How Climate Change Affects Your Sleep

Climate change and global warming are topics that are being discussed by leaders worldwide. With great awareness across the globe and popular celebrities voicing their concerns over the burning issue- little is being done to control or take any drastic action to control climate change. A study published by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California recently revealed how global warming and the climate change could impact one’s sleep.

What the study reveals: 

The research that was conducted among roughly 7.6 lakh Americans has predicted that by 2050, Americans are going to face 6 additional restless or sleepless nights and by 2099 the number might just increase to 14. ‘Decreasing body temperature is one of the strongest signals to our brain to bring on sleep onset,’ Dr. Sara C. Mednick, a University of California sleep psychologist who co-authored of the study, told WaPo. “This decrease in temperature is regulated in part by the ambient temperature. Thus, when the ambient temperature is too high, the body cannot cool itself and therefore can’t fall asleep.”

Normal sleep-wake cycles are governed by circadian rhythms—automatic biological processes that follow a 24-hour clock—and thermoregulation is a critical determinant of both falling asleep and staying asleep.

Also read: ABCs of good sleep explained 

Whom does it affect most?

The study concluded that the effects of temperature change on sleep was found to be maximum in summer. Also, the effect was greatest on the poor and the elderly. For older people, the effect is twice that of younger adults. And for the lower-income group, it is three times worse than for people who are better off financially.

“We don’t have sleep data from around the world, but assuming the pattern is similar, one can imagine that in places that are warmer or poorer or both, what we’d find could be even worse,” said the lead author of this study and postdoctoral student at Harvard University- Nick Obradovich.

Also read: Essential tips for a good sleep