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How Global Warming Will Affect Our Quality of Sleep

How Global Warming Will Affect Our Quality of Sleep
September 7, 2022 Georgia Newton

According to the Sleep Foundation, the best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 18.3 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit). This might vary by a few degrees from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat set between 15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius (60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit) for the best night’s sleep. [1]

Sleep Loss on the Rise

Bearing that in mind, as temperatures continue to rise due to global warming, it is predicted that sleep loss will increase at a faster rate in regions that already face hotter climates compared with those that don’t. 

Contrary to what most people might believe, global warming does not mean that temperatures rise everywhere at the same time by the same rate. For instance, exceptionally cold winters in one place might be balanced by extremely warm winters in another part of the world. As the temperature rises, places like the Atacama Desert become dryer (less rain and dryer more humid weather) yet places like the Antarctica become wetter (ice melting and sea levels rising).

Heat’s Negative Impact on Sleep

A study completed by Kelton Minor, doctoral candidate at the Copenhagen Centre for Social Data Science at the University of Copenhagen, showed that a single night over 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) reduces sleep time by about a quarter hour per person. This study also showed that the elderly lost twice the amount of sleep per degree of warming compared with young or middle-aged adults. What’s more, sleep loss was three times larger for seniors in lower-income areas compared with higher-income areas and women were also about 25% more affected by the rising temperatures than men. [2] 

These are some worrying findings given that according to Nasa, since 1975, global warming has risen at a rate of roughly 0.15 to 0.20 degrees Celsius per decade and that nine of the ten hottest years on record have occurred in the past decade. [3] 

Health Consequences From Global Warming

Every degree that our planet’s temperature rises has a detrimental effect on everything, ice caps melting, coral reefs dying, rising sea levels that engulf land… Some consequences of global warming are affecting the planet and how it looks and behaves. Some consequences are affecting nature and wildlife, habitats diminishing or lost altogether, species depleting or becoming extinct, and some consequences are affecting us. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the health effects of these disruptions include increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food- and water-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, threats to mental health, [4] and losing sleep. 

If global warming continues and we don’t do anything about it, it won’t just be some sleep that we lose.

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References

[1] The Best Temperature for Sleep: Advice & Tips | Sleep Foundation

[2] People will lose sleep due to global warming, study suggests – CNN

[3] World of Change: Global Temperatures (nasa.gov) 

[4] https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/effects/default.htm

 

Thumbnail image accreditation: Isabella and Zsa Fischer (May 2019) from Unsplash.com. Last accessed on September 8th 2022. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/GFKPATimbvM

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