PublicationsSkin deep: enhanced sleep depth by cutaneous temperature manipulation.
With ageing, an increasingly disturbed sleep is reported as a significant complaint affecting the health and well-being of many people. The available treatments for sleep disturbance have their limitations, so we have adopted a different approach to the improvement of sleep. Since in animal and human studies skin warming has been found to increase neuronal activity in brain areas that are critically involved in sleep regulation, we investigated whether subtle skin temperature manipulations could improve human sleep. By employing a thermosuit to control skin temperature during nocturnal sleep, we demonstrate that induction of a mere 0.4 degrees C increase in skin temperature, whilst not altering core temperature, suppresses nocturnal wakefulness (P