Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cool Heads Sleep Better?

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Cool Heads Sleep Better?

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It’s summertime and across the country, people are flipping their pillows so they can lay their heads on the “cool side of the pillow.”

Perhaps, there’s a scientific reason behind our desire to cool off our hot heads when we sleep. A new study released this month at Sleep 2011, the 25th Anniversary of APSS: Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS) suggested that people with insomnia may be able to find relief by wearing a cap that cools the brain during sleep.

According to the study, when metabolism is reduced in the brain’s frontal cortex while falling asleep, people tend to experience restorative sleep. Interestingly insomnia is associated with increased metabolism in this area. One way to reduce cerebral metabolism is to use cool the brain, a process known as “cerebral hypothermia.”

Participants in the study received all-night frontal cerebral thermal transfer by wearing a soft plastic cap on their head. The cap contained tubes that were filled with circulating water and the scientists experimented with differing temperatures to see what produced the best results.

The cool cap helped insomniacs fall asleep and stay asleep as well as the normal, average sleepers.

Many people would love to find a natural, non-pharmaceutical way to help them with their sleep at night. I’ve noticed that a variety of “cooling pillows” are already being sold online and in stores. Who knows what’s next? “Ice caps,” perhaps?

Resource: American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2011, June 13). Cooling the brain during sleep may be a natural and effective treatment for insomnia.

Dr. Amen's

Cool Heads Sleep Better? – Amen Clinics

Cool Heads Sleep Better? – Amen Clinics