Quality rest gets harder as we’re exposed to more light. However, the tie between sleep and body temperature remains the same and can seriously impact the quality of your rest.
Light and Temperature
As light dims, our body temperature drops, making it easier for us to fall asleep and sleep deeply. You may feel yourself growing chilly in the hours before bed. At this time, it’s best you don’t exercise or take a hot shower or bath to warm your body. If you do need to exercise or bathe at night, try to give your body an hour to cool down before you get into bed.
Warmth and Sleep Quality
Warming up your body’s core can actually reduce the quality of your sleep.
Here’s the pattern for great sleep:
- Darken your environment.
- body temperature starts to drop. Get to bed.
- once in bed, you fall into a deep sleep during hours of darkness.
- towards morning, your body temperature will come back up and help you wakefully.
Excess light exposure, when the sun is down, is actually poor sleep hygiene. If you have an e-reader, a television or your phone in your bedroom and struggle to get quality sleep, it may be time to get the electronics out of the space. You need darkness to sleep deeply and well.
Sleep Warm, Not Hot
The connection between sleep and body temperature lasts all night. Your body temperature naturally drops before bed. In fact, you need this lowered core temperature to sleep deeply. If you pile your bed with blankets, use an overly warm electric blanket or wear pajamas that hold in too much heat, you can negatively impact the quality of your sleep. Your core temperature actually has to drop and stay lower than the standard 98.6 temperature to stay in quality deep sleep.
Benefits of Deep Sleep
Deep sleep is when your body regenerates and heals. From rebuilding damaged muscle cells to shedding toxins, your body and brain heal from top to bottom while you’re in a state of deepest rest. If you can put in the work to arrange your sleeping area to foster deep sleep, you can actually protect your brain from serious health conditions such as dementia, diabetes, and stroke.
Are you the type who likes to exercise before bed? Learn about how that also affects the quality of your sleep here.