Finally catching some Zs could come from within. Sleep specialists say people’s ability to fall asleep is linked with the temerature of their hands and feet.
"The best predictor of whether someone is going to fall asleep is an increase to their hand and foot temperature relative to their core," says Matthew Ebben, Ph.D., a sleep specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine at New York Presbyterian/Weill Medical College in New York.
In normal sleepers, as we doze off, the temperature of our hands and feet increases by about one-degree. In a recent study, insomniac participants actually learned to change their hand temps through temperature biofeedback — a technique that trains the brain to control temperature responses.
"We’re trying to teach them to control their hand temperature, and then use that when they go to sleep. We’re trying to see whether they fall asleep faster with this technque and it looks like they are, "Dr. Ebben says.
The technique worked for about 90 percent of the participants in the study making the quest for more rest much more than a dream.