Researchers at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW Milken Institute SPH) conducted the first systematic review investigating the link between climate change and how humans sleep.
Dr. Daniel Rifkin, a graduate of Milken Institute SPH’s MPH@GW program; Dr. Melissa Perry, chair of environmental and occupational health; and Dr. Michael Long, an assistant professor of prevention and community health; authored the paper, which was published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews.
The researchers found a connection between sleep disruption and the rising temperatures and weather events associated with climate change. They examined 16 studies that reported a consistent link between impaired sleep and temperature and weather events associated with climate change. Their review also included six studies on how rising temperatures affect sleep patterns, finding that elderly and lower-income populations were more likely to be impacted.
“The disparities in sleep health outcomes highlight yet again the health equity challenges that must be overcome when designing climate change mitigation strategies,” said Dr. Long.