According to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2016 ranked as the warmest year on record. Globally-averaged temperatures in 2016, NASA reported, were 1.78 degrees fahrenheit (0.99 degrees celsius) warmer than the mid-20th century mean.
That 1.78 degree difference may not seem like a lot, but, according to one study, it's enough to completely destroy a good night's sleep.
According to a new study published in Science Advances, a 1 degree celsius increase in nighttime temperatures produces three nights of insufficient sleep per 100 individuals per month.
"Poor sleep has been shown to increase susceptibility to disease, infection and viruses by decreasing immune function," Sara C. Mednick, a sleep psychologist at the University of California at Riverside and co-author of the study, told the Washington Post.
The study, which was conducted by using data from 765,000 U.S. survey respondents from 2002 to 2011, noted that if current climate change trends continue, sleepless nights could increase to 14 nights per month by 2099.
According to the findings, the largest effects of climate change happen during the summer and among both lower-income and elderly people. The effect for those making less than $50,000 a year, the study said, is over three times the magnitude of higher-income respondents. This may be due to a lower-income respondent's inability to afford air conditioning, the study suggested.
Sure, in the future air conditioning may become cheaper to install, but as Mednick said, perhaps a better solution is to fix climate change in the first place. "The more things we find that we need to adapt to," Mednick told the Washington Post, "the more we're going to have to pay."