The “ideal” bedroom temperature for older people to get the best night’s sleep has been calculated by scientists.
Sleep can be most efficient and restful for pensioners when their night-time bedroom ambient temperature ranges between 68 and 77° Fahrenheit (20 to 25° Celcius), according to a new study.
Researchers say night-time ambient temperature plays a “pivotal” role in sleep quality for older people.
But they warned their findings, published in the journal Science of The Total Environment, highlight the potential impact of climate change on sleep quality for our aging population.
The American research team noted an overall trend of five to 10 percent drop in sleep efficiency as the night-time ambient temperature increases from 77° F (25.00 °C) to 86° F (30.00 °C) (30°C).
The study also revealed “substantial” differences in the optimal bedroom temperature between individual participants.
Lead researcher Dr. Amir Baniassadi said: “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.
“Additionally, the study underscores the potential impact of climate change on sleep quality in older adults, particularly those with lower socio-economic status, and supports increasing their adaptive capacity as night-time temperatures increase in cities.”
The study examines the association between bedroom night-time temperature and sleep quality in a sample of older people.
Using wearable sleep monitors and environmental sensors, the research team monitored sleep duration, efficiency, and restlessness over an extended period within the participants’ homes.
The study collected nearly 11,000 person-nights of sleep and environmental data from 50 older adults.
Dr. Baniassadi said: “Older adults often experience inadequate, restless and disrupted sleep which in turn influences many outcomes related to their health and well-being such as cognitive and physical function, mood and affect, irritability and reaction to stress, productivity, diabetes management, and risk of cardiovascular diseases.
“Indeed, poor sleep is disproportionately more common among older adults.
“Meanwhile, research on its causes has been mostly focused on physiological and behavioral factors despite evidence suggesting that the environment the person sleeps in can be as influential.”
He said that while several medical and behavioral interventions have been developed to improve sleep quality, the potential for environmental interventions has been largely overlooked.
Dr Baniassadi, of Harvard Medical School, added: “Within this context, the link between home ambient temperature and sleep within older adults can be a potential target for improving sleep.”
The research team plan to focus on the potential impact of climate change on sleep in low-income older adults and developing interventions to optimise their environment.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker