
Yet, somehow, we often oversee the ways technology can make the crucial aspects of our lives easier.
And if proper sleep is crucial, we don’t know what is.