The Cold Truth About Mattress Cooling Pads for Athletes
It wouldn’t be an earth-shattering statement to say that sleep is essential to your workout recovery. But something as simple as cooling your mattress temperature can have a profound effect on your ability to recover from a hard training session. Solutions like ChiliPAD and BedJet have created accessible ways to bring cooler temperatures and improved athletic performance right to your own bed.
This article covers everything you need to know about the tools you can use to lower your mattress temperature and dives into the details about all of the benefits that come along with sleeping at a cooler temps.
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Your Ideal Sleeping Environment
If someone were to ask you to describe your perfect sleeping environment, you likely wouldn’t come up with a hot, damp room with a thin hotel sheet the night after a hard workout.
You’re more likely to envision a chilly room on your own mattress, wrapped in blankets while the AC blasts in the background.
It’s almost automatic that we associate cooler temperatures with better sleep quality, which is good news! Because applying those cooler temps to your mattress pad can help you amplify the fitness benefits that come along with quality sleep.
Water-Based: The ChiliSleep OOLER With ChiliPAD
With the new Chilipad mesh pad, the water-based ChiliSleep OOLER Sleep System is a simple and easy to install way to start getting the benefits out of sleeping at a cooler temperature.
It comes with a wide temperature range from 55-115°F and an app that allows you to program your own custom sleep schedule right from your phone.
With its added benefits of water contact and ability to get to lower temperatures, the OOLER with ChiliPAD is an excellent way to start improving your sleep and workout recovery.
Air-Based: BedJet 3
The BedJet 3 uses powered ventilation to cool your bed, which has the added benefit of airflow to wick sweat away from your body as you sleep. It’s air based design also makes it really easy to set up and convenient to take with you wherever you go.
With a temperature range of 66-104 °F and with its Biorhythm sleep technology, you can program different temperature settings for each hour of the night.
The BedJet is a more affordable option with temperatures still low enough to give you the benefits of cooler sleep.
The Benefits of Sleeping at Cooler Temperatures
If you’re on the hunt for ways to fall asleep faster, improve your metabolism, burn fat, and get deeper sleep at night – a colder sleeping temperature is an excellent place to start. And the simplest way to do it is to start with your mattress pad.
A colder sleeping surface shares many of the same benefits of cold exposure therapy. Luckily it’s a less intense package than cold water immersion. And while there’s overlap, there are benefits that are unique to cooling pads for your mattress. Let’s go over them in detail.
1.) Helps You Fall Asleep Faster
Getting tired and falling asleep at night is tied to something called your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is the natural sleep-wake cycle your body follows that repeats about every 24 hours.
Your circadian rhythm affects all kinds of processes in your body. The hormones you release, your digestion, and most importantly, your body temperature.
As you start to get sleepy at night, your body temperature drops by about a degree or two. Then it stays low throughout the night and gradually warms back up when your body signals you to wake up.
A cooling mattress topper helps you drop your body temperature to signal you to get to sleep. It also helps regulate your body temperature to improve your REM and NREM (deep sleep.)
2.) Improves Sleep Quality to Maximize Recovery
Deep sleep is the near-magical time that your body repairs itself. Improving your time spent in deep sleep is what will supercharge your recovery from a hard training session.
During the dreamless sleep phase of your sleep cycle (Stage 3 NREM), your body releases natural growth hormone. Your natural growth hormone is responsible for repairing damaged tissue from exercise and helps your muscles regenerate and grow.
Poor deep sleep quality can increase your levels of catabolic hormones like cortisol. They’re the opposite of your natural growth hormone and break down your muscles instead of building them up.
Cortisol also puts the breaks on protein synthesis, the critical process that repairs the muscles you worked so hard to train during your last workout.
Improved deep sleep quality helps you balance when and what hormones your body releases throughout the day. Which just so happen to be the exact hormones that you need to for improved workout recovery.
3.) Improves Metabolism and Burns Fat
Similar to the benefits of heat shock stress from spending time in the sauna, sleeping at a cooler temperature affects your body’s thermoregulation. To simplify that six-syllable word, it’s how your body controls its internal temperature.
When you’re cold, your body has to burn more calories to keep your core temperature up. And just like ice baths and cryotherapy, your body creates more brown fat.
Brown fat is very different from white fat (which is the fat we’re usually trying to get rid of…) Brown fat stores energy in a lot smaller space, and its purpose is to create heat in the body.
Instead of “making you fat,” brown fat actually does the opposite. It burns calories, which helps improve your metabolism and body weight.
4.) Makes Hard Workouts Feel Easier
Some days workouts feel way harder than they usually do. A lot of times, the culprit is poor sleep quality.
Studies like this one suggest that your perceived effort (how hard your training feels) for the same exercises skyrockets when you lack quality sleep.
If you can improve your sleep quality in the long term, your body and brain will get the recovery they need. Which ultimately leads to workouts that feel easier.
Final Thoughts on Mattress Cooling
You spend on average 2920 hours a year sleeping and repairing your body from hard training sessions. Finding strategies to maximize the benefits during that time is a game-changer.
Investing in a tool that combines the workout recovery boosting effects of both cold therapy and quality deep sleep is a surefire way to jumpstart your athletic performance.
Take a look at some more of the latest in mattress cooling technology below:
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