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Sleep Behavior Environment Lifestyle

Greener Streets Linked To Better Sleep

1 month, 3 weeks ago

1964  0
Posted on Mar 29, 2024, 5 p.m.

Nature nurtures: Living on a greener street or having views of blue spaces from your residence may help you to sleep for longer according to research across 18 countries that was led by the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health published in the journal Environmental Research, finding that living near visible grass, trees, vegetation, and waterscapes is linked to better sleep. 

Poor sleep is common, unfortunately, it is linked to a wide range of adverse health and well-being outcomes and non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease, and it also increases the risk of mortality. 

This study involved data from over 16,000 people across European countries, as well as Canada, Hong Kong, the USA, and Australia. Respondents provided information about the amount of greenery on their streets, whether they had views of rivers, lakes, waterways, and coasts (blue spaces) from their homes, how much leisure time they spent in natural green/blue spaces, as well as how many hours they slept each day and how their mental health was.

“People that lived in greener streets reported better mental health, which was the driving factor behind getting a better night's sleep. Streetscape greening initiatives already exist in urban cities to tackle environmental risks like flooding and heat island effects, but our findings suggest policymakers should extend that to residential areas to support public health by promoting healthier sleep habits,” said lead author Dr. Leanne Martin from the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health.

According to the researchers, those who lived on greener streets or had views of blue spaces from their place of residence tended to report better mental health, which was associated with healthier amounts of sleep. Additionally, those who spent more recreational time in green and/or blue spaces also reported better mental health and healthier sleep durations. 17% of those living on green streets reported getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night compared to 22% of those who did not live on green streets. 

“Whilst a five percent difference may seem small, these findings are comparable to the difference in sleep between people who are coping on their present income and those under financial strain. With money worries widely recognised as an important determinant of sleep, we think this demonstrates street greenness should be recognised by governments as an important public health issue,” said Co-author of the study, Dr. Mathew White, from the University of Vienna.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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