Hot or Cool? 5 Sleeping Experience Myths Busted
February 14, 2018
Do you know why bats get 16 hours of sleep each day? Is it because they sleep upside down? Nope! Their secret? Bats get their shuteye in cool, dark, and quiet caves. That’s one lesson humans can pick up: sleep like bats (but not literally in a cave hanging upside down for two-thirds of the day). Rather, a cave-like environment in the bedroom lets you enjoy the best sleeping experience, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Sleeping in a cold room does wonders for one’s health. But turning the A/C on just won’t do. Lower body temperature and good-quality mattresses and pillows also add up to a relaxing sleeping experience.
However, misconceptions and superstitions persist about these things. In online forums, people associate sleeping in a cold or hot room with bad dreams. Others are still confused whether or not it’s healthy to take a bath and exercise before going to bed.
Once and for all, Uratex—your sleep specialist—tucks those fears and concerns to bed.
1. Does a warm room make falling asleep easier?
The real deal: A warm room isn’t a healthy environment for sleep. A cool room is.
Lying down under layers of blankets or comforters may have become a habit for you, but it isn’t ideal for sleep. Anything that raises your body temperature, including a warm bedroom, is bad for sleep.
Sleep experts say that the cooler a bedroom is, the better you can sleep. A room temperature between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius should be enough to cool your body down and get it ready for sleeping. On the other hand, too high or too low room temperatures can disrupt sleep.
If keeping the A/C on during a chilly night is too uncomfortable for you, just be sure to at least have a fan running to maintain good airflow in your room.
2. Do memory foam pillows and mattresses cause sweating?
The real deal: It depends on the kind of memory foam beddings you use.
The misconception about memory foam mattresses comes from the fact that they conform to the body shape. This reportedly restricts airflow around it and causes hot, sweaty nights. But not all memory foam beddings are created equal. Some are superior to others in keeping you cool while you sleep.
Nowadays, memory foams feature innovations that promote a cooler sleeping experience. Senso Memory Ultima Plus pillows and mattresses, for example, can lower body temp by up to 2 degrees Celsius, thanks to the heat-absorbing Hydragel® beads. Unlike other memory foam mattresses covered with plastic materials like polyester, Uratex Senso Memory Ultima Plus beddings are wrapped in a Cooler® knit fabric for a better cooling effect.
How cool is that for a no-sweat, refreshing sleep?
3. Does sleeping in a cold room cause nightmares?
The real deal: Various factors affect dreams—a cold bedroom isn’t one of them.
It’s easy to blame a cold bedroom for those nights you wake up sweaty and in panic from a disturbing dream.
But so far, no study or scientific evidence has proven that a cool sleep environment triggers a nightmare, said Allegheny Health Network Sleep Institute’s Dr. Daniel Shade. “But a little bit cooler temperature tends to help a lot of people sleep better,” he noted.
So, what really causes nightmares? According to WebMD, most triggers are psychological in nature: anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you have sleep problems such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea, you’re just as prone to nightmares. Antidepressants and other medications that cause chemical changes in the brain are also linked to bad dreams. Lastly, nightmares may also be caused by eating late-night snacks that stimulate metabolism and brain activity before sleep.
4. Is it bad to take a bath before bedtime?
The real deal: Taking a hot bath or shower at night cools the body down, prepping it up for a deep sleep.
“Don’t shower at night. Mapapasma ka.” You’ve probably heard it a gazillion times from your well-meaning mom or grandma. This uniquely Pinoy superstition has been passed on from one generation to another, giving this self-care activity a bad rep.
But various studies have proven otherwise. Nighttime baths are actually good for your health. Experts say that a 20-minute hot tub soak 1.5 to 2 hours before hitting the sack has a relaxing and calming effect. As soon as you step out of the shower, your body temp goes up by a degree or two. Then, your body cools down quickly just before you drift off.
Not to say that you shouldn’t listen to your elders—but if you’re serious about improving your sleep habits, a hot shower at night could be what you really need aside from a cool bedroom.
5. Is exercising at night bad for sleep?
The real deal: Sweating it out in the evening doesn’t cause sleepless nights.
The myth about the effects of nighttime exercises on sleep stems from the assumption that physical activities raise body temperature, adrenaline production, and heart rate.
But recent research has already disproved the long-time belief that nighttime workouts can keep people up at night. For example, according to the National Sleep Foundation, light to moderate exercises (such as walking and yoga) help people with chronic insomnia to sleep better.
While it’s true that workouts make your body slightly warm, your body temp will soon drop and help you drift into sleep faster, as long as your bedroom is cold.
So, if you’ve been skipping your workouts for fear of having sleep troubles, there’s no reason for you not to hit the gym again.
A good sleep is a luxury for many working professionals. But you can afford to enjoy it—and be a sleeping champ like a bat—by making sure that you have all the essentials for a great sleeping experience: a low body temp, a cold bedroom, the best mattress and pillows with a cooling effect.