This past week, temperatures soared in the Western United States under an intense heat wave. From Oregon all the way down to Arizona, Americans braved near-record highs. Heat advisories went into effect for many metro areas, including Portland, Sacramento, Phoenix, and San Francisco. Palm Springs hit 114 degrees, and special cooling stations were opened in Las Vegas, where daytime temps reached 105 for three days straight.
It’s a fact. Heat waves like this are becoming more common than ever before. NASA says that last year, the Earth's global surface temperature was the fourth warmest since 1880, and taken together, the last five years are the warmest years in modern history.
What do high temperatures have to do with how well you sleep?
Sleep scientists have proven that outside temperature, ambient temperature (the temperature around your skin), and your choice of bedding all play a role in how well you sleep. It’s a given that the temperature in your bedroom can be affected by outside temperature and by how well your mattress responds to heat.
A May 2017 sleep study by Obradovich, Miglioini, Mednick and Fowler, represents the largest ever investigation of the relationship between sleep and ambient temperature, and provides the first evidence that outside temperature -- and climate change -- disrupts human sleep. As far as temperature at bedtime goes, you’re looking for that happy medium, your happy place. Though each person is a little different, prominent sleep doctors, like Dr. Michael J. Breus, have determined that the best temperature for falling (and staying) asleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thermoregulation plays a major role in establishing one’s happy place. According to Merriam-Webster, thermoregulation is “the maintenance and regulation of temperature in a living body.” The average person has a baseline temperature between 98° and 100°F. If your body gets too much warmer or cooler than that, it begins to affect your ability to sleep.
Dr. Michael J. Breus, “The Sleep Doctor,” is certified in Clinical Sleep Disorders and Clinical Psychology. He has a busy Southern California sleep disorders practice, has authored three books on sleep and health, and regularly appears on The Dr. Oz Show, the Rachel Ray Show, CBS Early Show, and Fox & Friends.
We need to remember that the temperature of our surroundings is one of the most important factors influencing our sleep -- one we can control. Learn more about your circadian rhythm and how to sleep better in Dr. Breus’ video.
How can you control the surface temperature of your mattress?
If we go to Merriam-Webster and look up “wick,” we start to see our role in maintaining the ideal temperature for sleep. When wick is used as a verb, it means “to absorb or drain (a fluid, moisture, etc.), as when a fabric wicks away perspiration.” This is exactly what comes into play when selecting the ideal mattress.
Luma Sleep applied Dr. Breus’ top four tenets for good sleep in engineering its luxury mattresses, in this case, to help modulate surface temperature. Based on the Doctor’s research, Luma decided to put a naturally breathable, temperature neutral comfort material in the top layers of every mattress we make.
This principle of temperature neutrality also led us to use Talalay latex foam in our mattress system. Unlike closed-cell memory and polyurethane foams that trap heat – even the ones with “cooling gel” – Talalay’s naturally breathable, open cell structure allows air to circulate, which is what you want. This natural temperature regulation actually wicks away excess heat and moisture to keep you in the ideal temperate zone for deep sleep all night long.
All of this talk about temperature matters for your own well being and health. The latest sleep research confirms that too little sleep increases your susceptibility to disease and chronic illness, harms your cognitive functioning, and affects your mood and your relationships with others.
Put your new knowledge to work!
Check out Luma Sleep’s unbeatable mattress options to help regulate the surface temperature in your bed today.