Cardiff University (Welsh School of Architecture)
Supervisor: Dr Steve Coombs
The implications of poor or reduced sleep have tremendous impacts not solely on health, but societal and physiological mechanisms. This in turn results in problems regarding productivity and well-being which have huge financial implications as well. Some of the key factors that impact the quality and quantity of sleep we receive relate to the environment and atmosphere we sleep in, in addition to the environment we are surround ourselves in on a day-to-day basis. This study investigates the correlation and differences in design criteria with that of the suggested spatial atmosphere and environment recommended by health professionals for improved sleep. 
This is achieved through an analysis on literature regarding sleep hygiene recommendations and studies as well as documentation available to architects on design policies, guidelines and standards. It is supported through various examples of existing projects which incorporate aspects of environments that are better suited for sleep health, based on the literature, as well as a series of interviews that support or contradict the writings to gain a sense of perspective. This then draws on the factors pertaining to design, that have the potential to influence the quality of sleep, that be implemented more actively.
The research concludes that there are various environmental and physical parameters and ranges within which sleep is promoted which in some respects have the potential to be specified in the guidelines. Other factors are somewhat more personal and thus the provision to allow for change and have control in the change becomes an important aspect of space. One cannot dictate how a person uses or interacts with a space but there are subtle ways in which designers can influence how it is used.
Back to Top