Air pollution, a warm bedroom, and high levels of carbon dioxide and ambient noise may all adversely affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep, suggests a study from researchers with the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Louisville.
The study, published in Sleep Health, is one of the first to measure multiple environmental variables in the bedroom and analyze their associations with sleep efficiency—the time spent sleeping relative to the time available for sleep. The analysis found that in a group of 62 participants tracked for two weeks with activity monitors and sleep logs, higher bedroom levels of air pollution, carbon dioxide, noise, and temperature were all linked independently to lower sleep efficiency.
“These findings highlight the importance of the bedroom environment for high-quality sleep,” says study lead author Mathias Basner, professor and director of the division of Sleep and Chronobiology in the department of Psychiatry at Penn Medicine.
In addition to work and family obligations that compete with sleep for time, a quickly changing environment due to growing urbanization and climate change seems to have made it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep that is of inadequate duration, or inadequate efficiency due to frequent disruption (“tossing and turning”), affects work productivity and quality of life. It also has been linked to a higher risk of chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and dementia. This research is among a limited number of studies that looked at associations between multiple objectively measured factors in the sleep environment—such as noise and temperature—and objectively measured sleep.
This story is by Eric Horvath. Read more at Penn Medicine News.