Evaluation of the Effects of an Intervention Intended to Optimize the Sleep Environment Among the Elderly: An Exploratory Study

Clin Interv Aging. 2020 Nov 9;15:2117-2127. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S277252. eCollection 2020.


Purpose: The objective of this exploratory study was to evaluate the effects of a brief intervention intended to optimize the sleep environment in older people living in the community and to examine the way these effects change over time.

Methods: The sample was made up of 44 participants (19 men and 25 women) aged 65-85 years, with a mean age of 71.4. The intervention consisted in a group training session that covered the reasons for and ways to ("why" and "how") optimize a sleep environment. It comprises six themes: air quality and odors, luminosity, noises and sounds, comfort of the mattress, comfort of the pillow, and temperature. Participants completed a set of questionnaires before the intervention, and one month and four months later.

Results: Four months after the intervention, the replies to the questionnaires showed that the participants experienced reduced severity of insomnia, sleep latency and anxiety. The subjective quality of the participants' sleep along with their sleep efficacy also increased significantly during the same period.

Conclusion: A brief intervention intended to optimize the sleep environment appears promising as an addition or alternative to the two other sleep improvement options generally offered to older people: medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Keywords: bedroom; insomnia; sleep efficiency; sleep latency; sleep quality; sleep treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Environment
  • Environmental Exposure* / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure* / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Participation / methods
  • Sleep Hygiene / physiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders* / etiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders* / prevention & control
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders* / psychology
  • Sleep Latency
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grant support

This research was supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé.