Everybody knows the incomparable feeling of being buried in a soft and toasty pile of blankets with a crisp, cool pillow against their cheek. But do you ever wonder why that coolness feels so nice, and why it can even feel like it really helps you doze off?
As you lie down to get a good night’s rest, your body begins to cool itself by about 2 or 3 degrees in order to initiate sleep. So while choosing the right pillow plays a big role in your overall comfort, temperature is just as important to the quality of your sleep! Experts say the key to a good night’s rest can have more to do with how cool or warm your surroundings are than the time of day or even how bright the room is.
If you’re hoping to get to sleep more quickly, or you simply want to get that all-natural doze-off, there are a few ways you can help your body out:
Set The Perfect Room Temperature
Studies have found that the ideal sleep temperature is somewhere between 60 and 67 Fahrenheit. Many people keep their home temperature closer to 70 degrees during the day, but lowering the thermostat before bed can improve your snooze.
Embrace the Power of a Hot Bath
Soaking in a hot bath during the early evening or shortly before going to bed brings circulating blood closer to the surface of your skin, according to a neuroscience professor at Loughborough University in England. This means your body needs to cool down more quickly once you’re out of the bath, and cooling down is exactly what your body wants to be doing when it’s time for bed.
Free the Hands and Feet!
While sleeping in too-warm conditions will find you waking up throughout the night (as anybody who’s attempted to slumber through the nights of an air-conditionless summer knows), most of us can’t sleep well when we’re cold! So while we bundle up under the blankets and sheets, our bodies are still trying to stay cool by expelling heat from our hands and feet. Giving yourself a little freedom to stick your feet out of the edge of the blankets will keep your body comfortable all night long.
So while it’s not necessarily the cold pillow itself that gives us better rest, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have that cool sensation on your cheek as the rest of the body’s temperature hunkers downward for a good night’s sleep. Not to mention it’s just really comfortable – which might simply be the best thing a cool pillow is for. So make sure it’s the perfect one!