Jun 20, 2019 | Updated: 09:31 AM EDT

Air Pollution Might Cause Sleep Deprivation

May 24, 2017 01:55 AM EDT

Traffic Air Pollution Can Damage Kids' DNA
(Photo : George Frey/Getty Images) The thick smog along Utah Valley shows the heavy pollution in Salt Lake City even during winter.

There have been many reports and studies on air pollution and its hazardous impact on breathing, lung and heart health. It has not been prominent that air pollution affects sleep patterns as well. How well people sleep is dependent on the working of respiratory and the nervous system which is impacted by air pollution.

Researchers analyzed data from 1863 participants with an average age of 68 in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) who also enrolled in both MESA's Sleep and Air Pollution studies. NDTV noted that there is more than 60 per cent chances of people having low sleep efficiency due to their exposure to nitrogen dioxide in a time period of five years.

The aim of the study was to analyze the sleep efficiency of people having exposure to air pollution. This is the proportion of time the participants slept at night to the time spent being awake. Medical Xpress says that researchers gathered air quality information from six cities in the US to gauge levels of air pollution at the homes of participants and also used sleep monitoring system to measure movements.

In the results, the conclusions that were drawn took into account factors like income, age, body mass of participants, neighborhood, smoking, sleep issues. The population was divided into quarters according to levels of air pollution. Then highest and lowest levels were compared. It was found that the sleep efficiency of the lowest 25 percent of participants was 88 percent or less.

Improving the air quality has come up as the obvious solution to enhance the sleep health of individuals.Researchers also say that further work needs to be done in areas apart from air pollution because there can be factors like traffic noise, that can also cause sleep disorders. To determine how and what kind of pollutants impact sleep, further studies need to be conducted. 

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