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[EN VIDÉO] The role of sleep Sylvie Royant-Parola, psychiatrist and sleep specialist, explains the roles of each phase of sleep, and why it is important to respect them.
What’s the secret to a good night’s sleep? According to researchers from the University of Texas at Austinthe answer to this question is a mattress high tech. The team of bio-engineers, specializing in therapeutic devices that regulate temperature, integrated a heating and air conditioner in a mattress and a pillow that would allow induce sleep.
The feeling of being drowsy or fully awake would be, in part, controlled by the circadian rhythm from body temperature. In addition, the skin of the nape would constitute a thermostat important body. So they created a heating pillow, and a mattress that can heat and cool the body. Their system aims to reduce the temperature of the central parts of the body, while warming the neck, feet and hands. This would increase the blood circulation, promoting the dissipation of the body heat.
Explanation of how the system works by Shahab Haghayegh, one of the authors of the study. In English, enable automatic translation of subtitles. © University of Texas at Austin
58% reduction in sleep time
This follows their previous study, a meta-analysis of 5,322 studies published in 2019. They had discovered that a bath one to two hours before sleeping improves sleep quality and allows you to fall asleep on average 10 minutes faster. The optimum bath temperature is between 40 and 43°C. This stimulates the thermoregulatory system and thus reduces the body temperature.
In their study published in the Journal of Sleep Research11 volunteers used two types of mattresses, one that regulates the temperature with water, the other withair. The researchers asked them to go to bed two hours earlier than usual to make it harder to fall asleep. They had to activate the system of regulation of the heat some nights and not others. The results of this first study are clear. Topics fell asleep 58% faster when the feature was on and said they slept better.
A system that could soon be marketed
« It is amazing how effective a gentle warming along the cervical spine is in sending a signal to the body to increase blood flow to the hands and feet to lower core temperature and hasten falling asleep.said Kenneth Diller, one of the authors. This same effect also allows the arterial pressure to drop slightly during the night, which has the advantage of allowing the cardiovascular system to recover from stress related to the maintenance of blood flow during daily activities, which is very important for long-term health. »
Even if the principle of thermoregulation is already confirmed by the literature and their meta-analysis, this is only a proof of concept and the researchers would need to conduct a larger scale study to validate their findings. However, they have already filed a patent and are looking for partnerships with manufacturers of mattress to market their system. It may therefore soon be possible to try this system at home.
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