Yes, heat can affect your brain and mood. Here’s why

Exposure to heat can impair cognitive function and mood by disrupting sleep, lowering activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, and reducing oxygen saturation levels in the blood.

Intervention studies: Researchers discovered that students sleeping in warmer rooms performed worse on cognitive tests, seeing reductions of 10% in response times and accuracy.
* A similar study found cognitive performance decreased at air temperatures of 79 degrees due to lowered activity of the parasympathetic nervous system and less oxygen saturation in the blood.

Wider impact: Increased temperatures have been linked to lowered workplace productivity and poorer performance on standardized tests among high school students.
* Some research also suggests that heat exposure can increase irritability and moodiness by raising cortisol levels and inducing stress responses.

Coping mechanisms and acclimating: While people can acclimate to heat and have coping mechanisms to cool down, the increasing prevalence of extreme heat waves may exacerbate mood and anxiety-related problems.

Practical strategies: Proper hydration can be a key strategy for managing challenges related to heat exposure.
* In one study, participants who slept in warmer rooms and drank less than six glasses of liquid per day performed worse on cognitive tests. Prior research has concluded that even slight dehydration can impair cognitive performance.

View original article on NPR

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