Thermal physiological response to local heating and cooling during sleep

Yu Hibino, Shuichi Hokoi, Katsuaki Yoshida, Satoru Takada, Masanori Nakajima, Miho Yamate
2012 Frontiers of Architectural Research  
For a healthy and productive life, good sleep is essential, which has prompted studies on how comfortable sleep can be achieved. Understanding the relationship between thermal environment and physiological responses such as skin and core temperatures, and psychological responses such as thermal and sleep sensations is necessary to identify the most suitable thermal environment for sleep. As an energy-saving and practical method of creating the most appropriate thermal environment for sleep,
more » ... l heating or cooling is sometimes used, which takes into consideration the differences in local thermal responses. We performed this study to identify the most effective thermal environment for inducing comfortable sleep by identifying the physiological responses during sleep on the basis of sleep experiments conducted under local body heating or cooling conditions. We also used a human thermal model, which can be applied for predicting physiological responses. In the experiments, the feet of the subject were the primary area to be heated or cooled, which was achieved by installing a flexible duct with an outlet placed close to the subject's feet and inlet connected to an air conditioner. Differences in the fluctuation of body temperature and sleep stage depended on the airflow direction from the duct to the feet. When air was blown downward towards the feet, body temperature decreased and the subject was able to sleep well. Measured skin and core temperatures were calculated using an improved 27-node human thermal model that was originally developed for use in subjects who are not in sleep. Although skin 2095-2635 & 2012 Higher Education Press Limited Company. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. Peer review under responsibility of Southeast University. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license. temperature fluctuated significantly under local cooling, the results calculated using the proposed model agreed well with the measured results since the changes in heat conductance between the skin surface and surrounding environment as a result of the changes in the posture and feet position were taken into account. This result indicates that posture-associated changes in the heat conductance significantly influence skin temperature.
doi:10.1016/j.foar.2012.02.005 fatcat:iwhwx5sb4bhrdp7p3bn4tudwsq