Saturday, May 27, 2017

Losing Sleep over Climate Change

Areas of the western and northern united states -- where nighttime temperatures are projected to increase most -- may experience the largest future changes in sleep. (Credit: N. Obradovich) Click to Enlarge.
Climate change may keep you awake -- and not just metaphorically.  Nights that are warmer than normal can harm human sleep, researchers show in a new paper, with the poor and elderly most affected.  According to their findings, if climate change is not addressed, temperatures in 2050 could cost people in the United States millions of additional nights of insufficient sleep per year.  By 2099 the figure could rise by several hundred million more nights of lost sleep annually.
Published by Science Advances, the research represents the largest real-world study to date to find a relationship between reports of insufficient sleep and unusually warm nighttime temperatures.  It is the first to apply the discovered relationship to projected climate change.

"Sleep has been well-established by other researchers as a critical component of human health.  Too little sleep can make a person more susceptible to disease and chronic illness, and it can harm psychological well-being and cognitive functioning," Obradovich said.  "What our study shows is not only that ambient temperature can play a role in disrupting sleep but also that climate change might make the situation worse by driving up rates of sleep loss."

Read more at Losing Sleep over Climate Change

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