If you struggle to get a decent kip each night, you’re not alone.
As many as 45 per cent of Australians struggle to get quality shut eye at night, and it can lead to low productivity, damage to mental health and unsafe behaviour — such as driving while tired.
Those unlucky enough to battle with their sleep usually try a variety of things in a desperate effort to help them nod off, from soothing music to ditching TV — some even swear by banning certain foods before bed.
But there could be a simple trick to help you unlock the secret to a quality eight hours of sleep at night.
According to an article written by Dr Christopher Winter, medical director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, there’s an optimal temperature that the human body sleeps best at.
That temperature is between 15-19 degrees C.
According to his research, if the temperature falls below or climbs above that range you’re more likely to toss, turn, and have a poor quality sleep.
Dr Winter works with professional athletes and made the connection between warmer body temperatures and not getting a decent night’s sleep.
“Since I began working with athletes in 2005, temperature is a topic that comes up frequently in our discussions about sleep,” he said.
He found that temperatures between 15 and 19 degrees are perfect for getting a great night sleep, while temperatures above 23 or below 12 can be disruptive to sleep.
He’s not alone in his thoughts, with studies showing a cold room allows the body’s natural 24-hour sleep cycle to function normally.
The University of South Australia’s Centre for Sleep Research linked poor body temperature regulation to different types of insomnia.
Dr Cameron Van den Heuvel, who led the study, said the bodies natural psychological changes, which prepare us for sleep, are happening before we even realise it.
“About one to one and a half hours before falling sleep, the body starts to lose heat from its central core and that brings on increased feelings of tiredness in normal healthy adults,” Dr Van den Heuvel said.
“Studies of sleep onset insomniacs show that they consistently have a warmer core body temperature immediately before initiating sleep, when compared with normal healthy adults,”.
Sleeping in colder rooms not only helps to regulate and cool down our core body temperature, it is understood to have a range of other health benefits.
IT LOWERS THE RISK OF DIABETES:
A 2014 article published in Diabetes said that lowering the temperature of your aircon at night can help decrease your risk of certain metabolic diseases like diabetes.
IT KEEPS YOU LOOKING YOUNGER:
Multiple studies have shown that sleeping in warmer temperatures hinders the release of melatonin, one of the body’s most important anti-ageing hormones. Sleeping in cooler temperatures helps the release of growth hormones, which are also important anti-ageing hormones.
Another way to keep your body temperature cool according to experts, if airconditioning isn’t possible, is to sleep naked.
Sleeping without any clothes helps the bodies ‘cool-down’ process, whereas sleeping fully clothed can often inhibits the regulation of body temperature and the release of growth hormone.
So, if you’re struggling to get a full night’s sleep reach for the aircon remote, or a fan … or maybe even skip the pyjamas.