Getting (and staying) asleep in sweltering heat might feel like more effort than, well, your job. You know that tossing your covers is a simple way to remain cool and sleep better, but no matter how hot and uncomfortable you feel, you can’t bring yourself to be completely free of a sheet or blanket.
You may dunk yourself in cold water before slipping under the covers, wrap one leg over the top, or point a fan towards your side of the bed.
You could even be bold enough to sleep with your back half exposed (while your front half hangs on tight). But how about getting rid of the top layer entirely? That is insane talk.
Temperature is linked to our circadian clock, and a reduction in core body temperature occurs just before sleep.
Your body temperature drops throughout the night. It is your body’s approach to preserving energy so that it may be channeled to other processes such as digestion.
Sheets and blankets protect your body temperature from dipping too low and waking you awake, allowing your internal organs to finish their repair activities uninterrupted.
When it’s hot outside, our cover-up practice might backfire. For one thing, in hot weather, even a sheet traps heat against your body. When you’re already warm, it raises the temperature even further, creating an under-the-cover steam oven.
Because the normal dip in body temperature just before sleep is a cue that it’s time to sleep, too-warm temperatures deceive your brain into believing it’s time to be active, not rest.
Even if you do manage to fall asleep, chances are you won’t stay asleep. As your body struggles to cool itself, your core temperature is likely to climb high enough to wake you. This disrupts your sleep.
Pulling the blankets up over your exhausted body, like the early dip in body temperature, is a trigger for sleep. (These indicators are referred to as “sleep onset associations” by experts.)
It’s a part of your habit, and without it, your brain feels as though something is missing, making it harder to relax.
It’s also a form of comfort.
Serotonin levels drop during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter best recognized for promoting emotions of calm.
The usage of blankets, particularly weighted blankets, has been linked to greater levels of serotonin, implying that they might help us sleep better. The weight of the bedding may create deep pressure stimulation, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, potentially enhancing dopamine (another mood-boosting neurotransmitter) and serotonin levels in some people.
So, if abandoning the blankets may lead you to lose just as much sleep as keeping them on during warmer weather, what’s the best course of action?
Here’s how sleep experts recommend you change your bedding routine to be cool, dry, and well-rested.
In other words, after a shower, the water on your skin evaporates, rapidly chilling your core and signaling to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
As a result, your sheets will feel more like a pleasant sanctuary than a pressure cooker.
This allows your brain to acclimate to the weight difference when you switch out your blankets with thinner ones that allow you to breathe more readily.
Alternatively, layer your sheets and adjust what covers you as needed each night.
This can be difficult in hot situations. Cooling pillows are a simple method to expedite the procedure while also increasing the probability that you will fall asleep.
Cooling weighted blankets are made from lightweight, soft-brushed cotton sheets and give off a warm flannel impression without trapping heat.
Give yourself a good night’s sleep, and stay productive all day long!
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