Better air quality, better sleep?

(11-03-2022) Chenxi Liao investigated the impact of bedroom air quality on sleep quality in her PhD.

How do people assess their bedroom air quality and their sleep quality? And to what extent do those ratings correspond to physical parameters and objective sleep quality measurements?

"To this end, I undertook the following research actions: a literature review, an experiment, an online questionnaire survey, and a field study to investigate the actual conditions in bedroom environments and the sleep quality of residents as well as to map out how residents rate the air quality in their bedrooms," Chenxi explains.

The results of the literature review indicate that in most cases the reported CO2 levels are more or less within the European CEN standard.

The results of the experiment show that opening the bedroom window improved air quality during sleep. Snoring was more common when sleeping with the windows closed. Sleeping with closed windows seemed to lead to a higher number of moments of awakening. Subjective sleep quality and performance the next day were not significantly different between sleeping with open and closed windows.

The field study showed that people had significantly better subjective sleep quality when they slept with the window open. However, this did not correspond to the objective measurements. Indeed, deep sleep objectively increased with higher CO2 levels.

"Therefore, air pollution levels in bedrooms will need to be studied in more detail to further investigate and understand the relationship between ventilation and sleep quality," Chenxi concludes.

Read a more detailed summary or the entire PhD

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PhD Title: Associations between Bedroom Ventilation and Sleep Quality

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Contact: Chenxi Liao, Jelle Laverge 

Chenxi Liao

 Chenxi Liao was entitled as a master of engineering in Shanghai, China, in 2018, and started her PhD the same year in Ghent. Since then, she has published two A1 scientific papers and five C1 conference papers as the first author, and three journal papers as a co-author. She presented her work by oral presentation and posters in the conferences attended.

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Editor: Jeroen Ongenae - Final editing: Ilse Vercruysse - Illustrator: Roger Van Hecke