Climate change is already striking on multiple fronts, from melting icebergs to killing Ethiopian coffee varieties. Yet, in the near future, it will affect something even closer to home — our sleep!
Namely, a 9-year-long study focused on sleep patterns showed a disturbing trend. According to historical data and that of over 765,000 Americans, we’ll have a full-blown insomnia pandemic on our hands as the nights get longer and hotter.
The culprit behind this phenomenon is none other than our own thermoregulation, which is closely linked to sleep. In short, the more our bodies try to maintain our ideal temperature, the more our sleep patterns get disrupted. And guess what affects our thermoregulation the most — ambient temperature and humidity!
To be more precise, data showed that heat exposure results in unsatisfying sleep because it:
- increases wakefulness levels
- decreases the duration of slow-wave sleep
- shortens rapid eye movement (REM) sleep
To test this hypothesis, the research team based their estimates for 2050 and 2099 on the temperature model of NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX-GDDP).
Findings revealed that sleep disturbances will be experienced across the state, predominantly in the northern and western parts of the country.
And despite the cold being easily countered with the simple use of warmer bedding, clothing, or top-quality electric blankets, heat is not as easy to deal with. Fact is, people will have to invest in next-gen beddings, pillows, mattresses, and mattress toppers to stay cool at night.
Fortunately for us, most mattress companies are already “on it” and offer a slew of options from cooling gels to all sorts of fibers that dissipate heat.
To wrap it up, the study also highlights that the most vulnerable among us are:
- those already living in warm areas
- lower-income individuals
- the elderly
So, if you fit into one of these categories, make sure to prepare accordingly!