International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 401–409 | Cite as

Effects of season on sleep and skin temperature in the elderly

  • Kazue Okamoto-Mizuno
  • Kazuyo Tsuzuki
Original Paper


The effects of season on sleep and skin temperature (Tsk) in 19 healthy, elderly volunteers were investigated. Measurements were obtained in summer, winter, and fall, and activity levels were monitored using a wrist actigraph system for five consecutive days. The temperature and humidity of the bedrooms of the subjects’ homes were measured continuously for five days. During actigraphic measurement, Tsk during sleep was measured for two nights. The bedroom temperature and humidity significantly increased in summer compared to winter and fall. In summer, the total sleep time decreased (mean ± SE min; summer, 350.8 ± 15.7; winter, 426.5 ± 14.2; fall, 403.2 ± 16.4) and wakefulness increased (P < 0.003) compared to those in fall or winter. The sleep efficiency index that was derived from wrist actigraphy was significantly decreased (P < 0.001) in summer (81.4 ± 2.9%) compared with winter (91.6 ± 1.3%) or fall (90.2 ± 1.2%). The forehead Tsk significantly increased, while the chest and thigh Tsks were decreased in summer compared to those in fall or winter. These results suggest that, in the elderly, sleep is disturbed in summer more than in other seasons, and that this disturbance is related to fluctuations in Tsk.


Sleep Elderly Season Skin temperature 



This study was performed through Special Coordination Funds of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Japanese Government.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)TsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Center for Welfare & Health ImprovementTohoku Fukushi UniversitySendaiJapan

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