Experts agree that the temperature in the bedroom should not exceed 20 degrees for quality sleep, but this recommendation does not (necessarily) apply to the whole population. The elderly would benefit from a restful sleep when the night temperature fluctuates between 20 and 25 degrees, as evidenced by a new study carried out by American researchers.
Energy sobriety requires, the French government recommended last winter to limit the temperature to 19 degrees in housing, or even 17 degrees in bedrooms. An announcement that made people cringe, and revived the debate on the adequate night temperature to sleep well.
Same temperature for all? It’s a “bed” idea!
According to the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INSV), the room temperature should not exceed 20 degrees, and is “optimal” between 18 and 19 degrees for sleeping. But does this recommendation really concern the entire population? Not necessarily, according to a new study that focused on the sleep of the elderly, and lifts the veil on the ideal night temperature to allow them to enjoy a restful sleep.
Beyond the need to sleep in peace and in complete darkness, the nighttime ambient temperature is one of the determining factors for enjoying quality sleep. This is why a team of American researchers sought to determine the ideal temperature to promote sleep in the elderly. And for good reason, this specific population particularly lacks hours of rest, which can potentially impact their health and well-being. For the purposes of their work, the researchers based themselves on a sample of 50 elderly people living in a community, for whom the duration, efficiency and restlessness of sleep over a prolonged period were analyzed.
Between 20 and 25°C for restful sleep in seniors
Published in the journal Science of The Total Environment, their research shows that sleep quality is said to be “optimal” when the bedroom temperature is between 20 and 25 degrees, and that it declines as the air ambient cools or warms. In detail, the researchers noted a 5 to 10% drop in sleep efficiency when the temperature drops from 25 degrees to 30 degrees – which in any case seems particularly high. Be careful, however, the authors of the study point out that they observed significant differences between the participants as to the ideal temperature to be set in the bedroom.
“These findings highlight the possibility of improving sleep quality in older adults by optimizing home thermal environments and underscore the importance of personalized temperature adjustments based on individual needs and circumstances.”explains Amir Baniassadi, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, in a press release.
Consult a doctor online for your sleep disorders
How to recover well despite global warming?
If these results can indeed induce new recommendations to promote restful sleep in the elderly, they also testify to the need to adapt to a time when heat waves are more and more frequent and intense, potentially impacting the sleep of populations. .
“The study underscores the potential impact of climate change on the quality of sleep of older adults, especially those of lower socio-economic status”, concludes Amir Baniassadi. This observation is prompting researchers to focus their future work on the influence of climate change on the sleep of this specific population in order to highlight new solutions intended to promote an environment conducive to sleep.
In the meantime, discover our tips for sleeping well when it’s hot.