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Climate change means people lose 44 hours of sleep a year

Analyzing sleep tracking wristband data from 68 countries shows that people sleep late, wake up early, and sleep less because of unusually hot nights.


May 20, 2022

Many people have a hard time sleeping on hot nights

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Eco-anxiety Already Causes people to lose sleep About climate change. Now, according to global research, global warming is also affecting people’s sleep time, and even if humanity curbs carbon emissions, the problem will be significantly exacerbated this century.

Measurements of the effects of above-average night temperatures on sleep were previously limited to single country, laboratory studies, or unreliable self-reports of sleep.

To collect better real world photos Kelton Miner Data were obtained from a sleep tracking wristband used by 48,000 people in 68 countries between 2015 and 2017 at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

He and his colleagues then combined sleep data with local weather data to reveal that unusually hot nights put people to sleep late, get up early, and sleep less. Already, evidence suggests that people lose an average of 44 hours of sleep each year. By 2100, researchers estimate that people lose 58 hours of sleep a year if emissions are not checked. In the future of low emissions, this figure will drop to 50 hours.

Minor and his team measured the level of sleep loss on unusually hot nights by comparing the data to a baseline of how much an individual normally sleeps. They also managed possible alternative explanations for sleep erosion, such as weather and seasons.

“This is the first planetary-scale evidence that warmer than average temperatures erode human sleep. Sleep erosion is primarily due to delaying people to fall asleep.” Minor says.

Some groups are hit harder than others. Above-average night heat has had a major impact on sleep loss in people, women, and the elderly in low-income countries. For people over the age of 65, a 1 ° C increase in overnight minimum temperature had at least twice the effect on sleep in the younger age group.

Researchers have discovered that people were unable to change their daily behavior to cope with sleep deprivation, such as taking a nap. People were also unable to adapt beyond the seasons. For example, we found that it was easier to sleep on warm nights at the end of summer than on warm nights at the beginning of summer. “I can’t find any evidence that people are adapting well,” says Miner.

Some people living in high-income countries are likely to install air conditioners. This can be seen as a form of adaptation, but miners have stated that investigations have shown that this link cannot be explicitly created. In addition, the cost of air conditioning has become out of reach for many. Increased emissions from fossil fuel energy use..

Susan Clayton Researchers at the College of Wooster, Ohio, state that the methodology of this study is sound and includes a “very thorough” study of other explanations. “The impact is clear. The rise in temperature associated with climate change has already reduced the amount of sleep people get, and is predicted to do so. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts mood, behavior, health and cognitive function. This is a concern because we know it is possible, “she says.

Ivana Rosenzweig A study from King’s College London shows the power of big data and is consistent with previous studies, showing that cooler temperatures improve sleep. But she points out: “The measured effect is small, just a few minutes of sleep per night, or less than 3 percent of total sleep time.”

However, miners say that the type of person who chooses to wear a sleep tracker is likely to have access to other technologies that can reduce their impact on sleep on hot nights. As such, he says, team estimates of the impact of climate change on sleep are likely to be on the lower side.

Journal reference: One earth, DOI: 10.1016 / j.oneear.2022.04.008

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Climate change means people lose 44 hours of sleep a year

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