Warm temperatures than average erode human sleep, studies show

Most studies investigating the impact of climate change on human life focus on how extreme weather events affect economic and social health outcomes. However, climate change can also have a strong impact on basic daily human activities. This includes hosting behavioral, psychological and physiological outcomes that are essential for well-being.In a study published in the journal on May 20 One earthResearchers report that elevated ambient temperatures adversely affect human sleep around the world.

The team says their findings suggest that by 2099, suboptimal temperatures could erode 50-58 hours of sleep per person per year. In addition, they found that the effect of temperature on sleep loss was significantly greater not only for residents in low-income countries, but also for the elderly and women.

Kelton Minor (@keltonminor), the lead author of the University of Copenhagen, said: “In order to advance informed climate policy decisions, we need to better explain the full extent of the plausible future climate impacts that extend from today’s social greenhouse gas emission choices. . “

It has long been known that hot days increase deaths and hospitalizations and worsen human performance, but the biological and behavioral mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood. Recent self-reported data from the United States suggest that subjective sleep quality deteriorates during hot weather, but temperature fluctuations are the result of objective sleep in people living in a variety of global climates. It is unclear how it will affect the change in.

“This study provides the first planetary-scale evidence that warmer than average temperatures erode human sleep,” says Miner. “This erosion is primarily caused by delaying people’s sleep and advancing when they wake up in hot weather.”

To carry out this study, researchers used anonymized global sleep data collected from accelerometer-based sleep tracking wristbands. The data included night sleep records of 7 million people from more than 47,000 adults in 68 countries across all continents except Antarctica. Measurements from the wristband type used in this study have previously been shown to be consistent with independent measurements of wakefulness and sleep.

This study suggests that on very warm nights (30 degrees Celsius, above 86 degrees Fahrenheit), sleep drops by an average of just over 14 minutes. As the temperature rises, it is more likely that you will sleep less than 7 hours.

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“Our body is highly adapted to maintain a stable core body temperature on which our lives depend,” says Miner. “Still every night, they do amazing things unknowingly by most of us-; they dilate our blood vessels and increase blood flow to our hands and feet. It releases heat from the core to the surrounding environment. ”He adds that in order for our bodies to transfer heat, the surrounding environment needs to be cooler than we are.

Early controlled studies in the sleep lab found that if the room temperature was too high or too low, both humans and animals would sleep worse. However, this study was limited by how people behave in the real world. They change the temperature of the sleeping environment to make it more comfortable.

In current studies, researchers have found that under normal lifestyle, people appear to be much better at adapting to colder outside temperatures than in hotter conditions. “Beyond seasons, demographics, and different climatic conditions, warmer outside temperatures consistently erode sleep, and the amount of sleep loss gradually increases as temperatures rise,” says Miner. ..

One of the key observations was that people in developing countries appear to be more affected by these changes. The prevalence of air conditioning in developed countries may be a factor, but the lack of data on air conditioning access between subjects made it difficult for researchers to pinpoint the reason. Researchers have also found compelling evidence that the effects of warming on sleep loss are globally unequal, so new studies show that they live in the hottest and historically poorest areas, especially in the world. , States that more vulnerable groups need to be considered in particular.

In future work, the team hopes to work with climate scientists, sleep researchers, and technology providers around the world to extend the reach of sleep and behavioral analysis around the world to other groups and situations. In addition, they are interested in studying the effects of elevated outdoor temperatures on the consequences of sleep in imprisoned populations, especially in hot climates where access to air conditioning may be restricted.

This research was supported by the Danish Agency for Higher Education Science and the Danish Independent Research Fund.

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The story first appeared in News Medical

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