Queen's University

Sleepless during the heat wave

2010-07-20

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 Professor 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 is a professor in the Department of Medicine and Psychology and the president of the Canadian Sleep Society. She is an expert on sleep patterns and disorders, and has taught courses in the psychology of sleep.

To arrange an interview, contact Kristyn Wallace at (613)533-6000 ext 79173 kristyn.wallace@queensu.ca or Michael Onesi at (613)533-6000 ext 77513 michael.onesi@queensu.ca, News and Media Services, Queen’s University.

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