Temperature Regulation While Sleeping

The temperature of both the brain and the body fall during NREM sleep.  The longer the NREM-sleep episode, the more the temperature falls. By contrast, brain temperature increases during REM sleep. The control of body and brain temperature is closely tied to sleep regulation.

So what role does body and room temperature play in sleep quality?

Well you can’t really adjust your body temperature greatly, unless you become severely ill.  However, our body temperature can be affected by the amount of layers of clothing (Pyjamas, nightwear etc) as well as our own heat that we generate.  Heat is generated by many factors; one that springs to mind is that of the mattress we sleep on, the pillow we rest our head and neck on, and finally the duvets or blankets we cover ourselves with.

It has been well researched that the temperature in your room should not be too cold or too hot, it needs to be ambient.  The way your body then generates heat is dependent on the temperature of the room and the bedding.  Here is how the body works; when you cover yourself in duvet that does not breathe well, your body heat gets trap inside the duvet and when this happens, your body will heat up and you will start to sweat. The first two parts of your body that sweats are your feet and hands. The sweat acts to release heat from your overheated body and as a result of your wet sweaty feet and hands, they actually turn ice cold.

If you notice that in your child, please do not cover them with even more layers of blanket or clothes thinking that they are cold. They are not! They are actually overheated! After the sweaty feet and hands, your body will start releasing heat from your head and neck, hence the excess heat on the pillow (whichever pillow you sleep on!). That’s why it is important to also ensure that you air out your pillow frequently, and wash it to ensure that the trapped moisture does not impact on your pillows performance or harbour allergens and dust mites that can affect your sleep.  All Ultimate Sleep fills and cover material are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class I certified – for more information on this certification please click here.

Many find that cooling down helps them to get to sleep. Why does a warm (but not hot) bath help so many get to sleep? Because it ends up cooling you down, especially as you dry off and the residual water on your skin evaporates.  Many of us are different and want to be warmer in bed or cooler in bed.  It is all in your individual sleeping style.  What is important here though is to look at options, in terms of cool or warm duvets to assist you in your sleeping habits.