The Right Kind of Sleep for Better Health
Getting a good night’s sleep has proved to be a modern problem. More people report sleep disturbances in the United States today than at any time in the past. Whether because of increased work and daily tasks loads, lack of balance in life, or any number of other factors, sleep has become a hard commodity to come by for many people. This reality has spawned a small industry in medications, meditations, workouts and diets all designed to help people sleep better at night. But might the answer to the best sleep of your life be much simpler than all of that? Keep reading to find out what research is saying about the “right” kind of sleep.
Recent studies might have a simpler and easier approach than meds or other sleep aids: turn down the thermostat (or turn up the AC as the case may be). These studies have found that the best temperature for the promotion of sleep is relatively cool, between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Get too much colder or too much warmer, and restlessness can emerge.
Apparently, the cooler temperatures help your body’s core temperature to fall, which promotes sleepiness. Studies of those with chronic sleep issues show that higher core body temperatures just before bedtime are often found, causing difficulty in falling asleep.
One other and seemingly ironic twist is that placing a hot water bottle near the feet, along with the cooler temperatures, can help. Warming the feet causes the blood vessels to dilate which lowers core temperature and thus promotes sleepiness.
These findings are good news for those who have had on going battles with sleep disorders. Many of the solutions available today from doctors include sleep medications, which can have any number of side effects (including next day drowsiness, which would seem to defeat the purpose). The idea of taking medication also simply does not sit well with many people.
Lowering the temperature in the room where you sleep can often be controlled very easily by adjusting the thermostat. Other things you can do to help promote sleep include:
- Don’t eat after 7:00 p.m. Limiting food intake to before that hour can also help you keep your weight in check, so there are a couple of good reasons to consider it. However, where it concerns promoting sleep, it has shown to be effective.
- Also, make sure you get some kind of exercise during the day. Simply giving your body any chance to move and circulate can reduce stress levels. Of course, there are many reasons to get exercise as well.
- Limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon. Many people who have been long-time coffee drinkers believe that afternoon coffee doesn’t keep them up. The studies say otherwise, so avoid the late day coffee.
Getting good sleep is absolutely essential for overall sound health. For those who have experienced either occasional or chronic sleep issues, the implications can be serious. Lack of sleep is linked to everything from more accidents to lower levels of work performance. Lowering the temperature of the room where you sleep might just help you get back on a path of normal sleep patterns.