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How Body Temperature Affects Sleep

Posted Jul 15 2010 1:12am

I have already mentioned that melatonin induces sleep and reduces body temperature. So what has temperature got to do with sleep? Well have you ever found that during hot summer nights it is even more difficult to sleep?

Women suffer from sleepless nights when they are menstruating as their body temperature increases. During the day when our body temperature levels increase we become more alert and energized. During the night our body temperature drops and in turn, our alertness reduces and we become sleepier.

A hot bath an hour or so before bedtime can be very effective at inducing sleep. Although it increases your body temperature and energy levels, the quick drop in temperature can accelerate the drift into sleep. Be aware that you should not have a hot bath just before going to bed, as your body will need an hour or so to cool down.

Wear comfortable clothing to bed. Also ensure that your bedroom is cool and comfortable at night, as this will help you stay asleep. During summer this can be difficult, I suggest that you wear lighter clothing, use a thinner duvet, and keep your windows open.

When in bed you should try and sleep on your back as this is the best position for your neck and spine. Try and avoid sleeping on your front or left, as this may affect your breathing, and apply pressure to your internal organs. Obviously during sleep we change from position to position, so this is not always possible. Also when in bed try and avoid looking at the clock, it’s best to have a clock which does not illuminate at night and is relatively quiet.

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