Climate change isn’t just coming after your coffee, it’s also going to directly impact how much sleep you get. A new study found that humans will lose between 50 and 58 hours of sleep each year by the end of the century.
The report looked at the rising temperatures being caused by the greenhouse effect. The temperature increases were most noticeable during the night. To see what kind of impact this had on sleepers, over 47,000 people had a wristband to measure how much sleep they got.
These individuals were spread out between 68 countries to help get the most accurate data. The final conclusion from this data was that there was a 3.5% chance that a human will sleep less than 7 hours a night if the temperature exceeds 77 degrees.
While 3.5% may sound relatively harmless, it’s important to remember that we sleep 365 days a year. Those hours lost throughout the year will add up to the 50 to 58-hour estimate. And it will be more severe in areas that lack air conditioning.
Thus, not only will humans be crankier because of the hotter weather, but they will also be sleep-deprived.
It Will Not Affect Everyone Equally
One of the main priorities of the study was to ensure that it represented all age groups and income levels. And the results found that both of these are key factors.
Elderly sleepers were losing twice as much sleep in comparison to younger or middle-aged adults. And among seniors, in particular, low-income seniors were losing three times as much sleep when compared to their high-income counterparts.
This is most likely connected to low-income households having less climate control (air-conditioning).
Age and incomes were not the only factors as gender was as well. Women were 25% more likely to lose sleep in comparison to their male counterparts. The study also highlighted that humans simply don’t adapt to higher temperatures.
The report demonstrated this by looking at the data for the first month of summer, when sleepers are not used to the higher temperatures, and the last month of summer, when sleepers are used to the temperatures.
The data was almost identical, which signifies that humans don’t adapt to higher temperatures very well.
Is It That Big Of A Deal to Lose Sleep?
The National Sleep Association recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each day, with children and teens requiring more.
While some individuals can function without issue by getting less sleep than recommended, doing so can have effects on not only your physical health but also your mental health. Less sleep can lead to weight gain, reduced immunity, high blood pressure, and depression.
It is also well-documented that not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact on your work performance.
Thus, it is not unreasonable to link getting less sleep directly with impacting your ability to make money. Overall, getting enough sleep can have a huge impact on your life, and climate change is putting that at risk.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.