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How does the baby fall asleep better? After a cold walk or a warm bath?

Have you heard of the “cool head” hypothesis? The temperature of the body (and the brain) is subject to the circadian rhythm, and when it decreases, you want to sleep. Cooling the brain is not just related to falling asleep, but stimulates it. Probably, this is the basis of the well-known everyday method of combating children's insomnia: you need to take a nice walk in the cold air and get a little cold. Scientific data confirm the folk method. At the 23rd annual somnology conference in 2009, American psychiatrist Eric Nofzinger spoke about a study that proves that cooling the skull in the area of the frontal cortex significantly accelerates falling asleep and improves sleep quality.

However, children also fall asleep soundly after a warm bath, and this effect is well known to doctors. The fact is that heating leads to the expansion of the blood vessels of the hands and feet, which are effective heat exchangers. When the baby “gets out” of the bath, the dilated blood vessels of his limbs strongly give off heat and at the same time intensively cool the brain.

So the “cool head” hypothesis works either way. And how you achieve this effect – by taking a walk or taking a warm bath before bed – is up to you. Both methods are effective!

© Nataliia Kondratenko, 2017

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