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In some places, the nights are warming up faster than the days due to climate change.
And now scientists believe there is a link between warmer weather and poorer sleep in areas around the world, according to a new study.
Scientists in Denmark analyzed anonymized data from tens of thousands of smart watches and wristbands from around the world. They matched data on when people fell asleep and woke up with information about the local weather. They found that when it’s warmer at night, people have more trouble falling asleep.
The study published in one earth notes that skin and core body temperatures become more sensitive to environmental temperatures during sleep.
The researchers say the effect of higher temperatures on sleep is felt unevenly. Older people (whose bodies don’t sweat enough to cool their bodies), residents of low-income countries, women and those living in already warm climates feel the impact more, they say.
Scientists have found that climate change both intensifies and increases the likelihood of heat waves and other types of extreme weather. Climate scientists expect this to worsen as humans continue to release heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.
“Without further adjustment, and if greenhouse gas concentrations do not stabilize until the end of the century, each person could be exposed to an average of 2 weeks of temperature-related short sleep each year,” the study said. one earth said.
A lack of sleep is a risk factor for physical and mental health problems, including decreased cognitive performance, hypertension, impaired immune function, depression and more.
NPR’s Rebecca Hersher contributed to this report.