HOUSTON — Why could you get less sleep as the temperatures rise?
Hot and humid summer nights are nothing new in Houston, but it turns out they could be costing us shuteye. According to a study published in One Earth, when nighttime temps get above 86 degrees, on average, we lose 14 minutes of sleep. Researchers looked at thousands of adults worldwide. They found the elderly, women and people in low-income areas were the most impacted. And the more temperatures rise, the more sleep you lose.
While 14 minutes of sleep doesn’t sound like a big deal, it can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. According to the Washington Post, losing sleep can cause obesity, heart problems and even early death. Blood pressure is just one example. It dips to its lowest point during sleep. Without that natural dip, you can experience high blood pressure, hypertension and stroke.
So what is the right temperature for maximum sleep? The ideal zone is actually pretty cold, between 63 and 69 degrees. According to the Post, the drop in temperature is necessary to fall asleep and stay asleep because it helps us get drowsy. Researchers say it appears being too cold doesn’t rob of us of sleep like being too hot does. Probably not good news for Houston.