Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 11, 2021

You Probably Forgot To Do This If You Can’t Sleep At Night

You Probably Forgot To Do This If You Can’t Sleep At Night

Winter is coming, and for many of us, that means bundling up in cozy blankets and pilling fluffy pillows on our bed to tempt us to hit the snooze button more than usual. Though turning up the heat before you turn into bed can seem appealing with cooler weather, you may find you don’t have such a restful night of sleep.

Though it sounds like a cozy bedroom creation, keeping your bedroom warm can make you more likely to overheat while you sleep. This can lead to excessive tossing and turning and even those embarrassing sweaty mornings.

The relationship between body temperature and sleep

Our body temperature is always changing and self-adjusting throughout the day.

    As you can see from the graph above, you’re coolest around 6am – the time many of us wake up. Throughout the day, you continue to get warmer until you peak around 9pm – the time many of us are getting ready to head to bed. From there, your body temperature drops until you reach your coolest point once again at 6am.

    Advertising

    Have you ever realized how lazy you feel when you’re hot? It’s due to a physiological response our body gives off!

      It’s fighting against the temperature in an effort to keep from overheating. It’s the same reason you’re more likely to want to take a nap on a hot summer afternoon than you would be to play a sport. One will help regulate your body temp, while the other can overheat you and cause severe dizziness.

      By now you’ve heard about how important absolute darkness is for truly restful sleep, but did you know your body temperature is just as impactful?[1]

      “Combination of sleep onset and maintenance insomnia has been associated with a 24-h elevation of core body temperature supporting the chronic hyper-arousal model of insomnia. The possibility that these last two types of insomnia may be related to impaired thermoregulation, particularly a reduced ability to dissipate body heat from distal skin areas, has not been consistently supported in laboratory studies. Further studies of thermoregulation are needed in the typical home environment in which the insomnia is most evident.”

      The best temperature for restful sleep

      The optimal body temperature for sleep should be between 60 and 67 degrees.[2] When the room is too warm and you’re also bundled under a heavy comforter and surrounded by heavy pillows, the body temperature increases leading to discomfort.

      In most cases any temperature above 75 degrees Fahrenheit and below 54 degrees will interfere with your sleep.

      Keep your body temperature low to sleep better

      We could all use a better night’s sleep, so here’s how to be the master of your temperature and wake up ready to face the day.

      1. Keep the room temperature low

      If you keep your room relatively cool, you are far less likely to become overheated, leading to that restless sleep no one wants. In order to ensure ideal temperatures, try keeping your curtains closed during the day so the sun light can’t heat the bedroom too much. And if possible, leave your bedroom door open so that air can circulate throughout the day.

      Advertising

      2. Use Breathable Bedding

      Synthetics like polyester, which tend to be less breathable than their natural counterparts like cotton, linen, or even wool are a no-no. Natural fibers can also help wick away moisture like sweat. Memory foam pillows may be comfortable but they also get very hot, so try to stay away. If you’re convinced you can’t sleep without a fancy pillow, look into those that have cooling and breathable fibers to ensure a low temp while you rest. For mattresses, or mattress covers, look for those with cooling fibers, too.

      3. Lower your temperature before you go to sleep.

      Take a warm bath, or hot shower, before bed. As soon as you step out of the bath or shower, your body temperature drops rapidly to re-regulate with the temperature of the room. That quick change physiologically can cause sleepiness.

      4. Stay away from anything that gives you heat.

      Advertising

      Try not to use, or even look at, your mobile devices before bed. Along with keeping you interested and awake, the light also makes it hard for your brain to register that it’s bedtime. Likewise, keep the room dark when you’re trying to fall asleep. A sleep mask does an excellent job of blocking out all light, helping you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. And to ensure you stay cool, try wearing a cool face cloth to bed, or keep a water spray bottle for misting. It’s also a great idea to keep a glass of cold water next to the bed.

      Get some sleep!

      Remember, keep your bedroom cool and stay away from non-breathable fabrics when shopping for bedding. Though the fall and winter can have you craving heavy blankets and this pajamas, it’s not conducive to sleep and can leave you feeling overheated and generally unwell. Keep some ice water by your bedside and take a few sips if you find yourself waking up throughout the night. Don’t be afraid to peel back the blankets; you can always keep some extras nearby in case you wake up chilly.

      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Jolie Choi

      Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

      The Only Music That Really Eases Stress and Pain Why You Can’t Pay off a Sleep Debt You’ve Accumulated Over the Week You Probably Forgot To Do This If You Can’t Sleep At Night How to Stop Your Thoughts From Running Inside Your Head and Fall Asleep in 8 Minutes Getting Your Wake Up Time Right is More Important Than Sleeping Tight

      Trending in Sleep & Rest

      1 How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule And Feel More Well-Rested 2 7 Natural Sleep Remedies (Backed by Science) 3 The Importance of Sleep Cycles (and Tips to Improve Yours) 4 20 of the Best Guided Meditations for Sleep and Insomnia 5 9 Best Sleep Tracker Apps to Help You Get Adequate Sleep

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on April 26, 2021

      6 Health Benefits Of Probiotics (Backed By Science)

      6 Health Benefits Of Probiotics (Backed By Science)

      Probiotics are often touted as an important component of our daily health regime—and for good reason. There are hundreds of probiotic brands on the market, and many more websites and blogs dedicated to the benefits of probiotics on the internet. But how much do you really know about probiotics and their benefits?

      Scientific studies have provided evidence for many of the benefits of probiotics that you have probably already read about. The important thing to know is which benefits are real and which are not! It’s also important to understand that there are many different strains of probiotics, and each strain performs different roles within the body.

      What Are Probiotics?

      Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live within your intestines. They play a huge variety of important roles in many bodily processes. They help with digesting food, absorbing nutrients, reducing inflammation, producing hormones, and much more.[1] They’re also important for energy production, immune function, healthy detoxification, and proper digestion.

      You can get your probiotic bacteria from supplements or food. Popular probiotic foods include sauerkraut, probiotic yogurt, and kefir, but there are many more.[2]

      Let’s look at the six most popular health benefits of probiotics and the evidence for each.

      1. Give You Energy

      Yes! The billions of microbes residing in your gut play a vital role in breaking down the food you eat and absorbing the nutrients within.

      Probiotics break down the food you eat into energy-boosting B vitamins. These B vitamins play important roles in releasing energy from carbohydrates and fat, as well as breaking down amino acids and transporting oxygen and energy-containing nutrients around the body.[3]

      Advertising

      Each B vitamin plays an important role in producing energy.

      • Vitamin B1 is involved with the cellular production of energy as part of glucose metabolism. It also helps convert carbohydrates to fat, which can be stored until needed.
      • Vitamin B2 is a building block for two coenzymes that help carry hydrogen, which is used to create ATP when carbohydrates and fats are metabolized.
      • Vitamin B3 is involved with two coenzymes that play a key role in glycolysis in which energy is created from carbohydrates and sugar.
      • Vitamin B5 is also part of the cellular metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to create energy.
      • Vitamin B6 aids the release of glycogen from the liver and muscles so your body can use it for energy.

      The strains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium assist with the absorption of minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese, which are crucial for energy production.

      Research has also shown that some Lactobacillus strains help to produce vitamin K, which is important for producing prothrombin, a protein that plays a crucial role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and heart health. Vitamin K also assists with energy production within the mitochondria.[4]

      2. Help With Constipation

      Yes! Although the exact mechanisms of probiotics are not fully understood, there are several ways in which probiotics are thought to help prevent and alleviate constipation.

      First of all, it’s important to know that intestinal bacteria not only affect the motility of the gut but are also involved in the function of the enteric nervous system (ENS). A slow bowel transit time often occurs due to poor gut motility, particularly in the large intestine, which is also linked to abnormalities of the enteric nerves.

      Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) can also help with constipation. Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli assist in the production of SCFAs by fermenting carbohydrates in the gut.[5] These SCFAs can improve the motility of the digestive tract by stimulating neural receptors in the gut wall smooth muscle, stimulating peristalsis. Probiotics have also been suggested to increase levels of serotonin, an excitatory neurotransmitter that also improves peristalsis.

      Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli also help to increase the breakdown of bile salts in the gut, which are important for fat digestion, peristalsis, and intestinal motility.

      Advertising

      Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that Bifidobacteria were especially effective in increasing the number of weekly bowel movements and helping to soften stools, which makes them easier to pass.[6] Other research suggests that using a supplement containing multiple strains of probiotics is also effective in treating constipation.[7]

      3. Help You Lose Weight

      Although there is no such thing as a “magic pill” that makes you lose weight, it’s now well-established that gut health plays a major role in healthy weight management.

      Scientists now know that the composition of your gut microbiota can influence the way your body breaks down carbohydrates in your food, as well as how it uses and stores energy. Moreover, slim people tend to have different species of bacteria in their gut compared to people who are overweight or obese.

      Research has also shown that when obese people lose weight, the diversity of their gut microbiome changes and becomes more like that of slim people.[8] These findings have led scientists to believe that gut bacteria not only affect the way you store fat but also the balance of glucose in your blood and how you respond to hormones that make you feel hungry or satisfied. An imbalance of these microbes can help set the stage for obesity and diabetes throughout life.

      Two specific strains have been linked to lower body weight: Akkermansia muciniphila and Christensenella minuta. These strains are often present in slimmer people.

      It’s believed that these microbes also produce acetate, a short-chain fatty acid that helps regulate body fat stores and appetite. Studies in mice have shown that higher levels of the Akkermansia muciniphila species are associated with lower body weight and that it may also reverse fat mass gain, improve insulin resistance, and reduce adipose tissue inflammation.[9]

      4. Help With Gas

      Yes! In fact, the composition of your gut flora is crucial to the production of intestinal gas.

      Advertising

      An imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut can lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. That can seriously impact the way that you live your life.[10] Some beneficial bacterial strains such as Enterobacteriaceae and Clostridia are known for their gas-producing properties. Fortunately, probiotics can help.

      The microbiota in your colon is required to ferment food that you cannot fully digest and isn’t absorbed by the gut. This is why the amount of fiber you eat and the composition of your gut microbiota have a lot to do with how much gas you produce each day, as well as how often you go to the bathroom.

      Specific strains of probiotics such as Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus have been shown to reduce the gas produced in the intestines.[11] It’s also been found that taking a multi-strain probiotic supplement can help to keep excessive gas at bay.

      5. Help With Bloating

      Yes! Bloating occurs when gas builds up in your gut, creating a feeling of fullness. This can be quite uncomfortable, painful, and also somewhat embarrassing.

      Often, bloating symptoms can be linked to a specific food you have eaten—particularly onions, dried fruit, or gluten. However, some people may find they bloat up after every meal, which suggests all is not well in their gut.[12]

      Probiotics can help to restore the balance of bacteria in the gut by supplying the “friendly” bacteria that counteract the bad. These bacteria modify the composition of gut flora, which may help to reduce the production of intestinal gas.

      One particular strain associated with reducing gas and bloating is LGG, which proved to be more effective than placebo in reducing the severity of IBS symptoms. Another study showed that patients treated with L. Plantarum experienced significant reductions in their flatulence compared with a placebo group.[13]

      Advertising

      Remember that your diet is probably a cause of your bloating too. For example, it might be worth reducing the carbs in your diet in addition to taking probiotics.[14]

      6. Help With Yeast Infections

      Yes! Probiotics help to restore the balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut, which often leads to the development of a yeast infection. These infections occur when yeasts, such as Candida albicans, grow out of control and spread throughout the intestines. However, probiotics may help to “crowd out” these harmful strains and restore the natural balance of your gut flora.

      Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast—but a beneficial one. In fact, it has the power to fight Candida by inhibiting its ability to establish itself in the gut. It’s also been shown that S. boulardii may help to reduce the likelihood of Candida yeasts ending up in the digestive tract. This may be because S. boulardii produces caprylic acid, an antifungal substance with powerful anti-Candida properties.[15]

      Don’t discount the possibility that your diet may be leading to those yeast infections. A low-sugar diet like the Candida diet can help to suppress intestinal yeast overgrowth and reduce the number of yeast infections that you experience.[16]

      Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the most-researched strains and has also been shown to promote the production of antibodies that fight C. Albicans. Most importantly, L. acidophilus can inhibit Candida albicans from forming a biofilm, which is the protective sticky covering that protects the yeast from other treatments.

      Bottom Line

      The health benefits of probiotics are undeniable, and they can be found in many supplements and foods. Their significant health benefits and accessibility make them an ideal part of your regular diet.

      You should try out the best probiotic supplements in the market, and choose one that you think best suits you.

      More About Probiotics

      Featured photo credit: Daily Nouri via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] BalanceOne: 16 SCIENCE-BASED HEALTH BENEFITS OF PROBIOTICS
      [2] The Candida Diet: 12 Probiotic Foods For Improved Gut Health
      [3] Frontiers: Metabolism of Dietary and Microbial Vitamin B Family in the Regulation of Host Immunity
      [4] NCBI: Vitamin K: the effect on health beyond coagulation – an overview
      [5] NCBI: The Effect of Probiotics on the Production of Short-Chain Fatty Acids by Human Intestinal Microbiome
      [6] NCBI: Intestinal microbiota and chronic constipation
      [7] HealthLine: Should You Use Probiotics for Constipation?
      [8] NCBI: The Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity
      [9] NCBI: Function of Akkermansia muciniphila in Obesity: Interactions With Lipid Metabolism, Immune Response and Gut Systems
      [10] Millenial Magazine: Is Poor Gut Health Ruining Your Social Life?
      [11] NCBI: Clinical trial: Probiotic Bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 Versus Placebo for the Symptoms of Bloating in Patients with Functional Bowel Disorders – a Double-Blind Study
      [12] AskMen: How to Get Rid of Bloat in a Hurry, According to Experts
      [13] Wiley Online Library: Meta‐analysis: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG for abdominal pain‐related functional gastrointestinal disorders in childhood
      [14] Eat This, Not That!: The Biggest Danger Sign You’re Eating Too Many Carbs, Say Dietitians
      [15] Oxford Academic: Saccharomyces boulardii and Candida albicans experimental colonization of the murine gut
      [16] US News: Does the Candida Diet Work – and Is It Safe?

      Read Next