Current predictions say that temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere will increase by 2C (two degrees Celsius) in the next 30 years. While this might not seem too alarming, we will all feel its effects in the form of reduced sleep.
A recent study estimates that most people will lose around 30 minutes of sleep per week. Those that are aged 65 and older stand to lose closer to 45 minutes of sleep per week.
The human body’s temperature decreases naturally while we sleep. When the ambient temperatures are too high, it makes it more difficult for our body’s to cool down. Menopausal women, elderly, and those living in regions without air conditioning will likely be affected the most.
Lead author Dr Nick Obradovich, formerly from the University of California, San Diego, said: ‘Sleep has been well established by other researchers as a critical component of human health. What our study shows is not only that ambient temperature can play a role in disrupting sleep, but also that climate change might make the situation worse by driving up rates of sleep loss.’
Loss of sleep has several different effects on our overall health. Not only do you become more susceptible to acute and chronic illness, but it also affects emotional well-being and cognitive function.