Older Adults Sleep Better During an Ideal Temperature

According to recent studies, older adults may sleep most effectively and restfully when the bedroom's nightly ambient temperature is between 68 and 77 Fahrenheit.

To maintain excellent health and well-being throughout life, sleep is essential. Getting a good night's sleep can change how we feel throughout the entire day. Aside from other factors that impact the quality of sleep, the body promotes optimal brain function and keeps people physically healthy while sleeping.

Lack of sleep might also impair your ability to think, act, work, learn, and interact with people.

To delve into the importance of a comfortable sleep environment, scientists discovered a general pattern: when nighttime ambient temperature rises from 77 F to 86 F, sleep efficiency declines by 5% to 10%.

Published in the Science of The Total Environment, the findings also demonstrate significant between-individual variations in ideal bedroom temperature, which is substantial.

These results highlight the potential to enhance sleep quality in older adults by optimizing home thermal environments and emphasizing the importance of personalized temperature adjustments based on individual needs and circumstances.

- Lead researcher, Amir Baniassadi

Baniassadi continued that the study also highlights the potential impact of climate change on older adults' sleep quality, particularly for those with lower socioeconomic status, and supports increasing their adaptive capacity as nighttime temperatures rise in cities nationwide.

How did the team conduct the research?

The team utilized longitudinal observational research to investigate the relationship between bedroom nighttime temperature and sleep quality in a group of older individuals who live in communities.

Researchers tracked sleep duration, efficiency, and restlessness for a lengthy time in individuals' homes while adjusting for possible confounders and variables using wearable sleep monitors and environmental sensors.

Fifty seniors participated in the study, and environmental data and almost 11,000 person-nights of sleep were gathered. Significant between-subject differences were seen, and the correlations were primarily nonlinear.

Inadequate, restless, and disrupted sleep are common in older adults, impacting various health and wellbeing outcomes, including cognitive and physical function, mood and affect, irritability and stress response, productivity, diabetes management, and risk of cardiovascular diseases. Older individuals are disproportionately more likely to have sleep problems.

While evidence suggests that the environment in which a person sleeps might have an equal impact, research on its origins has concentrated chiefly on physiological and behavioral aspects.

Because of this, the promise of environmental treatments has largely been ignored, even though many pharmacological and behavioral therapies have been created to enhance outcomes linked to sleep.

By concentrating on the possible effects of climate change on sleep in older people with low incomes and creating treatments to improve their surroundings, the authors want to carry on with this line of research.

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