Sleep is vital to our well-being. Everyone knows how different their body feels when waking from a well-rested sleep, compared to a disrupted sleep. The CDC defines sleep hygiene as anything that affects the overall quality of sleep in a positive way. An individual who gets ample sleep and is well-rested is considered to have good sleep hygiene, while an individual who struggles to sleep and suffers from insomnia may have poor sleep hygiene. Some sleep hygiene factors include bedtime, nighttime rituals, and electronics. These are typically represented by simple guidelines meant to effectively promote a good night’s rest.
With 1 out of 3 (about 50 million) American’s suffering from some form of sleep disorder, sleep hygiene is imperative to take note of. While there are medications to help treat sleep disorders the research is showing that both whole body cryotherapy and infrared saunas may contribute to a solid night’s rest.
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC)
Sleep is essential to anyone and everyone. It is a non-negotiable. If you are having trouble sleeping because of any kind of pain, inflammation, or soreness in the body, cryotherapy will help ease pain while you sleep. Exposing your body to extremely cold temperatures in the whole body cryotherapy chamber will help diffuse inflammation and pain in the body, which in turn will make you less restless while you sleep at night. Cryotherapy can also benefit your sleep patterns because it creates positive hormone responses in your body. When your body is exposed to the extremely cold temperatures during the 3 minute session, your body produces hormones that are directly related to sleep and relaxation. The cold will trigger your body to release the endorphin norepinephrine, which affects your sleep-wake cycle in a healthy way. This also acts as a mild sedative to help relax you and, in turn, will help you sleep better at night.
According to Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist with a board certification in sleep medicine, the steep drop in body temperature at night is one of the circadian cues that sends a signal to the body that it is time to sleep. This also explains why a warm bath or a shower before bed can improve sleep quality – when you get out, your body temperature drops! Due to the fact that infrared saunas heat the body up to a much higher degree (think fever hot) than a warm shower, it can take the body a few hours to cool down for bed. Consider doing your infrared sauna session in the afternoon or before dinner in order to allow the body to cool down by bedtime.
Overall, both WBC and infrared saunas help aid your body in so many ways.