Sunday, January 29, 2023
Health

Study Finds Climate Change Could Worsen Sleep

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The World Health Organization (WHO) and others have issued stark warnings about the possible effects of continued climate change on human health. According to WHO projections published in 2021, the added costs of climate-related health damage could be $2 to $4 billion by 2030 and between 2030 and 2050, climate changes is estimated to be responsible for 250,000 deaths per year.

Now new research says another possible health cost of increasing global temperatures may be reduced sleep, according to data published on May 20 in the journal One Earth. The researchers estimated that by the year 2099, warmer temperatures could result in people sleeping 50 to 58 hours less per person per year on average (about 8 to 10 minutes per night).

“Less sleep overall places you at increased risk for mood disorders, energy reduction, decreased quality of life, car accidents and other health concerns (like diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers),” says Kendra Becker, MD, a sleep medicine specialist and internist at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, California. Dr. Becker was not involved in the research.

Lack of sleep has been linked to worse cognitive performance, lower productivity, compromised heart health and immune function, and increased risk of depression and suicidal behavior, the researchers noted in the paper.

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