Sleep in a Gymnasium: A Study to Examine the Psychophysiological and Environmental Conditions in Shelter-Analogue Settings

Abstract

We aimed to examine sleep in shelter-analogue settings to determine the sleep and environmental conditions in evacuation shelters. A summer social/educational event was conducted in an elementary school, wherein children and their parents (n = 109) spent one night in the school gymnasium; a total of 15 children and 7 adults completed the study. Data were recording using wrist actigraphy and questionnaires, from two days before the event to two days after the event. During the night in the gymnasium, sleep initiation in the children was found to be significantly delayed, whereas adults did not show any significant change in actigraphic sleep parameters. Although 57% of adults complained of stiffness of the floor, only 7% of children had the same complaint. The nocturnal noise recorded at four locations in the gymnasium showed that the percentage of 1-min data epochs with a noise level >40 dB ranged from 53% to 74% during lights-out. The number of subjects that woke up during the night showed a similar pattern with the changes in the noise level. The changes in sleep might represent event-specific responses, such as to a noisy environment, and the different complaints between adults and children could be useful in shelter management.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Mizuno2016SleepIA, title={Sleep in a Gymnasium: A Study to Examine the Psychophysiological and Environmental Conditions in Shelter-Analogue Settings}, author={Koh Mizuno and Kazue Okamoto-Mizuno and Motoko Tanabe and Katsuko Niwano}, booktitle={International journal of environmental research and public health}, year={2016} }