06. Climate change and sleep

F. Javier Puertas.
Liege, Belgium


Sleep effects of Climate Change


The effect of global warming and climate change on human health is a serious concern that is an important topic in the agenda of health authorities and the World Health Organization. The stress that fast changes of weather may produce in humans, beyond the natural disasters associated to this phenomenon, is a factor that challenges the psychological adaptation response and would increase the prevalence and incidence of insomnia and mental illness in coming years. The well known insomnia burden of industrial and urban societies will then be increased and extended widely. The effect of pollution associated to global warming and human industrial activity will increase the prevalence of respiratory diseases, as asthma, or destabilize the control of chronic comorbidities -heart diseases, chronic pain, etc- that will impair sleep quality.

The augmentation of average atmospheric temperature, especially during night time, and the effect of heat waves are important factors of disturbed sleep. Moreover, the temperature change and other natural catastrophes will stimulate the expansion of infectious diseases and vectors that can direct or indirectly damage sleep. For instance, the epidemic of influenza might be responsible in some studies of an increased incidence of narcolepsy. The potential effect on other viral or bacterial diseases in sleep/wake neurobiological mechanism is well known.Last but not least, the consequences of global warming and greenhouse effect on food production, water restriction and potential toxics in food chain would increase malnutrition diseases and deficit of some nutrients, as iron, that might be associated to restless legs syndrome.

F. Javier PUERTAS, MD, PhD. (Alicante, Spain, 1968) is currently Chef de Clinique at Sleep Disorders Centre, Neurology Department, University Hospital of Liege, Belgium. Formerly he was the founder and head of Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and Sleep Medicine Centre at La Ribera University Hospital in Valencia, Spain (1999-2018), and assistant professor of Physiology at University of Valencia from 2001-2018. Graduated (MD) at Valencia University Medical School in 1993. Clinical Neurophysiology resident at La Fe University Hospital in Valencia, 1994-1997. Fellowship in Sleep Medicine at Sleep and Wake Disorders Center, Montpellier University Hospital, 1997-1998. Sleep and Wake Interuniversity Diploma, Montpellier University in 1998. Dr Puertas received his PhD degree in 2006. He has served as secretary of the Spanish Sleep Society from 2003 to 2006, and later as president, 2006-2010. He was appointed member of advisory board and scientific co-coordinator of Quality Standards of Sleep Units Document published by Spanish Health Ministry in 2011. Dr Puertas has published, 2 books, 15 book chapters, 40 research papers, and more than 100 abstracts. He has been involved in the organization of the first interdisciplinary accreditation course and examination in Sleep Medicine in Spain. Dr Puertas was certified as Somnologist, expert in Sleep Medicine, in the first examination for grandfathers organized by ESRS in 2012. In 2013, Dr Puertas was president of Local organizing Committee of World Sleep Medicine Congress in Valencia, Spain. Currently Dr Puertas serves as member of Sleep Medicine Committee of European Sleep Research Society and vice president of Spanish Sleep Society.

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