Are Rising Temperatures Affecting Our Sleep?

September 18, 2020 GMT

New York, NY ( TS Newswire ) -- 18 Sep 2020

If you’re like many people, you may prefer sleeping with a fan pointed at you. This is because it has been shown that warmer temperatures greatly impact our sleep quality.

The cooler the room is or more directly, the cooler you are the better you will sleep. So it’s no surprise to learn that more people are finding it harder to get comfortable rest at night due to the climate getting hotter.

To better understand the effects of this phenomenon, let’s first look at the temperature changes that occur in our body when we go to sleep.

Our Bodies and Sleep

You may be asking yourself, What is the relation between our sleep and our body temperature? When we go to sleep, our body prepares itself by lowering our core body temperature. This action actually takes place well before we even climb into bed.

Sometime between the afternoon and evening, this change begins to take place in order to get our body ready for sleep. Moreover, our core temperature continues to drop well into the evening.

This process is known as thermoregulation. With our body temperature lower, we are able to get a comfortable night’s sleep. This is why many people like their rooms to be cooler at night; it allows them to sleep more soundly.

Ben Perry, editor of the sleep blog, says people don’t realize what a huge factor temperature is in getting a good night’s sleep. It’s simple, but it can be very difficult to control in a rapidly warming climate, especially if you lack sufficient resources.

It is quite the miracle that our bodies are able to make adjustments to its temperature when the situation calls for it. That’s why we shiver when we’re cold and sweat when we’re hot. Our body is working to self-regulate its core temperature.

And since that temperature drops in preparation for sleep, it’s understandable that our sleep is disrupted when the climate gets hotter.

As a matter of fact, climate is one of the most influential factors in the quality of our sleep. The hotter the climate is, the more difficulty our body has in trying to regulate its core temperature.

And as we have just learned, our body temperature needs to drop to a certain point in order for us to get a good night’s sleep. If rising climate temperatures are interfering with our body’s natural ability to ready itself for sleep, we will no doubt experience disrupted sleep cycles.

The Effects of Poor Sleep

Our inability to rest comfortably goes much deeper than simple tossing and turning. With the climate getting hotter, our bodies are unable to properly experience their regular sleep stages, such as REM and slow-wave.

If we are unable to enter these much-needed stages of sleep, our bodies will not be able to repair cells, work through memory emotions, or improve the immune system. This is very taxing on the body and mind.

Without adequate rejuvenation, we will feel sluggish and tired the following day. Studies within the last two decades have shown that there is a very real connection between poor sleep and high temperatures.

In fact, even minor deviations in temperature have shown to affect the sleep of a large number of people. For those with the resources, this problem has good solutions. Smart thermostats are dropping in price and have come a long way technologically in the past 10 years said Bill Robbins of ClimeSense.

If temperatures around the world are slowly increasing, what is this doing to society as a whole?

Could this be a factor in the way people behave? If they’re waking up feeling tired, it would certainly stand to reason.

So, what can we do about it here and now?

Preparing for Sleep

It’s important to help our bodies along prior to bedtime. This means cranking up the air conditioning and properly dressing for sleep. Swap out those flannel pajamas in favor of silk or cotton. Get rid of thick blankets and sheets and replace them with breathable fabrics, as well.

You may even want to block out bedroom windows so that sunlight can’t penetrate them throughout the day. This will play a big role in keeping your room cooler and ready for sleep.

If you like to exercise in the evening, you may want to choose a new time. Getting your body warmer when it is trying to cool down is a good way to disrupt your natural sleep stages.

Knowing how to prepare ourselves for sleep can make a big difference in how we react to warmer temperatures.

And while it’s unlikely that anyone is going to change rising climate temperatures overnight, there are plenty of things we can do to combat it and improve our quality of sleep.