Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Inability To Detect Changes In Skin Temperature May Contribute To Poor Sleep Of Older Adults

Date:
September 1, 2008
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
The inability to detect changes in skin temperature may contribute to the poor sleep of older adults who have insomnia. A new study shows that the subjective interpretation of temperature change is decreased in older adults, particularly those who suffer from insomnia.

A new study shows that the subjective interpretation of temperature change is decreased in older adults, particularly those who suffer from insomnia.

The study is the first to find pronounced attenuation of subjective thermosensitivity in elderly insomniacs within the small range of normal bed temperatures. Researchers manipulated core body temperature, proximal skin temperature and distal skin temperature in order to observe the effect on sleep-onset latency. All temperature increases were seen as discomforting by the elderly with no sleep complaints, but none were discomforting to elderly insomniacs.

This inability to adequately feel how warm or cold the body is could contribute to the poor sleep of elderly insomniacs. Surprisingly, results indicate that warming the skin of elderly people may facilitate sleep onset despite the diminished ability to detect changes in temperature. Core body cooling also accelerates sleep onset in elderly insomniacs.

"We were positively surprised by the fact that although elderly insomniacs have troubles detecting small changes in skin temperature, the small changes are still effective in promoting sleep onset," said principal investigator Roy Raymann, PhD, psychophysiologist at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam.

The two-day study was conducted in a sleep laboratory and involved eight elderly subjects without sleep complaints and eight elderly insomniacs. Their average age was 65.8 years. Participants were fitted with a thermosuit for skin temperature manipulation and were evaluated by overnight polysomnography.

The authors suggest that elderly insomniacs who are not sensitive to subjective changes in temperature may fail to change the bedding or their clothing when the temperature in the bedroom is too hot or too cold. The elderly may benefit from interventions that increase skin temperature, such as mild skin warming via controlled and feed-back looped electric blankets. Another suggestion is for the elderly to take a hot bath 1.5 to 2 hours before the planned bed time in order to warm the skin and lower core body temperature.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Diminished Capability to Recognize the Optimal Temperature for Sleep Initiation May Contribute to Poor Sleep in Elderly People. Sleep, September 1, 2008

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Inability To Detect Changes In Skin Temperature May Contribute To Poor Sleep Of Older Adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080901084840.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2008, September 1). Inability To Detect Changes In Skin Temperature May Contribute To Poor Sleep Of Older Adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080901084840.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Inability To Detect Changes In Skin Temperature May Contribute To Poor Sleep Of Older Adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080901084840.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins