Photo Credit: Aweisenfels

Poor Sleep? It’s Linked to Air pollution, Says Study

Your exposure to air pollution or nitrogen dioxide and small particulates known as PM 2.5s are linked could impact the body note merely with breathing problems but also irritating your nose, your sinuses and the back of your throat, all leading to sleep disruption as well, said researchers.

Martha Billings of the University of Washington said air pollutants entering the blood could have an effect on the brain and cause sleep deprivation. With high levels of nitrogen dioxide, the resultant odds of having low sleep efficiency go up by almost 60%, while high levels of PM2.5s it’s almost 50%, said the new study.

Researchers studied five year data for nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5 levels in air pollution in the homes of 1,863 participants and found that those who were exposed to the highest levels of air pollution were more likely to be affected with sleep deprivation. More so when, high levels of nitrogen dioxide coupled with PM2.5s increased the odds by almost 60 and 50%, respectively.

People had sepent more hours awake when higher levels of pollution were found in their homes. But researchers are not sure whether the pollution itself was affecting the participants’ sleep or whether other factors linked to pollution are behind the problem.

Though several research studies have shown in the past that nitrogen dioxide exposures affect physiological and biochemical functions in the body, hospital admissions and mortality, this is the first time sleep deprivation is directly linked to these pollutants.

The study was presented at the American Thoracic Society’s annual international conference.

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