The importance of temperature and thermoregulation for optimal human sleep

Shreyas S. Joshi, Thomas J. Lesser, Jonathan W. Olsen, Bruce F. O'Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In the last few decades, there has been a decline in average sleep duration and quality that has adversely affected general health of the population. Increased use of artificial lighting, television, noise, and light emitting gadgets in the post-industrial society has led to an environment full of factors that can adversely affect sleep. Sleep is essential for the restoration of health and well-being, and has a direct effect on the quality of life of an individual. It is thus imperative to design constructions that provide a sleep permissive environment. In addition to environmental factors, sleep and wakefulness in humans is affected by a multitude of physiological parameters as well. The mechanisms and interplay between these factors that influence sleep permissiveness or promotion have received relatively little attention. The present review takes a holistic approach in explaining the basic circadian and homeostatic processes that influence sleep and sleepiness, and then delves deeper into how the thermal rhythms of the body affect these processes. It also discusses previous research and models in construction design that influence ambient temperature, skin surface temperature, and other thermoregulatory factors that can be controlled for optimal sleep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Behavior
  • Physiology
  • Sleep
  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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