Residential Dwelling

Preventing Sleep Interruptions (11-17-15)

Research by Finan, Quartana, and Smith confirms how important it is to design in safeguards that prevent sleep from being disrupted (for example, adequate acoustic shielding around areas in homes, hospitals and dormitories, etc., where people can be expected to sleep).  The team found that “partial sleep loss from sleep continuity disruption [being awoken after falling asleep] is more detrimental to positive mood than partial sleep loss from delaying bedtime [falling asleep later].”

Lavender Promotes Better Sleep (10-26-15)

Researchers report that smelling the scent of lavender promotes sleep.  Lillehei and her team determined, via a study in participants’ “usual sleep setting” that people with “self-reported sleep issues” slept better if they fell asleep while smelling lavender.

Angela Lillehei, Linda Halcon, Kay Savik, and Reilly Reis.  2015.  “Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues:  A Randomized Controlled Trial.”  The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 430-438.

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep (10-15-15)

Research among “traditional peoples whose lifestyles closely resemble those of our evolutionary ancestors” has garnered information that should inform the design of places for sleeping, in homes and elsewhere.  Study findings were published in Current Biology.  Scientists collected data among the Hadza of Tanzania, the San of Namibia, and the Tsimane of Bolivia, learning that “The people studied consistently slept during the nightly period of declining ambient temperature. . . .

Designing for Active Older Lives (08-10-15)

Ahrentzen and Tural reviewed completed studies of how home design influences the activity levels of older individuals.  Their “review focuses on six built environment characteristics: (1) barriers, supports and features that ‘fit'; (2) spatial organization and layout; (3) environmental cues; (4) ambient qualities; (5) assistive technologies; and (6) gardens and outdoor spaces.”  They learned that  “Pathway and corridor design, and environmental cues that convey an instrumental [direct] function of a space . . . facilitated active living.


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