Summer is a wonderful season. Who doesn’t enjoy the warmth of sun rays and fun trips to the beach? Plus, there’s a wide range of cold treats and beverages that the warmer weather makes even more irresistible. However, despite its advantages, summer also has some downsides, with heat being its most significant drawback.
The heat has a large effect on the human body, and while it has a built-in cooling system, you still need to exert effort to keep yourself cool in order to combat the negative impacts of heat. Below, we’ll discuss several reasons why it’s crucial to maintain an acceptable temperature in the summer. But, before that, let’s briefly tackle how the body naturally cools itself:
The Body’s Natural Cooling System
Sweating may be annoying, but it’s an indispensable process that counters heat. When you sweat, your body temperature lowers as the sweat dries on the surface of your skin. In fact, not sweating is a major determinant of potentially severe health problems. Moreover, if sweating does not suffice in cooling you down, you have a higher risk of hyperthermia.
The Negative Effects of Extreme Summer Heat
Infants, young children, the elderly, ill or obese individuals, and people who take particular medications are more susceptible to hyperthermia. This is because their physical conditions make them more sensitive to heat’s impacts. Their bodies are also less likely to respond promptly to temperature changes.
According to Dr. Marie Bernard, deputy director of News in Health’s National Institute on Aging, high-temperature levels can hinder the body’s organs from functioning properly. In addition, when the body fails to cool down, excessive body heat can bring stress on the heart, harm the brain, and in a worst-case scenario, lead to a coma or even death.
Moreover, in an interview with Dr. Manny Alvarez, an internal medicine specialist, Fox News reports that long exposure to intensely high temperatures can cause heat exhaustion, heat hives, and heatstroke.
Being exposed to extremely high temperature increases the chance of heat hive outbreaks. However, there are other skin problems that you may experience during summer, such as heat rash or prickly heat. This condition happens when perspiration gets trapped under the skin, causing reddish and itchy rashes. It’s more common for children to get prickly heat, considering that their sweat glands aren’t fully developed yet.
Changes in Sleeping Patterns
Just as how the body has the innate ability to cool itself down, it also naturally drops its temperature when the evening approaches. This drop is meant to send nerve signals to your system which commands it to slow down in preparation for sleeping. When your bedroom’s temperature is intolerably hot, this signal is blocked. As a consequence, falling asleep becomes more difficult.
Studies show that office employees tend to spend more time working and produce more outputs on rainy days than sunny days. This is because heat causes people to feel lazy, sluggish, and uncoordinated. Furthermore, according to Dr. Nancy Molitor of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, it’s typical for individuals to become less energized and productive during the summer.
How to Stay Cool
Staying cool in the summer is not just for comfort. It’s also indispensable for your health. Be sure that your ventilation and air-conditioning systems are clean and functioning optimally. You may hire an aircon servicing technician if your HVAC needs repair or professional maintenance care. In addition, choose light and breathable fabrics for your clothing. Shower with cold water regularly and don’t forget to wear waterproof sunscreen before going out, especially if you plan to engage in water activities.