Climate change will lead to loss of sleep for millions

A new study published in Science  Advances attempts to find a correlation between raising global  temperatures and human sleep patterns. Utilizing CDC data, researchers  found that for every night time temperature increase of 1 degree  Celsius, 100 people per month would suffer from three nights of restless  sleep. Over a year, this number ballooned to 110 million extra nights  of restless sleep.

Sleep is a crucial function for humans, one  that allows us to recover and be productive for the day ahead. Given  that our sleep is highly regulated by temperature, a rise in overall  night temperature can diminish the ability to have a quality night’s  sleep.

Air conditioners can solve that, right?

While air  conditioners are great when it’s hot, they require energy. And if more  people use air conditioners, then more energy is required. Increasing  energy demand requires greater energy supply, and depending on how your  local utility generates power, that may come from fossil fuels,  which emit greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and warm our planet.

More  importantly, not everyone can afford or access an air conditioner unit  in their household. Researchers found that families with incomes less  than $50,000 would be disproportionately affected by the temperature  increase. Additionally, the elderly, who are susceptible to heat stress,  could be at high risk.

Climate change is not just an abstract  topic, it is affecting us today on a very real basis. Think about it  next time you find yourself tossing and turning during a hot evening,  or, if you’re privileged enough, turning up the AC before bed.

Read more here.

Last updated July 2, 2018

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