Frontiers in Psychiatry
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme
Purpose: The tight association between sleep, body temperature regulation, and patterns of skin temperature change highlights the necessity for accurate and valid assessment of skin temperatures during sleep. With increased interest in this functional relationship in infants and children, it is important to identify where to best measure proximal skin temperature and whether it is possible to reduce the number of sites of measures, in order to limit the experimental effects in natural settings. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the most suitable single skin temperature sites for representation of average proximal skin temperature during sleep of school aged children.
Methods: Statistical analyses were applied to skin temperature data of 22 children, aged 6 to 12 years, measured over four consecutive school nights in their home settings, to compare single site measures of abdomen, back, neck, forehead and subclavicular skin temperatures (local temperatures) with average proximal skin temperatures.
Results: Abdomen and forehead skin temperatures were significantly different (respectively higher and lower) to the other local proximal temperatures and to average proximal skin temperatures. Moreover, the time pattern of forehead temperature was very different from that of the other local temperatures.
Conclusions: Local forehead and abdomen skin temperatures are least suitable as single site representations of average proximal skin temperatures in school aged children when considering both the level and the time course pattern of the temperature across the night. Conversely, back and neck temperatures provide most fitting representation of average proximal skin temperatures.
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