Studies have shown that air pollution, temperature, and existential dread are all harmful to your impact of Sleep.
As climate change affects the environment, most of us envision wildfires filling the skies with smoke, hurricanes pounding coastal regions, rising sea levels, flooding, and other apocalyptic scenarios.
Human impacts of climate change include tornadoes and ice storms, but also stress and anxiety over an uncertain future.
Climate change impacts us in smaller ways, on a daily basis, which we might not think about as much. Climate change has a profound impact on our sleep, which is perhaps the most overlooked. No matter if you live in an area impacted by wildfires, flooding, rising sea levels, or hurricanes
Climate change has a profound impact on our sleep, which is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of climate change. Recently, several climate-sensitive sleep researchers have started studying and reviewing the effects of climate change on sleep.
In his research, Rifkin explains that climate change will lead to extreme weather, which can have an impact on sleep.
“I fully believe fossil fuels have contributed to changing our climate,” he says. As a result of this paper, I decided to reach out to my younger sleep colleagues because these issues need to be addressed by sleep researchers; hence I [got it published] in a sleep journal.”
Sleep disruptions caused by climate change
The sleep cycle, it turns out, is a favored place to witness climate change’s consequences. The rising temperatures of climate change lead to sleep disruption, ranging from too hot temperatures that prevent people from sleeping to existential dread keeping people awake at night. A lack of sleep can negatively affect your health and wellbeing, as well as worsen your mental well-being.
Although climate change events will affect everyone differently, it is clear that the most vulnerable people – seniors, children, displaced communities, low-income communities, and those with chronic health conditions – will be the most affected. There will be consequences for the rest of the population, as well, even if they do not live in an area affected by wildfires or hit by heatwaves that set records.
Another area that’s rapidly affecting our sleep quality and overall health is air quality.
As a California resident and a licensed clinical psychologist, Yishan Xu has to deal with wildfires every year. People’s sleep is affected when the air is hazy due to the fires.
As I treated some people, their sleep improved, but when the air became polluted and they were unable to get enough sunlight and outdoor activity, they regressed.”
Climate change is playing a part in more and bigger fires occurring around the world due to wildfires that are stoked by wildfires.
Xu explains that part of it is caused by the darkness. Cloudy days sometimes make people feel sad and empathetic at night. Nights are often ruminative for us.”
As discussed above, the lack of contrast between light and dark can also cause our bodies to have difficulty regulating their internal clocks, effecting sleeping patterns and wakefulness.
- Is Sleep Matters More Than Ever ?
- Best Bedtime Apps and Podcasts for Adults
- Tips from our Year of Covering Sleep
- impact of Sleep and climate change
- Sleeping Differently with the Seasons