The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article titled Best Temperature for Sleep. It reports the results of a study published by the journal Current Biology in October examining the role of temperature on our ability to sleep – even more so than light, which was previously considered to have a greater impact.
Researchers found the rising and setting of the sun had little correlation to sleep patterns among study participants living outdoors in tropical environments. Instead, they found that the group’s sleep period occurred during the coldest hours, and was extended during winter temperatures. These results confirmed the findings of a 2008 study published in a the journal Brain where particpants wearing thermosuits were allowed to manipulate temperatures. Results found participants fell asleep faster and achieved a deeper quality of sleep by dialing down their body temperatures.
The article says most people set the room temperature a little too high for optimal sleep patterns. The body’s core temperature should drop two to three degrees for the best quality sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following steps to promote a better sleeping experience:
- Room temperatures of between 60 and 67 degrees (65 degrees is suggested by experts)
- Wear light, breathable clothing (e.g., cotton)
- Use layers of bedding to allow for easy removal during the night
Here are some key questions raised by this information for Raynaud’s sufferers:
- Do Raynaud’s sufferers have a different ideal temperature for sleeping?
- It’s reported during sleep we naturally try to lose heat from the hands and feet. Is this more of an issue for Frosties? Does this keep us from sleeping, as opposed to promoting better sleep?
- A warm bath just before bedtime promotes better sleep by helping the core body temperature plummet. We’ve heard from Frosties that they do this to warm up before bed and it works. So what’s really happening here: Are they getting warmer and better able to sleep? Or is cooling off helping them sleep and not feel the cold?
- I find it nearly impossible to sleep without a blanket or some form of covers. If I’m cold watching TV and add a blanket, it nearly always puts me to sleep in no time! Does this contradict the research?
It would be great to have some bedtime research specific to Raynaud’s sufferers. We’d love to hear if any of the above tips work for you, or if your sleep practices are just the opposite. Please comment below on the post. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Post them in our Discussion Forum. Or join us on Facebook.