Does a cooler core body temperature equal better sleep?

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A recent study to come out of the Netherlands entitled Skin Temperature Measurement in Monitoring and Control of Sleep and Alertness has shown how manipulating body temperature could improve your sleep.

The study showed that a drop in your core temperature impacts:

  • what time you go to bed,
  • how long it takes you to fall asleep, and
  • the quality of your sleep quality.

The researchers put their participants in wetsuits and perfused warm or cold water past their skin to cool or warm a specific body part. What they found was if they lowered the core body temperature, the participant felt sleepy and fell asleep faster. The participant also experienced more slow wave sleep at this lower temperature.

So all these years the reason we all slept so well after taking a hot bath before bed was not the warmth and relaxation we got but rather the sudden drop in core body temperature that we experienced when we get out the bath.

And perhaps this is also why those who sleep semi-naked and maintain a lower body temperature throughout the night have improved sleep and deeper sleep

Would you invest in a device to cool your core so you could sleep better? Or are sticking with your warm bath before bed?

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