Scientists warn of sleepless nights in a warming world

If you’ve ever found yourself tossing and turning on a sweltering summer night, then you know how crucial a role temperature plays in a good night’s sleep. Under normal conditions, our body’s core temperature drops from 98.9 down to 97.7 degrees right when we're about to fall asleep. It remains low throughout the night, and rises again just before we awaken. But when environmental temperature rises, the body is prevented from shedding heat, which results in poorer sleep. So if environmental temperature can interrupt the normal sleep cycle, how might Climate Change affect our sleep? –which will give us hotter nights and cause wide, unexpected swings in temperature. Researchers looked at sleep data from Participants were asked how many nights each month they got a poor night’s sleep. The team combined these responses with data from weather stations across the country. They looked specifically for when nightly temperatures were hotter than average from the same time period. According to their analysis: changes in weather and sleep are linked. As temperatures rose so did the number of restless nights. Over one month, a one degree increase in nighttime temperature produced an increase of about three nights of insufficient sleep per 100 people. Applying this across the current population of the US –that’s nearly: Filtering by seasons, the effects were tripled in the summertime.

And the groups who were affected the most were those least able to cope: lower income respondents and the elderly. Now predicting the future is tricky changes in technology and even human behavior are difficult to account for. But if trends continue, researchers predict that climate change could cause in the U.S. By 2050: And by 2099: These effects may seem trivial compared to the large scale impacts of climate change, but consider how important sleep is to our well being and that ⅓ of us already have difficulty sleeping. Even if we find ways to counter these impacts with medicines or technologies, our sleep could be very different in the future..