LA JOLLA (CNS) - If you think it's hard to sleep during warm nights now, it'll get worse in the future as the effects of climate change take hold, according to a study released Friday by UC San Diego.
The research, which used data from 765,000 Americans from a nine-year public health survey, concluded that every 1 degree Celsius change in night temperature led to three nights of insufficient sleep per 100 people per month.
Using climate projections for 2050 and 2099 by NASA Earth Exchange, the researchers determined that warmer temperatures could cause six additional nights of insufficient sleep per 100 individuals by 2050 and around 14 extra nights per 100 by 2099.
"Sleep has been well-established by other researchers as a critical component of human health," said Nick Obradovich, who conducted much of the research as a doctoral student in political science at UCSD.
"Too little sleep can make a person more susceptible to disease and chronic illness, and it can harm psychological well-being and cognitive functioning," said Obradovich, now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab. "What our study shows is not only that ambient temperature can play a role in disrupting sleep but also that climate change might make the situation worse by driving up rates of sleep loss."
Obradovich said he was inspired to begin his research when an October 2015 heat wave left him sleepless despite having air-conditioning in his North Park apartment. He said he noticed his fellow students were grumpy and bedraggled.
The result, published in the journal Science Advances, was the largest real-world study on the connection between sleep loss and warm temperatures, and the first to apply climate change projections to the problem.
Obradovich, also a fellow of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, worked with Robyn Migliorini, a student in the San Diego State University/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, and sleep researcher Sara Mednick of UC Riverside.
His dissertation adviser, social scientist James Fowler of UCSD, also is a co-author.
Among the study's findings, seniors and people with less income were more likely to be impacted by warmer nights.
For those aged 65 and older, the effect is twice that of younger adults. For people with an income below $50,000, it is three times worse than for people who are better off financially.
"The U.S. is relatively temperate and, in global terms, quite prosperous," Obradovich said. "We don't have sleep data from around the world, but assuming the pattern is similar, one can imagine that in places that are warmer or poorer or both, what we'd find could be even worse."
The researchers were financially supported in part by National Science Foundation, National Institute on Aging and the Department of Defense.
Several dogs are in the custody of San Diego County, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.
Chilly temperatures and scattered showers started the weekend. Temperatures at the coast and inland communities hovered around 60 degrees with some areas of San Diego County receiving rain during the morning hours.
A transient accused of fatally stabbing a man after they got into an argument near a 7-Eleven store in Poway pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.
Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that’s likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.