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Temperature Regulation, Sleep and Outlast® Technology

Heat regulation is one of the most overlooked aspects of sleep and comfort. Many people complaining of insomnia simply need to adjust the thermostat and their type of bedding. This adjustment can make the minor change in comfort needed to help coax you to sleep. Researchers say that those suffering from chronic insomnia tend to have higher body temperatures. 1

Most sleep researchers believe that an environment conducive to sleep includes a comfortable mattress and pillow, clean surroundings and a cool, comfortable place to sleep. When combining these factors with the body’s natural tendency to cool down, restful sleep is easily managed.

Humans sleep best in their “thermal comfort zone”, a temperature range that prevents the body from exerting energy on shivering or sweating. 2 The thermal comfort zone is thought to be between 54 degrees 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 3 When the body’s core temperature of 98.6 degrees fluctuates just 6 degrees up or down, the body is subject to fever or shivering. 4

This temperature range may seem pretty extreme, but its application is for all different people. For instance, you and your bed partner may differ on what you feel the most comfortable temperature is, which will make compensating for each person’s optimal comfort more difficult. Weight amongst other factors can affect the temperature that best suits an individual’s sleeping state.

Many aspects can affect room and body temperature including air conditioning and heating, mattress type, sleep clothing and choice in bedding. The correct combination of these aspects will help give you the most restful sleep possible.

Your body is prompted to enter REM sleep once your body reaches its lowest temperature. Body temperature must drop 0.5 degrees Celsius to enter REM sleep. 4 This needed drop in temperature is why some find it more difficult to fall asleep in warm summer months.

It is suggested that turning the heat down at bedtime in the winter and turning the air conditioning up slightly in summer months will help induce sleep. The correct mattress can completely change your level of comfort at night. Consider purchasing a mattress with cooling gel or heat regulation technology. Also, sleeping in pajamas that do not lock heat in and are not too thick can help with temperature regulation as well as comfort. Another way to regulate temperature during the night is through the correct bedding. Sleeping with extremely thick blankets and sheets that do not breathe can cause you to overheat at night.

Outlast® Technologies

Outlast® material was originally created to prevent astronauts from overheating in space in temperatures up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. 1 Hopefully you will not encounter such temperatures in your bed. The technology behind Outlast® was awarded with the “Certified Space Technology” seal of approval in 1991 from the Space Foundation. It has been improving upon temperature regulating technology for more than 20 years.

The microfibers imbedded into mattress covers, sheets, blanks and pillow cases will assist in regulating body temperature. This is done by taking in body heat, storing it and then releasing it when your body cools down. This process keeps the body at the optimal temperature for restful, undisturbed sleep.

Sleeping in temperatures that are too hot will cause fragmented and restless sleep. When teamed with other sleep disorders, a hot sleep environment can be detrimental to getting a good night’s sleep.

Through the use of Outlast® bedding and other environmental adjustments, it is very easy to achieve a restful night’s sleep.

Bibliography:

1. The New York Times—The Claim: Cold Temperatures Improve Sleep; http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/health/04real.html

2. Carskadon, Mary A. Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreaming. New York: Macmillan Pub., 1993.

3. National Sleep Foundation—The Sleep Environment; http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/the-sleep-environment

4. Outlast® Technologies—Basic Training; http://quiz.Outlast®.com/en/welcome-to-basic-training/themen/bedding/?tn=6&tp=i&ts=2&qa=00000

Sleep Fact #8

National Napping Day is March 14 and was first observed as an unofficial holiday in 1999.

Wake Up Refreshed: Six Tips to Help Start the Day

Around 20 percent of Americans report regularly getting less than six hours of sleep a night. 1 This sleep deprivation results in groggy and irritable workmates, friends and family members who seem to have a chronic “case of the Monday’s”. Most people simply try to stay awake have their morning cup of coffee… followed by their afternoon cup of coffee. Simple adjustments to schedule and lifestyle can leave you refreshed and ready to take on the day.

1. Your Relationship with the Alarm Clock

It is best to set your alarm clock for the latest moment possible to wake up. Slapping the snooze button every five minutes to get a little more sleep will result in fragmented sleep that will make you more tired when finally rolling out of bed. 2 Also, consider getting a less “alarming” alarm. Some companies offer alarm clocks that gradually get louder or have gentle nature sounds such as babbling brooks or waterfalls to help you gradually come out of sleep. As soon as you hear the alarm, swing your legs over the side of the bed and take some deep breaths. 2

2. Exercise

Exercising as soon as you wake up can give your mind and body the burst of energy it needs to start the day. Even a brisk walk can wake you up more than dragging your feet to the coffee maker. Simply walking around the house or out to get the paper can give your body the kick-start it needs. Be sure not to sacrifice needed sleep time in order to exercise. 2

3. Start with a Splash

I like to start the day by washing my face with cool water. The water will shock the face cells into action and cause you to even look more awake. Taking a hot shower can also wake the body up and help you to get your day started.

4. See the Daylight

Keeping the house dark to let yourself “adjust” only makes the mind more tired and convinced that it is still night time. By opening curtains and blinds and allowing natural daylight in, you will slow the brain’s production of melatonin and begin the mind’s wake up process. This is more difficult in the winter as the sun rises later and can contribute to seasonal affective disorder or winter depression. 3 Light and darkness help to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and doing this on a regular basis can make waking up easier.

5. Watch Your Medications

Some sleep or cold medications can cause drowsiness for up to eight hours. If taking such a medication, be sure to allow yourself to sleep the full amount of time the effects will be present. Trying to fight drowsiness brought on by medication will be very difficult.

6. Get Enough Sleep

The most simple, yet hardest way to improve mood and ability to wake up is by simply getting enough restful sleep. If continuously waking up under-rested, fix the problem by going to sleep earlier. This can be done by regulating your biological clock or circadian rhythm. 3 Using natural sleep aids or other psychological methods to fall asleep quicker can help regulate the biological clock quicker.

The best way to acclimate the body and mind with waking up earlier is to keep the same sleep schedule on weekends. Simple lifestyle adjustments can help the body and mind to wake up and take on the day. While waking up refreshed is important, ensuring you have had the proper rest period is what matters most. Without the adequate amount of sleep, no amount of caffeine, exercise or lifestyle changes will truly stop the effects of sleep deprivation.

Bibliography:

1. WebMD—Toll of Sleep Loss in America http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/toll-of-sleep-loss-in-america

2. WebMD—Trouble Waking Up; http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/trouble-waking-up

3. USA Today—Can you become a morning person? Yes, but it’s not easy; http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/health/story/2011-11-21/Can-you-become-a-morning-person-Yes-but-its-not-easy/51338980/1