IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 10152: A Systemic Review of the Impact of Wildfires on Sleep Disturbances
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph181910152
Wildfires present a serious risk to humans as well as to the environment. Wildfires cause loss of lives, economic losses, expose people to personal as well as collective trauma, and compromise the mental health of survivors. Sleep disturbances are highly prevalent following a traumatic event; however, their prevalence is not well established amongst those confronted by natural disasters such as wildfires. The aim of this systematic review is to synthesise the empirical findings pertaining to wildfires and the prevalence of sleep disturbances in the general community affected by this natural disaster. We searched EBSCO, PsychINFO, Medline, SpringerLink, CINAHL Complete, EMBASE, PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane Library between January 2012 and March 2021. Five studies met the inclusion criteria. Findings from this systematic review suggest that sleep disturbances, assessed one to ten months following the fires, are highly prevalent in wildfire survivors, with insomnia (ranging between 63–72.5%) and nightmares (ranging between 33.3–46.5%), being the most prevalent sleep disturbances reported in this cohort. Results also highlight the significant associations between sleep disturbances and post-traumatic symptoms following the trauma of wildfires. There is a possible link between sleep disturbance prevalence, severity of, and proximity to fires.
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