Bodies cool down while we prepare to nod off. Our blood vessels expand, allowing heat to escape our bodies quicker. Body temperatures, which fluctuate by about 1 degree over the course of 24 hours, will bottom out in the wee hours of the morning.
People tend to sleep best in colder rooms, between 60 and 67 degrees
Sleepy, from Maui’s Story by Peggy
Sleep researchers know that right before you fall asleep, your body temperature starts to drop; in the deepest stages of sleep, your body is at its coolest, about one or two degrees below normal. Some scientists believe cooler temperatures cause sleepiness, and although the pre-slumber cooling process happens naturally, there are a few things you can do to help it along:
Take a warm bath right before bed. When you leave the tub, your body temperature rapidly cools, triggering that sleepy feeling.
Drink a warm beverage – works the same way as a warm bath.
Turn on a fan.
Stick your foot out of the covers.
But why the foot, specifically? The skin surfaces of both our hands and feet are unique – they’re hairless and contain specialized vascular structures that help with heat loss. Specifically, the hands and feet contain blood vessels called the arteriovenous anastomoses, which — coupled with the lack of hair on the bottoms of your feet — are perfectly designed to help dissipate body heat.
Sleep isn’t for your body. Sleep is for your brain. When completely deprived of sleep, for only a few days, research shows that at best our immune system is depressed, we have trouble concentrating or processing information and at worst become paranoid and schizophrenic.
Maui was a superb sleeper. No matter where I went in the house I found him stretched out. Whatever magically found its way to the floor (I certainly never put it there) I’d find him asleep – on pillows, magazines, empty boxes, dirty clothes . . . new clothes. A particular comfy spot was in the middle of a pathway like the top or bottom of the stairs.
As far as I could tell Maui was never sleep deprived, paranoid or schizophrenic.
Maui’s Tips for a Good Nights Sleep . . . for humans only
- Exercise every day but never just before bedtime. (Chasing things like children and dreams doesn’t count)
- Stay away from alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine (catnip is fine).
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine (stretch, turn in circles and always clean your paws and teeth).
- Keep the room temperature cool. It helps us hibernate.
- Limit catnapping during the day to 10 minutes, 20 minutes max. Any longer and your brain goes into deep sleep (and you’ll be a ornery cat when you wake up)
Keep your bedtime consistent.
- Don’t sleep all day and be up all night – it messes with your circadian rhythm.
Peggy’s Tips on Sleeping Well
- Mind won’t shut off? Do a brain dump 30 minutes before bed. Write down your worries, things to do, random thoughts until your brain is empty. (takes about 3 days for this to work, but it works!)
- Talk to your brain. Assure your brain it can solve any problem or cope with difficulties much better when you are rested. Your unconscious mind is always working and give you solutions while you sleep.
- Get bright sunlight in the morning when you first wake up. Go outside if you can. Even if it is cloudy you get 3000 lumens vs 200 inside. (That’s a lot of lumens!)
- Turn off cell phones, computers – anything that emits blue light. It keeps the brain awake.
Here’s a bonus tip to help you sleep well!!
Buy Guatemalan Worry Cats from the Greater Good Site .
Tell them your troubles and they’ll worry for you while you sleep!
Sleep even better knowing you’ve contributed to worthy causes.