Sleep Health

What Are The Effects of Climate Change on Human Sleep?

What Are The Effects of Climate Change on Human Sleep?

When you think of climate change, you are bound to think of things like melting ice caps, global warming, and other large-scale events. In most cases, it can be easy to ignore these things because they haven’t impacted your daily life yet. However, did you know that climate change is also closely associated with your quality of sleep? Read on as we discuss the impact of climate change on human sleep. We will also review the effects of sleeping in a hot room and the best temperature for humans to sleep at.

How Does Climate Change Impact Your Sleep? 

Before we discuss the relationship between climate change and the quality of sleep, let’s take a minute to understand a key concept – global warming. Global warming refers to the long-term and gradual heating of the Earth’s climate. It has been under observation since the pre-industrial period. Global warming is a result of human activities, such as:

  • Burning fossil fuels 
  • Deforestation 
  • Agriculture and farming 

These activities lead to an increase in greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap heat. They are considered essential for sustaining life. However, rising levels of greenhouse gases can increase the Earth’s temperature. This creates the phenomenon known as global warming. 

To understand how global warming impacts your sleep, suppose the Earth is a room. Now, imagine you have to sleep in this room. As long as the temperature of the room is properly regulated, you should be able to fall asleep easily. However, as the temperature rises, it can prevent you from sleeping comfortably. Sleeping in a hot room can also have other side effects on your health. We will discuss these in a later section. 

What Does the Science Say?

2017 study examined the relationship between climate change and loss of sleep. According to the researchers, temperature plays a vital role in regulating human sleep. Climate change increases nighttime temperatures, which can potentially disrupt sleep. 

The researchers conducted surveys involving 765,000 American respondents to investigate the theory’s validity. According to the results, an increase in nighttime temperatures can lead to insufficient sleep. These patterns are particularly strong during summer, when temperatures tend to run high. The study also identified that lower-income individuals and older adults were most likely to feel the impact of warmer temperatures. 

Another scientific review conducted in 2018 supports these findings. According to the review, 16 studies established a link between climate change and impaired sleep. The studies suggested that temperature and weather changes can impair your sleep and reduce your total sleep time. 

What Are The Effects of Sleeping in a Hot Room? 

Now that you understand the link between climate change and sleep let’s take a look at the effects of sleeping in a hot room. 

It Delays the Sleep Process 

According to a sleep expert, Dr. Sujay Kansagra, our bodies cool down as we transition from being awake to falling asleep. As your body temperature falls, your brain receives a signal that it is time to sleep. However, if you are trying to sleep in a hot room, the process will get delayed. As a result, you may end up lying awake in bed for longer periods. 

It Can Make You Restless 

A hot room generally creates unpleasant sensations, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. You will sweat more and end up tossing and turning as you try and get comfortable. Even if you fall asleep at some point, the discomfort can prevent you from entering the deeper stages of sleep. Consequently, when you wake up, you may still feel tired. 

It Can Lead to Fatigue and Affect Cognitive Function 

Sleep deprivation can manifest during the day and cause you to experience fatigue. This can hurt your productivity, and you may not be able to pay attention to day-to-day tasks. One study reports that sleeping in a hot room can hurt cognitive function too. According to the study, students who were unable to sleep properly during heat waves were slower to respond in tests. They also found it difficult to make decisions quickly. 

Other side-effects of poor sleep include a decline in heart’s health, reduced immunity, and disruption in your appetite. 

What Is the Best Temperature for Humans to Sleep?

According to Healthline, the best temperature for humans to sleep is approximately 65°F (18.3°C). This temperature helps regulate your body’s internal thermostat too. Most doctors suggest that you set your thermostat between 60°F to 67°F for achieving the most comfortable sleep. 

What Can You Do to Sleep Better? 

You can’t exactly solve climate change overnight. However, if you have to sleep in a hot room, then here are a few things that can help you sleep better: 

  • Stay Hydrated: We recommend drinking a glass of chilled water before you go to bed. If your body is appropriately hydrated, it will be easier to for you to sleep better. Proper hydration will also allow your body to replenish the water loss that results from sweating. If you are dehydrated, you are more likely to feel fatigued when you wake up. 
  • Buy a Temperature Regulating Mattress:  You can also invest in a cooling gel mattress or a memory foam mattress with thermo-regulating properties. These mattresses absorb your body heat while you sleep. They also enable better airflow through the mattress, which can cool down the upper layers and help you sleep better. For best results, we also recommend buying good-quality bed linen that is breathable and does not trap your body heat. Sheets made out of cotton and bamboo fibers are best for this purpose. 
  • Take a Warm Shower Before You Sleep: You can take a warm shower before you go to bed. Warm showers increase blood circulation to the skin and help your body release excessive heat. This allows you to feel more comfortable when you go sleep.  

Shop at Mancini’s Sleepworld for Cooling Mattresses 

Understand the effects of sleeping in a hot room and how it can impact your health is vital. If you sleep hot and are looking for a cooling mattress that can help you sleep more comfortably, then head over to Mancini’s Sleepworld and take a look at our collection of cooling mattresses. You can choose between a cooling gel mattress, a memory foam mattress, a hybrid mattress, and an innerspring mattress with thermo-regulating properties. 

Visit Mancini’s Sleepworld and place an order online today! 

July 07, 2021