Publication Details

Astell-Burt, T. & Feng, X. (2020). More green, more 'zzzzz'? Trees may help us sleep. The Conversation, 16 March 1-6.

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The Conversation


Not feeling sharp? Finding it hard to concentrate? About 12-19% of adults in Australia regularly don't get enough sleep, defined as less than 5.5-6 hours each night. But who'd have thought the amount of tree cover in their neighbourhood could be a factor? Our latest research has found people with ample nearby green space are much more likely to get enough sleep than people in areas with less greenery. There's plenty of helpful advice online on sleep, of course. Apart from personal routines, many other things can affect our sleep. Aircraft and traffic noise isn't helpful. Other environmental factors at play include temperature, artificial light and air pollution. As a result of these factors and their interactions with others, such as age, occupation and socioeconomic circumstances, the chances of getting a decent night's kip are unevenly distributed across the population. So it is not simply a matter of personal responsibility and choosing to get more sleep.