Home Health and Fitness Why climate change is costing you precious hours of sleep

Why climate change is costing you precious hours of sleep

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Nick Obradovic has lost sleep again. And now he’s getting grumpy.

In October 2015, San Diego was experiencing historic warm mid-70s fall temperatures. The normally cool and dry city has achieved three records. warmest October night It went on record during an unprecedented heat wave. The region experienced the warmest October on record, about 7.7 degrees warmer than average.

Obradovic lived with his wife in a non-air-conditioned condominium, which is not unusual given that the climate is often warm year-round. Many places don’t have air conditioning, he said, especially in the bare-bones living spaces that a graduate student like me could live in at the time.

He tried to deal with it by putting a wet towel over himself when he went to sleep, but it got too cold. He covered himself with a blanket, which made him too hot.It was like a crazy version of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ But “there was no such thing as ‘just right,'” he says.

During the week of the heat wave, he had trouble sleeping. His lack of sleep made him too tired to continue his daily exercise routine. He and other graduate students were unable to concentrate on their work.

“I was more moody. My friends were a little bit more moody. We all just don’t sleep well, so we just have a brooding view of things,” says Max Planck, now human. Obradovic, senior scientist at the development lab, said. At the time, he was studying for a PhD in political science at the University of San Diego, California.

Perhaps he was a light sleeper and irritable, or perhaps it was just an abundance of wet towels, but Obradovic decided to investigate whether restful sleep due to heat was normal. He wanted to put this thought to sleep, even if he himself could not.

His discovery was not good enough for sleep. Humans are already unable to close their eyes in warm environments, especially at the beginning of the night. The model predicts a further decline in good sleep as temperatures rise, especially in low-income and elderly communities.

in him study Obradovic and colleagues studied 47,000 adults in 68 countries and found that nighttime temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius (10 degrees Celsius) significantly altered sleep duration. Nights above 86°C averaged about 14 minutes less sleep.

Over a longer period of time the loss is noticeable. They estimate that people are already losing an average of 44 hours of sleep per year. And as warming continues, people will have a harder time finding a good night’s rest.

Nighttime temperatures are rising faster than daytime temperatures in many places around the world. By 2100, people around the world could lose about 50-58 hours of sleep per year.

“At the moment, we are not fully adapted to the climate in which we live,” Obradovic said. Higher temperatures “affect our sleep in general, but the relationship is getting worse. The higher the temperature, the larger its size.”

We take sleep for granted, but not getting enough sleep puts us at risk for many serious health problems, including poor mental health, obesity, heart problems, and even premature death. may increase.

For example, Rebecca Robbins, a physician and lecturer at Harvard Medical School, said that our blood pressure drops to the lowest point of the day while we sleep. But without a natural drop, people are more likely to have elevated blood pressure, which can accelerate high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke.

Each year in the United States, we see the effects of sleep deprivation around daylight saving time in the spring, and most people may end up setting their clocks forward an hour, resulting in a lack of sleep that night. The following week, Robbins mentioned more incidents. heart attack, car accident and injuries at work Soar.

“A lot of things start to go wrong when you don’t meet these sleep health goals,” said Robbins, who was not involved in the study. “Rather than just one or two nights, this can quickly become quite a problem, stressing our vital organs and increasing the risk of adverse consequences and chronic disease.”

The ideal bedroom temperature for a person to fall asleep is relatively cool, between 63 and 69 degrees. The drop in our core body temperature necessary It simulates drowsiness, so we fall asleep and stay asleep. Our body mainly cools the core by sending heat to the extremities. As a result, hands and feet may become warm while sleeping.

Obradovic and colleagues found that unusually warm temperatures delayed the onset of sleep and had the greatest impact on people’s bedtime. Short sleep duration in the summer and in the elderly was the worst, probably because body temperature regulation is more difficult. The researchers also found that sleep deprivation was highest in warmer climates, suggesting that people’s bodies are not adapted to their geographic location.

Low-income countries are also being hit hard, and Obradovic hypothesizes that a lack of air conditioning could be to blame. But he plans to investigate further.

Projections show that global warming will also cause the greatest sleep deprivation in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia. By the end of the 21st century, people in the warmest regions are expected to lose an additional three nights of sleep per year due to rising nighttime temperatures.

Warming trends are hurting sleep, but research shows that the situation is not exactly the same when temperatures are cold. Kelton Miner, co-author of the sleep study with Obradovic, said our bodies seem to be better at adapting to the cold than being overheated.

“People seem to sleep better when it’s cold outside (adjusting for things like seasonal variations in day length),” Miner, a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University, said in an email. “Our study suggests that people may be much better at adapting their sleep to cold temperatures than to hot temperatures.”

But long naps are also unhealthy, says Jerome Siegel, a sleep researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was not involved in the research.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention To tell Older people should get 7-9 hours of sleep.

Overall, Siegel said the findings were not surprising and were consistent with previous studies showing how body temperature regulates sleep patterns. hunter-gatherer community in the pre-industrial era.

He agreed that global warming would disturb people’s sleep.

Obradovic said the team’s findings could help communities and policy makers improve people’s sleep environments, including cooling bedrooms more effectively.

On an individual level, Robbins said, people generally need to practice good sleep behavior.

For example, just like the sun, blue light from cell phones and computers can disrupt your circadian rhythm, so you might want to cut down on screen time by 15-20 minutes before you go to sleep. She suggested that bedtime meditation can significantly help people de-stress and relax, making it easier to fall asleep.

Another good habit, she said, is the importance of having a consistent bedtime. Otherwise, our bodies can get confused about when to wake up and when to be tired.

“There’s still a ‘go to sleep when you’re dead’ mindset about sleep,” says Robbins. “There’s a lot that can be done to improve our overall view of sleep.

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