- On Good Things Utah this morning – For most people, keeping your bedroom cool, anywhere from 60 to 67 degrees, per the National Sleep Foundation, will likely result in higher sleep efficiency, or less time spent tossing and turning. However, a new study, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, indicates that older adults in particular may benefit from slightly warmer temperatures at night, between 68 and 77 degrees. The study included sleep and environmental data for 11,000 nights of sleep for 50 adults aged 65 and older. All the participants were living in senior community centers in Boston and had their sleep monitored through wearable devices for a full year. Those results “highlight the potential to enhance sleep quality in older adults” by finding the best bedroom temperature for their individual circumstances, lead researcher Amir Baniassadi, Ph.D., a post-doctoral research fellow at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife and Harvard Medical School, said in a press release.
- For most people, 75 degrees is too hot to sleep, per the National Sleep Foundation. But the new study found that in people 65 and up, sleep efficiency only started to decrease when temperatures were above 77 degrees. “We think it’s related to the fact that, as you age, your ability to regulate your internal temperature is not as robust,” Dr. Carol Ash, sleep expert with RWJBarnabas Health, said in an Aug. 28 segment on TODAY. It becomes harder to keep your body warmer as you get older, so keeping the bedroom at a slightly higher temperature may help people over 50 sleep more soundly, the study suggests. If you’re spending time tossing and turning, that can translate to higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cognitive decline, Ash said. Poor sleep efficiency is also related to mental health issues, such as irritability, depression, anxiety and difficulty coping. About 65 degrees is the best sleeping temperature, according to SleepFoundation.org, because being too hot while sleeping is linked to less time in the restorative sleep stage. Being too cold can also reduce time spent in REM sleep, but it’s thought to be less harmful. For the record, Ash keeps her room around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The best sleeping temperature is also a matter of personal preference, so yours may be different from someone else’s, Ash said. So, pay attention to how even small changes in temperature affect your ability to sleep, and consider using a sleep monitor to “check what’s right for you,” she said. We hope you join us for this Hot Topic and so much more this morning on GTU!
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