Increase In Nighttime Temperatures Can Impact Sleep Quality, Health In India, Says Report

A new analysis has revealed that climate change has added nearly 50 to 80 nights each year where the temperature exceeds 25 degrees Celsius. This change can severely impact one’s health and sleep. Higher nighttime temperatures can cause physiological discomfort and impact human health by preventing body temperature from cooling off during the night. Read on to know more.
Increase In Nighttime Temperatures Can Impact Sleep Quality, Health In India

Increase In Nighttime Temperatures Can Impact Sleep Quality, Health In India

Several states in India are suffering from severe heatwaves and with this, there’s been a rise in nighttime temperatures. A new analysis has revealed that climate change has added nearly 50 to 80 nights each year where the temperature exceeds 25 degrees Celsius. This change can severely impact one’s health and sleep. The analysis by Climate Central and Climate Trends said that the rise in nighttime warming is impacting sleep quality and human health in India and across the globe.
The rise in temperatures is primarily caused by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. Delhi on June 18 had its warmest night in at least 12 years, with the mercury touching 35.2 degrees Celsius, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The analysis also showed that nearly 50 to 80 days each year were added above this threshold by climate change in cities across Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Andhra Pradesh between 2018 and 2023.
Higher nighttime temperatures can cause physiological discomfort and impact human health by preventing body temperature from cooling off during the night, increasing mortality risks. There is also increasing evidence that as nighttime temperatures rise, it adversely affects the quality and length of sleep.
Poor sleep adversely affects physical and mental health, cognitive functioning and even life expectancy. Hot nights can have disproportionate impacts on vulnerable groups, including the elderly and people, who do not have access to proper cooling mechanisms.
These findings come during a week that saw new records for nighttime heat in several Indian cities. On June 19, Delhi crossed the all-time high minimum temperature record, with the mercury reaching 35.2 degrees overnight. Delhi recorded almost four numbers of additional nights over 25 degrees between 2018 and 2023, according to the Climate Central analysis.
These increasingly frequent extreme nighttime temperatures are contributing to heat stress, exhaustion and heat-related deaths.
The current ongoing heatwave in India has been made hotter, more frequent and more likely by climate change, according to scientific studies by World Weather Attribution and ClimaMeter.
Roxy Mathew Koll, Climate Scientist, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune said, “The urban heat island effect is most visible in the nighttime temperatures. Cities turn into urban heat islands when buildings, roads, and other infrastructure absorb and re-emit heat, causing cities to be several degrees hotter than surrounding rural areas.
“During the day, the sun’s rays reach as shortwave radiation and heat the earth's surface. At night, the heat escapes as longwave radiation. While shortwave radiation can easily penetrate through and reach the surface, the longwave gets trapped easily by concrete and clouds.”
Aarti Khosla, Director, of Climate Trends, said, “Like day temperatures, night temperatures have also shown constant and steady rise over the last few years. Warm nights have been punishing this summer with several cities shattering five decades of records. Cities will bear the highest brunt which will get worse due to the urban heat island effect.
“Several studies have already established that by the turn of the century, without very large reductions in fossil fuel burning, nighttime temperatures will not fall below 25 degrees in some places during hot weather impacting one's ability to recover for the next day. If we do not act now, nights will continue to be hotter, longer and sleepless, especially for the vulnerable.”
(With inputs from IANS)
End of Article
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