How Heat Waves Can Affect Your Brain

We all know how a heat wave such as the one we’re into right now can affect your body.  

That’s why when the temperatures are this high we are told to make sure we drink lots of water and that those who are prone to heat-related illnesses or are older should limit their activities.

And there has been evidence that during a heat wave, people can become grumpy or easily angered a reason maybe while crime seems to go up during hot weather.

But now there’s study out that suggests that heat waves can affect our ability to even think and to make decisions.

A study published this week found that college students who lived in dorms without air conditioning during a heat wave did worse on cognitive tests than students who had air conditioning.

The study, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that students without air conditioning had 13.4% longer reaction times and scored 13.3% lower on the tests than students in air-conditioned rooms.

One of the study's authors says the study suggests that it’s not just the very young or the very old that are affected in significant ways during heat waves.”  He says “it's the millions of people who are impacted maybe in ways that aren't so obvious to them. Or obvious to all of us, even."

So today, when you’re outside in the heat or inside without air conditioning, think about that, but not too long, because your brain may not feel like it.


(Photo credit Getty Images)

Pacific Beach in San Diego  Getty Images


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