Many of us keep our bedrooms cool at night for an optimal slumber. The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping the room between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for more efficient sleep. In the summer, we tend to keep the air conditioner blasting. During winter, we leave the heat lower to keep the air crisp, enhance comfort and encourage cuddles with our bedding. This is often considered, across the board, the best temperature range to sleep in. However, a recent study contradicts this when it comes to older adults.
A study in Science of the Total Environment examined sleep and environmental data over 11,000 nights for 50 adults 65 and older living in a senior community center. The study found older adults may benefit from keeping their bedrooms warmer at night—somewhere between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. This range proved to support more restful and efficient sleep for older adults. However, exceeding 77 degrees Fahrenheit seemed to result in a drop in sleep efficiency by up to 10 percent.
These results emphasize the role temperature plays in sleep efficiency but also underscore “the potential impact of climate change on sleep quality in older adults, particularly those with lower socioeconomic status,” lead researcher Amir Baniassadi, PhD, says in the press release.
Older adults are often plagued by restlessness and inadequate sleep. This can have a negative impact on other aspects of their health and well-being—physically and mentally, notes the press release. Experts have analyzed reasons poor sleep is disproportionately more common among older adults. However, the temperature of an older adult’s environment has largely been overlooked as a potential contributing factor until now.
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