As we enter cooler seasons, consider the role of temperature in sleep. Consider how most of us naturally sleep. We keep the room cool, and we use blankets. Why might we create such an environment?
Many insomnia strategies to help with sleep- a warm bath, relaxation techniques, and even some medications- may hasten sleep by warming the hands and feet. Frontal parts of the brain may become overactive in insomnia. A cooling pad on the forehead may help calm the brains of insomnia patients.
Perhaps the cooled brain and warmed body signal safety. It is the safety of a partner’s embrace. It is the safety of being swaddled as an infant. It is the safety of a cool dwelling, in the long distant history of our species, where we had the stability to make coverings from our surroundings. And when we feel safe, we can sleep.
Might we able to apply these principles to benefit sleep?