Is Your Hot Brain Keeping You Awake? Cool It Off To Help Sleep

It’s already hard enough to sleep when it’s hot outside, but what if the heat of your brain is also adding to insomnia? Researchers reported this week that cooling down your lobes can help those with sleep problems doze off faster and stay asleep longer.

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine presented their cold brain idea at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, says Time, with the idea that previous studies already showed insomniacs have increased levels of activity in their frontal lobes.

When you’re awake, your body keeps itself at a higher temperature to do things like plan, organize and be logical. So if it keeps doing that at night, and stays at a higher temp, it could affect sleep.

Dr. Daniel Buysse, a psychiatrist at the university, and his team gave 12 insomniacs a cap with cool circulating water inside. With those on, it took around 13 minutes to fall asleep, compared to the 16 minutes for healthy controls. They also slept for 89% of their time in bed, similar to normal controls.

Now we just need someone to invent a comfortable cooling cap for everyday consumers who might not want to take sleep aids. Someone get on that!

Can’t Sleep? Try a Cooling Cap [Time]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.