Introduction The influence of a person’s immediate surroundings and physical environment (such as bed and bedroom condition) on sleep has gained interest.1–19 This study aimed at identifying a standard methodology or guideline to assess the thermal comfort of sleeping people in bedrooms. The literature suggests there are various methods, approaches, tools, and metric to measure and quantify sleep quality and thermal comfort in isolation.8,10,27–29,11,20–26 But there’s no standard method which takes an approach to study these both, emphasizing the lack of a standardized methodology to conduct field trials in real bedrooms.
Method The method involves conducting a literature review to identify appropriate indices for measuring sleep quality and thermal comfort of sleeping people. Based on it, an approach was developed for conducting the field studies (refer figure 1 & 2). The approach was tested in a pilot study with two key activities. The first activity involves establishing baseline sleep quality using diaries and actigraphy for 10 healthy adults. Secondly, their sleep quality and comfort and the relationship with environmental parameters was assessed in a bedroom, deemed as overheated.
Results The literature review indicated lack of a standardized methodology for studying the relationship between sleep quality, thermal comfort, and bed/bedroom conditions. Studies predominantly involved healthy adults in laboratory settings. Actigraphy and smart fitness bands were used to assess sleep quality, with actigraphy showing the closest agreement with the gold standard. The study used a novel approach consisting of objective and subjective measurement, revealing that the impact by an overheated bedroom on sleep quality and thermal comfort can be studied comprehensively.
Discussion The study utilized a mixed method approach in a pilot study to assess its suitability for field studies. Further research is needed to establish a standardized methodology for studying sleep quality and comfort in real-world settings.
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