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Int J Biometeorol. 2008 Mar;52(4):261-70. Epub 2007 Sep 26.

Effects of airflow on body temperatures and sleep stages in a warm humid climate.

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National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), AIST Tsukuba Central 6, 1-1-1, Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8566, Japan.


Airflow is an effective way to increase heat loss-an ongoing process during sleep and wakefulness in daily life. However, it is unclear whether airflow stimulates cutaneous sensation and disturbs sleep or reduces the heat load and facilitates sleep. In this study, 17 male subjects wearing short pyjamas slept on a bed with a cotton blanket under two of the following conditions: (1) air temperature (Ta) 26 degrees C, relative humidity (RH) 50%, and air velocity (V) 0.2 m s(-1); (2) Ta 32 degrees C, RH 80%, V 1.7 m s(-1); (3) Ta 32 degrees C; RH 80%, V 0.2 m s(-1) (hereafter referred to as 26/50, 32/80 with airflow, and 32/80 with still air, respectively). Electroencephalograms, electrooculograms, and mental electromyograms were obtained for all subjects. Rectal (Tre) and skin (Ts) temperatures were recorded continuously during the sleep session, and body-mass was measured before and after the sleep session. No significant differences were observed in the duration of sleep stages between subjects under the 26/50 and 32/80 with airflow conditions; however, the total duration of wakefulness decreased significantly in subjects under the 32/80 with airflow condition compared to that in subjects under the 32/80 with still air condition (P<0.05). Tre, Tsk, Ts, and body-mass loss under the 32/80 with airflow condition were significantly higher compared to those under the 26/50 condition, and significantly lower than those under the 32/80 with still air condition (P<0.05). An alleviated heat load due to increased airflow was considered to exist between the 32/80 with still air and the 26/50 conditions. Airflow reduces the duration of wakefulness by decreasing Tre, Tsk, Ts, and body-mass loss in a warm humid condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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