Queen's University

Impact of heat wave on sleep: Queen's University expert

2012-06-25

Queen’s University professor Helen Driver is available to discuss how the current heat wave affects sleeping habits, and the consequences of consecutive sleepless nights.

“A comfortable temperature to sleep in is around 20-22 C,” says Dr. Driver. “Sleeping in the heat, especially with humidity, disrupts sleep. The stage of sleep that is most disturbed is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This is because our ability to control our body temperature (thermoregulation) is less finely regulated. As a result, our body temperature drifts, like that of a reptile, toward the environmental temperature, leading to more awakenings.”

Dr. Driver, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, is an expert on sleep patterns and disorders, and has taught courses in the psychology of sleep.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi (office: 613.533.6000 ext. 77513,michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (office: 613-533-2877, Anne.Craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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