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The link between body temperature and insomnia

A discussion in our insomnia help forums has been developing for quite a while now. Basically, one member finds that exercise makes it more difficult for her to fall asleep (even though she is exercising early in the day). Another member finds hot showers just before bed make falling asleep a little easier.

This started a debate about a potential link between sleep and body temperature. Naturally, I had to do a little digging - and here is what I found.

According to a study published in the journal Sleep, cooling down before bed may benefit insomniacs. Additional research undertaken by New York Hospital’s Cornell Medical Center in White Plains found that body temperature drops two hours before the onset of sleep.

The researchers in the latter study concluded that by taking a hot bath (or shower) 90 minutes before bed, the consequent drop in body temperature may help you fall asleep faster - therefore, there may be something in one of our member's claims that a hot shower helps her sleep.

So maybe we shouldn't be biting the head off everyone who suggests that all we need to cure our insomnia is a hot bath before bed - but then again...

Source: Open PR

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Last updated: May 8, 2013

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • A. Marina Fournier
    June 5, 2011, 2:56 am

    In the winter, spending time in the spa does help a bit in getting to sleep for me–in that popsicle toes and iceberg feet aren’t present to keep me awake while they slowly warm up–no socks for me, as I then heat up too much, begin to sweat, and then the cold clammies start.

    However, in summer, being chilly enough to get under the covers (I need that weight to help me settle to sleep) is necessary. If it’s hot and still enough, I’ll be dipping myself in the cool pool three-four times a night, and then having a cool, wrung-out sarong draped over me to prolong my cool.