Sleep and health: news from the bat cave
At Balance we often discuss sleep with our clients, its effect on pain and recovery (injury specific recovery and recovery from day to day life) is significant – as is hydration, diet, movement, mobility etc.
Recently thanks to partnership with specialist retailer “Back in Action” and the space they occupy at our Clapham facility we have been able to offer our clients products that make a good sleep far more likely.
Dr Lucy Goldby – co-founder of Balance Performance Physiotherapy and Chronic Back Pain Rehab Specialist – has been trying out Technogel pillows and matresses and reading up on the background to controlling temperature during sleep.
The pillows and mattresses were developed on the back of a body of American research showing that a better night’s sleep was had if the body temperature was lowered rather than increased. Lowering of the body temperature is soporific.
Experts agree the temperature of your sleeping area and how comfortable you feel in it affect how well and how long you snooze. Why? “When you go to sleep, your set point for body temperature — the temperature your brain is trying to achieve — goes down,” says H. Craig Heller, PhD, professor of biology at Stanford University, who wrote a chapter on temperature and sleep for a medical textbook. “Think of it as the internal thermostat.” If it’s too cold, or too hot, the body struggles to achieve this set point.
That mild drop in body temperature induces sleep. Generally, Heller says, “if you are in a cooler [rather than too-warm] room, it is easier for that to happen.” But if the room becomes uncomfortably hot or cold, you are more likely to wake up, says Ralph Downey III, PhD, chief of sleep medicine at Loma Linda University.
Recommending a specific range is difficult, Downey and Heller say, because what is comfortable for one person isn’t for another. While a typical recommendation is to keep the room between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, Heller advises setting the temperature at a comfortable level, whatever that means to the sleeper.
Experts from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, for instance, advise thinking of a bedroom as a cave: It should cool, quiet, and dark. (Bats follow this logic and are champion sleepers, getting in 16 hours a day.
So the criticism for a lot of the new memory foam etc mattress’s and pillows are that they reflect heat rather than absorb it, and that is certainly my experience. The technogel pillows I used are lovely and it’s so nice to turn over and you feel that coolness on your head and face. The technogel is attached to a memory foam under-base so they are produced in all shapes and sizes to suit everyone. They have only just come into the UK and you can try one by getting in touch with David Newbound or Zalik Malik at www.backinaction.co.uk. By the way, they are expensive, twice the price of normal memory foam and the mattress is the same.
In my opinion well worth it as its very, very good.
Dr Lucy Goldby
To see a range of pillows, office chairs and desks that compliment a mindful approach to health and movement come and see Lucy Goldby at Balance Performance or one of the ergonomic specialists on our team. Call 02076272308