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Why has Gemma™ achieved such a high score and why thermal comfort is so important?

Deep Sleep is directly affected by our body temperature. To fall asleep our body temperature needs to decrease in several degrees by dissipating the amount of heat we generate.


Mechanisms of heat elimination:

 

1. Radiation. The mechanism where more heat is lost. It will stay deactivated in those parts of our body in contact with any object (such as a mattress or pillow). Therefore the bigger the sleep surface of our mattress the less the heat dissipation through radiation.

2. Conduction. This mechanism transfers the temperature of our body skin (98ºF) to the object we are in contact with (such as our mattress) and will be affected by the thermal conductivity of that object. An object with high conductivity (a metal pan) would absorb quicker our body heat and therefore seem cooler when we touch it but also will retain our body heat longer. An isolating material such as air will would take longer to warm up.

3. Convection.  This is the mechanism that explains the use of a fan to refresh ourselves, the wind chill factor or why we cool down a cup of soup by blowing on it. Convection the means by which  the heat dissipates by the elimination of warm air in the surface of our mattress by constant airflow.

4. Evaporation.  By this mechanism our body transmits its internal heat to the perspiration to evaporate it. Our body perspires constantly in an invisible way. In high temperatures or humidity, during strenuous exertion, or in times of unusual emotional stress, this perspiration output of the body increases and becomes visible being perceived as moisture on the skin. Heat dissipation by perspiration increases in dry environments.

 

Thermal comfort is measured by the capability of a mattress to allow this natural heat dissipating mechanism to work and to stay dry. 

But not only a mattress with an excellent thermal comfort will help us fall asleep;  also during the slow and REM sleep cycles the mechanisms our body uses to eliminate heat such as sweating are inhibited. 

What would occur therefore if we are in a warm environment and sleeping on a mattress with a high thermal conductivity with a large sleep surface and conventional cell structure (as is the case of most viscoelastic mattresses)? 

Our sleep would be interrupted in order to activate our thermo-regulation which would include sweating and would interfere with our natural sleep cycles and we will get up TIRED!!