Why Heat Makes You Sleepy? How to Feel More Awake on Hot Days? Update 05/2024

Do you ever question why, after spending a hot day in the sun, you feel sleepy? You want to take a nap after even just relaxing at the beach.

This article explains the scientific basis for why being hot makes people tired and offers helpful advice on how to be safe and stay awake when it’s hot outside. We’ll also go through several ways that heat can help you fall asleep at night if you have trouble doing so.

Heat and Tiredness

Your body will work overtime to keep you cool and maintain a safe internal temperature when you become hot. You may feel lethargic as a result of your laborious efforts.

The hypothalamus, a region of the brain that regulates physical processes, collaborates with the skin, blood vessels, sweat glands, and other body organs to regulate body temperature.

How the Body Regulates Temperature

Sweating, often known as perspiration, is one way your body keeps itself cool. Sweat is produced by sweat glands, which are a part of everyone’s bodies. Water makes up the majority of human perspiration, but it also has trace amounts of salt, sugar, ammonia, and urea. The perspiration will then evaporate through microscopic openings in your skin known as pores. Sweat evaporates from your skin as it contacts the air, keeping you cooler.
Why Heat Makes You Sleepy? | Is It a Good or a Bad Thing?Your body also naturally cools itself by engaging in a process known as vasodilation. Your blood vessels dilate throughout this process, letting more blood to travel to the skin’s surface to cool the warm blood there. In addition, this explains why some people’s complexion may look redder when they’re hot.

More Ways Heat Makes You Sleepy

There are other ways your body is impacted by the heat that might wear you out in addition to your natural cooling system.

You Become Dehydrated

When you lose more body fluids than you take in, you get dehydrated. You lose fluids more quickly when you sweat, and if you don’t replace them, you’ll probably become dehydrated. Fatigue is one of the consequences of dehydration.

Dehydration can also result in more serious medical complications such hypovolemic shock, hypothermia, heat stroke, urinary and renal issues, convulsions, and heat exhaustion. Although the effects of dehydration can affect everyone, small children and older persons are especially at risk.

Drop In Blood Pressure

Hot weather can lead to dehydration and increased cutaneous blood flow, as was already indicated. Hypotension, or low blood pressure, can result from this. One of the signs of low blood pressure is fatigue.

Additionally, hypotension increases your risk of fainting, dizziness, and falls, all of which can be dangerous for older folks.

Emotional Connection

There is a psychological component to why being too hot might make you feel sleepy in addition to its physical consequences.

Sometimes you’ll hear a certain song or smell a certain thing and you’ll immediately remember a particular moment or place in your history. Something frequently becomes linked when you strongly associate it with a sensation.

We frequently connect slumber with feeling warm and comfortable in our bed’s comforter or blankets. It is very simple for your mind to interpret this as sleep time when you are warm, and for you to respond accordingly.

Sunburn Can Make You More Tired

You might feel even more drowsy after spending too much time in the sun without using basic skin care. Dehydration’s consequences can be exacerbated by a bad sunburn, which could also put you in shock. You may experience tremendous weakness, low blood pressure, and fainting when you’re in shock.

Heat Exhaustion

Your body may be unable to keep up in some situations, and you could have heat exhaustion. At this point, your body starts to heat up.
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The most dangerous heat-related condition, heatstroke, can even be fatal.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

  • Cool, moist skin
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme sweating
  • A weak or rapid pulse
  • Low blood pressure while standing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache

How to Feel More Awake on Hot Days

It’s not necessary for heat to make you tired just because it can. When temperatures rise, taking precautions to stay safe should also help you stay awake and attentive.

Drink Plenty of Water

You should consume a lot of water to help prevent dehydration and its impact on sleep. Even though you might not feel thirsty, if you’re perspiring, you should replace the fluids you’re losing. However, not all fluids are beneficial. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol are advised to be avoided, according to Hackensack Meridian Health.

Get Some Shade

Typically, the hottest part of the day is between 10:00 and 4:00. During this time, you should limit your exposure to the sun and heat by either staying indoors or taking rests in the shade.

Put On Sunblock

Wear sunscreen to shield your skin from further dehydration and UV damage. The majority of specialists advise using at least 30 SPF. Wearing a hat and wearing sunglasses can also assist prevent overexposure to the sun.

Wear Loose-Fitting Clothes

Wear loose, natural textiles like cotton or linen that are breathable on especially warm days. Additionally, stay away from synthetic materials because they trap heat.

Avoid Cooking

On a warm day, using your stove or oven can make your house even warmer. Instead, choose to eat fresh meals like salads or reheat food in the microwave.

Change Your Workout Routine

Try shifting your workouts to the early morning or late evening during the summer when it’s cooler. Swimming is a great method to exercise while also keeping cool, so you can include it to your fitness regimen to change things up.

How Heat Could Help If You Have Trouble Sleeping at Night

If you have trouble sleeping at night, consider utilizing heat to your advantage.

A circadian rhythm controls the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle of the human body. Our body temperature is influenced by this internal system as well, and at night the circadian rhythm causes our body temperature to drop in preparation for sleep.

Even while the body naturally gets us ready for bed, many people still have trouble falling asleep. Rapid core temperature lowering may facilitate the onset of sleep, according to research[9]. So trying to do this should help you fall asleep.

To raise your temperature, try taking a hot bath or drinking some warm milk. After that, let your body temperature fall to aid in falling asleep.

What are the differences between regular tiredness and heat exhaustion or heat stroke?

Although feeling exhausted from heat exposure isn’t ideal, it doesn’t pose a serious threat to your health.

Heat-related conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, in which your body is unable to control its temperature, can, however, be fatal.

According to Rao, there are a few signs that your sun drowsiness is becoming more problematic.

Your urine output is the simplest thing to keep an eye on, he claims. “If you notice that you haven’t urinated all day, something is wrong,” the saying goes.

Other warning signs include a persistently elevated heart rate, which shows that your body is having trouble controlling heat, and ceasing to perspire, which signifies that your body is no longer assisting you in cooling down.

These symptoms are more prevalent in children and senior citizens.
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A medical emergency is present if a friend stops sweating, stops feeling thirsty, or starts feeling queasy, disoriented, or confused in the heat.

While you wait for the ambulance, move them to a cool area, dial 911, and try to cool them down by loosening their clothing.

You can also give them water if they are alert and able to drink.

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