A new study published in the journal Science Advances blames climate change for our irregular sleep patterns. It claims that the higher temperatures recorded during nighttime contribute to disruptions during sleep.
This is the first study that analyzes the link between temperature and sleep, and proves that global warming can affect a night’s rest. Results show that, if the temperature rises by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, around 100 individuals sleep badly three nights per month.
Higher temperatures at night prevent us from sleeping well
Experts have always known that an optimal temperature helps people sleep better. However, this was the first time when researchers developed a major study which also found the necessary evidence to link sleeplessness with a general increase of temperatures.
The lead author of the study, Nick Obradovich, came up with the idea of the study during a massive heat wave which swept up California during the summer of 2015. The 100-degree temperatures have been recorded over six days, during which he hardly managed to sleep. He also noticed how his friends and colleagues also felt more tired.
A massive heat wave inspired the researchers to perform the study
This incident made him and his colleagues curious, so they started collecting data from 2002 to 2011 of 765,000 Americans. Among the questions they asked them, it was whether they wore their seatbelts, how sensitive they were to sunburns, or how often they slept badly during the past 30 days. Then, they consulted the weather reports to see if the latter coincided with abnormal temperatures.
They also observed how older people or those with weaker immune systems were more likely to have poor sleep. Resting disruptions are also more likely to occur among people who suffer from cancer, heart disease, obesity, or cognitive defects.
Sleep is vital for a person’s well-being, so the findings are vital in explaining why certain people might not be feeling well. Also, they highlight the fact that global warming is not only affecting the environment, and suggests we should take all the measures necessary to combat this phenomenon.
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