Loughborough University’s ‘Sleep in the City’ Project Explores Effects of Urban Heat on Sleep Quality

Loughborough University’s ‘Sleep in the City’ Project Explores Effects of Urban Heat on Sleep Quality

(IN BRIEF) A research team at Loughborough University is investigating the effects of extreme weather, particularly the ‘urban heat island’ phenomenon, on sleep quality and well-being through the Sleep in the City project. The research focuses on the impact of rising temperatures, especially during the night, on sleep environments and comfort. The project will study flats in London over summers 2023 and 2024 to provide insights for residents, regulators, builders, and owners. The team aims to establish criteria to mitigate temperature-related sleep disturbance and improve housing design. The multi-disciplinary project involves sleep scientists, building physicists, and design experts, and is supported by Government funding.

(PRESS RELEASE) LOUGHBOROUGH, 6-Sep-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — The Sleep in the City project examines how increasing temperatures, in particular the ‘urban heat island’ (UHI) phenomenon, can affect the bedroom environment, sleep quality and wellbeing.

UHI phenomenon is where the heat absorbed by the built environment during the day is slowly released at night, keeping temperatures much higher compared to those found in the surrounding countryside.

The research will be focussed on flats in London, over summer 2023 and 2024, with the goal of helping residents improve their comfort on summer nights, whilst also offering guidance for regulators, builders and owners.

One of the project’s researchers Professor Kevin Morgan said: “The UHI phenomena is already recognised as a major public health issue in large cities.

“This public health challenge is getting worse as global warming continues to increase the frequency and severity of heatwaves.

“Overheating in bedrooms at night is recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of the most serious consequences of raised global temperatures.

“It can be mitigated by appropriate housing design and construction, but at present there are no criteria for ‘temperature-related sleep disturbance’ to guide engineers and architects.

“This project will map the impact of summer temperatures on sleep and establish those criteria.”

The three-year project, supported by Government funding, will operate from the Loughborough University London site at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The project brings together a multi-disciplinary team of sleep scientists, building physicists and experts in user-centred design and health.

As well as providing data about the temperatures, noise and air quality in their bedrooms, and the quality of sleep, the team will also test established behavioural and physical interventions designed to improve summer sleep.

It comes as scientists around the world officially declare the emergence of the El Nino phenomenon.

The project has been designed to capture the impact of this fluctuating weather system, which shifts the position of the Pacific jet stream leading to warmer global temperatures.

Project lead Professor Kevin Lomas said: “A project of this scale and scope is long overdue.

“Our findings will be of benefit to many different organisations coping with the impact of global warming around the world.”

For more information or to take part in the study, contact Prof Morgan: k.morgan@lboro.ac.uk

Or visit: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/sleep-in-the-city

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Source: Loughborough University



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