Experts: Optimal Temperature Boosts Sleep, Reduces Stroke Risk

07:38 28.08.2023

A recent study conducted by researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, has shed light on the importance of bedroom temperature in ensuring a good night's sleep for older adults. The study, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, collected data on nearly 11,000 individual nights of sleep experienced by 50 older adults. Using wearable sleep monitors and environmental sensors, the researchers monitored sleep duration, efficiency, and restlessness over an extended period in the participants' homes.

The findings revealed that sleep is most efficient and restful for older adults when the nighttime ambient temperature ranges from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. As the ambient temperature increased from 77 degrees Fahrenheit to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, there was a noticeable drop in sleep efficiency of around 5% to 10%. This research highlights 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, according to Dr. Amir Baniassadi of the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research.

Interestingly, the study also found significant differences among study subjects in terms of their optimal bedroom temperature. This suggests that individual preferences play a crucial role in achieving a good night's sleep. In fact, many couples have resorted to sleeping in separate beds or even separate rooms, a practice referred to as a "sleep divorce." Dr. Erin Flynn-Evans, a consultant to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, explains that there are benefits for some partners to sleep separately, as one partner's sleep disorder can negatively affect the other sleeper.

A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) supports this notion, revealing that couples are using various strategies to accommodate each other and ensure a good night's rest. These strategies include using earplugs, eye masks, silent alarms, and different sleep schedules. However, the survey also found that more than one-third of respondents chose to sleep separately from their partner, opting to put a physical barrier between themselves and the source of their wakeful woes.

In addition to optimizing bedroom temperature and considering individual preferences, there are other tips for getting a good night's rest. These include avoiding late-night eating and drinking, avoiding alcohol, and not consuming caffeine late in the day. The study authors plan to continue their research by focusing on the potential impact of a warmer climate on sleep for low-income older adults. They also aim to develop interventions to optimize sleep environments for these individuals.

Overall, this research highlights the significance of bedroom temperature in achieving quality sleep, particularly for older adults who often struggle with sleep disturbances. By understanding the link between environmental factors and sleep quality, experts can provide valuable insights into improving sleep patterns and ultimately enhancing overall health and well-being.

/ Monday, August 28, 2023, 7:38 AM /

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