Whole-Body Cryotherapy for A Better Night’s Sleep
Sleeping in a cooled room can greatly enhance the quality of sleep. One reason why might lie in a fact that exposure to cold produced the ‘happiness hormones’ endorphins. No wonder that whole-body cryotherapy can enhance sleep cycle.
Endorphins – chemicals (there are at least 20 different demonstrated types in humans) known as neurotransmitters, are produced in the brain, from where they are distributed across the nervous system. Here they function as transmitters of electrical and chemical signals amongst the nerve cells. Endorphins reduce perception of pain and act similarly to drugs. While non-addictive, these chemicals are responsible for feelings of pleasure, similar to one following drug intake.Additionally, cold increases production of norepinephrine; a hormone and neurotransmitter largely involved in sleep-wake cycle. With its also important role in the production of new neurons in the brain its role is also linked to the general mood, focus, and memory.
Scientific studies have shown that one hour of whole-body exposure to 14°C cold water can increase the norepinephrine and dopamine (one of the essential endorphins) production by an average factor of three. Similar effects can, however, be obtain with a few minute long whole-body cryotherapy session. Because low temperatures stimulate skin thermosensitive receptors, which in turn triggers specific neural reactions and hormone production, a whole-body cryotherapy can help alleviate different kinds of sleep disorder and thus help to enhance the sleep quality.
Primary sleep disorders
When the sleep disorder is the primary problem which causes other health-related issues, the disorder is primary in nature. Insomnia, narcolepsy, and parasomnias are a few most knows that falls in this spectrum.
Secondary sleep disorders
When, however, the inability to sleep is connected to another psychophysiological condition that is causing insomnia, we are talking about secondary sleep disorder. This means that the lack of sleep is not caused by a sleep disorder directly, but rather occurs as a symptom of another sleep-disruptive condition.
Pain is one one of the most common causes of the secondary insomnia, followed by different forms of depression.
Sleep Enhancement with Whole-Body Cryotherapy
Endorphins, released to the central nervous system while exposed to cold, play a significant role in pain management. Because they act as sedatives, they have the power to reduce the sensation of pain which can cause the emergence of a secondary sleep disorder.
Increased production of endorphins also demonstrates a beneficial effect in overcoming less severe forms of depression. In this way whole-body cryotherapy can also help to prevent another cause of a secondary insomnia.
Targeting the primary sleep disorders is another demonstrated way to enhance sleep. Whole-body cryotherapy helps to establish a neurochemical balance which is essential for a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Increased and healthy muscular metabolism provides additional bedrock, needed for a better night’s sleep.