Why do you want to sleep in the heat?
Physiologists have long explained why high air temperatures make us feel tired and have a distinct desire to take a nap. This is what happens to your body in hot weather.
- You lack fluid
When it’s hot, we sweat a lot. This is how the natural mechanism of thermoregulation manifests itself.
The brain records an increase in temperature and triggers an intensive contraction of the sweat gland ducts so that they absorb moisture from the surrounding tissues and remove it outside. Sweat gets on the heated epidermis, evaporates, the temperature on the skin’s surface drops. At the same time, the body enhances subcutaneous blood circulation and dilates blood vessels (therefore, many turn red in the heat) in order to cool as much blood as possible. Then the cool blood is sent to other organs and tissues and thus lowers the temperature throughout the body.
It is clear that in the process of thermoregulation, the body intensively loses moisture. Namely, many processes in the body are based on it. Weakness, feeling tired, drowsiness are common consequences of fluid loss.
- You spend a lot of energy to cool down
The energetic work of the sweat glands and the acceleration of blood circulation is quite an energy-consuming process, during which the body actively uses the reserves of glucose. Therefore, even sitting in the office, you spend more energy on it than on cooler days. Strength becomes less, and fatigue and associated sleepiness – more.
- Your blood pressure drops
The link is simple: the blood vessels expand in the heat – the pressure drops. Even a small drop in blood pressure means less blood is being supplied to the brain. And this, in turn, can cause dizziness, weakness, drowsiness.
Attention! A sharp drop in pressure accompanies thermal exhaustion, the precursor to heatstroke. If you have dizziness and nausea, darkening in your eyes and you associate all this with exposure to heat, find a shade, air-conditioned room, or another cool place as soon as possible. You need to cool down and drink some water. If it does not feel better within an hour, see a doctor as soon as possible.
- You are drawn to sleep out of habit
Warmth is associated with safety and comfort, so in a heated space we unconsciously want to sleep.
Another point is associated with a specific temperature drop. When going to sleep, we wrap ourselves in a blanket to keep warm. When we fall asleep, our body temperature drops. The body remembers this connection. Therefore, similar thermal fluctuations (first heat, then the body temperature drops slightly) can provoke drowsiness. It is for this reason that he gets sleepy after a hot bath or warm drink.
What to do if you want to sleep in the heat
In southern countries, people practice siesta – an obligatory afternoon rest, allowing you to sleep in the hottest part of the day. And the best option is to follow their example. A short nap will reduce the stress on the body and allow you to recover so that you can work effectively for the rest of the day.
If siesta is not available, try to spend at least the hottest hours (from about 12:00 to 15:00) in an air-conditioned room or in the shade outdoors (on an office balcony, terrace, in a coworking space in a park). And make sure you have a bottle of water at hand: a glass of liquid per hour will save you from dehydration.