August 28, 2023 | 7:52 a.m
How did you sleep last night?
Not very good, if you’re like many Americans: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 35% of adults in the United States do not get enough sleep on a regular basis.
This is more than just an inconvenience, because sleeping less than seven hours each night is associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and frequent mental distress.
The problem is particularly acute among the elderly, who often suffer from sleep disorders. Older adults need about seven to nine hours each night, like all adults.
But older people tend to go to bed earlier and get up earlier than they did when they were younger. According to the National Institute on Aging.
Sleep problems among the elderly can be exacerbated by pain, illness or certain medications.
Most research on sleep problems has focused on physical and behavioral factors, although the environment has a similar effect, says Dr. Amir Bani Saadi of the Henda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Geriatric Research. explained in a press release.
To understand the relationship between bedroom temperature and sleep quality, Banyasadi and colleagues at Ancient SeniorLife (a Harvard Medical School affiliate) collected data on nearly 11,000 individual nights of sleep, as experienced by 50 older adults.
Using wearable sleep monitors and environmental sensors, the researchers monitored sleep duration, sleep efficiency, and insomnia over an extended period in the participants’ homes.
the findings, Published in the Journal of Comprehensive Environmental SciencesHe revealed that sleep is more efficient and comfortable for the elderly when the ambient temperatures at night range from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees.
In addition, the researchers observed a general trend: a 5% to 10% decrease in sleep efficiency as the ambient temperature increased from 77F to 86F.
“These findings highlight the potential for improving sleep quality in older adults through optimizing home thermal environments and emphasize the importance of personal temperature adjustments based on individual needs and circumstances,” Baniyasadi said.
Individual preferences are also an important consideration, as the research also revealed significant differences between subjects when it came to the ideal bedroom temperature – in other words, some like it hot, while others prefer it kept cool.
This is one of the reasons many couples give themselves a “sleeping divorce”, sleeping in separate beds – like sitcom couples from the ’60s – or even in separate rooms.
“There are benefits to some partners sleeping separately,” says Dr. Erin Flynn Evans, MD, advisor to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. he told CBS News. “Studies prove that when one bed partner has a sleep disorder, it can negatively affect the other sleeper.”
a A recent study from AASM have shown that couples use strategies such as earplugs, eye masks, silent alarms, and different sleep schedules to accommodate each other and ensure a good night’s rest.
But more than a third of the respondents bypassed all of these temporary measures, choosing instead to put a wall between themselves and the source of their waking problems: their wives.
Other tips for getting a good night’s rest include avoiding eating and drinking late at night, avoiding alcohol and not drinking caffeine late in the day.
The authors of the Room Temperature Study plan to continue this line of research by focusing on the potential effect of a warmer climate on sleep for low-income older adults, and by developing interventions to improve sleep environments for these people.