The Week in Sleep News: August 19, 2022

Do you feel like you're constantly waking up at night when it's hot out? This week a new study shows that temperature leads to more sleep disturbances.

Two people sitting in bed, holding up newspapers. Text at the top says: Sleep News. week of August 19, 2022.

Here’s the sleep news for this week:

Global warming is messing with our sleep

It’s not new news that being hot makes it harder for us to sleep. However, a new study  suggests that warmer temperatures cause sleep disturbances which could make it harder for the body to fend off infection. This study shows that ambient, or surrounding air, temperature affects sleep. This indicates that warmer temperatures contribute to sleep disturbance and since sleep regulates the immune system, sleep disturbances put our bodies at higher risk for infection. Given research showing a potential link between poor sleep and reduced immune response researchers say this raises questions about whether climate change results in heightened infectious disease risk. Especially while in the middle of a global pandemic such as COVID-19.

A 30-minute walk can help your sleep and mental health

We've learned that walking meditation is a great way to get a bit of exercise and get into nature. A new study of university students in the U.K. published in Explore shows that a 30-minute walk can improve sleep quality, as well as mental health and mood. The small study of 104 people included a randomized control group, a group walking an urban route, and a group on a lusher nature route. Though both walking groups logged improved sleep and mental health, the nature group logged the most stark improvements.

Engineered mattress helps you fall asleep

A new engineered mattress may get us one step closer to getting the perfect night of sleep. Bioengineers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a unique mattress and pillow system that uses heating and cooling to tell the body it is time to go to sleep. While researching, scientist found the skin of the neck is an important bodily thermostat for humans. This engineered mattress is designed to simultaneously cool the central areas of the body while heating up the neck, hands and feet, thereby increasing blood flow to dissipate body heat. The mattress has been tested on 11 people so far and participants feel asleep about 58% faster compared with nights when they did not use the cooling-warming function.

Finances are keeping Americans up

A new survey looking at the sleep hygiene of Americans reveals that what keeps people up in the U.S. most is worrying about inflation. A national survey from U.S. News & World Report's 360 Reviews shows that 41% of Americans cite inflation as the worry keeping them up at night. This is closely followed by worries about COVID-19 (39%) and gun violence (27%). This comes as no surprise as these three things are topics Americans are confronted with every day and as research has shown, anxiety and stress are frequently associated with sleep loss.

In sleep-centric social media…

Waking up in the middle of the night can be the worst. Luckily Dr. Scott Beyer shares so helpful tricks for those who are constantly waking up mid-sleep.

Doctor Scott Beyer. Text reads: simple trick for those constantly wake up in the middle of the night.
@drscottbeyer / TikTok