Study links sleep loss to climate change


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Here's a pretty goofy story out of USA Today, about a new climate change study called, "Climate change is causing a nightmare — lost sleep."

It goes like this:

"Climate change is even getting in the way of a decent night's sleep. Hotter nighttime temperatures are disrupting sleep patterns, a new study finds, with more sleep lost in the summer and among elderly and lower-income Americans. It's the largest real-world study yet to link lack of sleep and unusually warm nighttime temperatures, and the first to look at what that means in the future if global warming remains unchecked..."

Nick Obradovich conducted most of the research as a doctoral student at UC San Diego:

"In recent years, we found that unusually warm nights are associated with increased reports of nights of insufficient sleep."

He was inspired to do the study after an October 2015 heat wave in San Diego, a place where not everyone has air conditioning. Obradovich and his colleague Robyn Migliorini said:

"Friends and colleagues in grad school weren't sleeping well at night — sheets off, tossing and turning in the heat — and as a result people were lethargic and somewhat grumpy. It was pretty unpleasant."

The research found that low-income people are affected the most by climate change because "running the air conditioning all night can be costly."

The study went on to say that if global warming isn't slowed by the end of the century, hot temperatures could cost Americans several hundred million nights of lost sleep.

Oh no!

Obradovich, who is now at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, added:

"Human sleep is affected by nighttime temperatures, and in order to sleep well during the summer when temperatures are warmer than normal, we may need to adapt using more air conditioning, added fans at night and other technologies to counteract altered future temperatures."

We're pretty certain that at this time in history, humans have never slept better. 

Read more at USA Today.


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