A single-group crossover design was used to examine the effects of a warm footbath on body temperatures, distal-proximal skin temperature gradient (DPG), and sleep outcomes in 15 Taiwanese elders with self-reported sleep disturbance. Body temperatures and polysomnography were recorded for three consecutive nights. Participants were assigned randomly to receive a 41 degrees C footbath for 40 minutes before sleep onset on night 2 or night 3. Mean DPG before lights off was significantly elevated on the bathing night. There were no significant differences in sleep outcomes between the two nights. However, when the first two non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep periods were examined, the amount of wakefulness was decreased in the second NREM period on the bathing night.
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