There are several reasons which can have an adverse effect on our ability to get good sleep during the night. But the most recent study suggests that air pollution and heat can also be the reasons. According to the research published in the journal Sleep Health, higher level of carbon dioxide, temperature and noise were linked to lower sleep efficiency.
This is for the first time that research has measured several environmental variables in the bedroom and analysed how they are associated with sleep efficiency – the time spent sleeping relative to the time available for sleep.
Noise and temperature also linked to lower sleep efficiency
Researchers found that participants got less sleep when air pollution or particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres in size or PM2.5 and carbon dioxide were more in the room. Noise and temperature were also linked to lower sleep efficiency.
“These findings clearly indicate how important the bedroom environment is for good-quality sleep,” said Mathias Basner, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, US and lead author of the research.
The researchers are of the view that a quickly changing environment seems to have made it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
It is a well-known fact that inadequate sleep duration or inadequate efficiency due to frequent disruption affects work productivity and quality of life. Sleep deprivation is also linked to a higher risk of chronic diseases. Some of these diseases include heart-related problems, type 2 diabetes, depression, and dementia.
As part of the study, the researchers compared sleep efficiency during exposures to the highest 20 per cent of levels versus the lowest 20 per cent of levels with each of the environmental variables measured.
The study found that high noise was associated with a 4.7 per cent decline in sleep efficiency. Similarly, the presence of high carbon dioxide resulted in a 4 per cent reduction in sleep. Also, high temperature led to a 3.4 per cent decline and high PM2.5 a 3.2 per cent reduction in sleep.
Relative humidity and barometric pressure apparently had no significant association with sleep efficiency among the participants.