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OBJECTIVE: Climate change and urbanization increasingly cause extreme conditions hazardous to health. The bedroom environment plays a key role for high-quality sleep. Studies objectively assessing multiple descriptors of the bedroom environment as well as sleep are scarce.
METHODS: Particulate matter with a particle size <2.5 µm (PM), temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide (CO), barometric pressure, and noise levels were continuously measured for 14 consecutive days in the bedroom of 62 participants (62.9% female, mean ± SD age: 47.7 ± 13.2 years) who wore a wrist actigraph and completed daily morning surveys and sleep logs.
RESULTS: In a hierarchical mixed effect model that included all environmental variables and adjusted for elapsed sleep time and multiple demographic and behavioral variables, sleep efficiency calculated for consecutive 1-hour periods decreased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing levels of PM, temperature, CO, and noise. Sleep efficiency in the highest exposure quintiles was 3.2% (PM, p < .05), 3.4% (temperature, p < .05), 4.0% (CO, p < .01), and 4.7% (noise, p < .0001) lower compared to the lowest exposure quintiles (all p-values adjusted for multiple testing). Barometric pressure and humidity were not associated with sleep efficiency. Bedroom humidity was associated with subjectively assessed sleepiness and poor sleep quality (both p < .05), but otherwise environmental variables were not statistically significantly associated with actigraphically assessed total sleep time and wake after sleep onset or with subjectively assessed sleep onset latency, sleep quality, and sleepiness. Assessments of bedroom comfort suggest subjective habituation irrespective of exposure levels.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings add to a growing body of evidence highlighting the importance of the bedroom environment-beyond the mattress-for high-quality sleep.