Why do we become so exhausted in the heat? 2023


Do you tire more in hot weather?

When the sun comes out, we may experience delight, but as temperatures rise, we may feel physically fatigued and wonder whether we should start taking regular siestas like the Mediterranean.

Why is hot weather exhausting?

  • Heat strains our body.

“When it’s hot, our bodies have to work harder to cool down,” explains SSP Health medical director and Colne Road Surgery GP Dr. Zulqarnain Shah.

The body cools itself by boosting blood flow near the skin and sweating. These physiological alterations cause weariness and lethargy. It’s important to remember that heat-induced weariness is transient.

  • Dehydration

Dehydration also causes fatigue.

“Sweating in hot weather dehydrates. Dr. Shah says that dehydration might make you even more tired.

Staying hydrated, especially with water, can prevent this. Drink even if you’re not thirsty because thirst doesn’t necessarily indicate dehydration.”

  • Heat fatigue

Heat exhaustion causes profuse perspiration, weakness, disorientation, nausea, headache, and muscular cramps. If these symptoms appear, relocate to a cooler place, consume water, and rest. “Get medical help if symptoms persist or worsen,” urges Shah.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency, so watch for indicators. Shah emphasizes: “Heat stroke is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical intervention.

When the body’s temperature control fails, the core temperature increases alarmingly.

High body temperature (over 39.4C), changed mental state, disorientation, fast breathing, rapid heartbeat, and loss of consciousness may occur. Call 911 for heat stroke.”

  • Sleep loss

Poor sleep in the heat can also cause fatigue.

“Hot temperatures disrupt sleep and lower sleep quality. “Excessive heat can make it hard to cool down to sleep,” says Shah. “In hot weather, use fans or air conditioning, lightweight and breathable sleepwear, well-ventilated bedrooms, and lighter bedding to improve sleep.”

  • Symptoms may worsen.

Heatwaves can worsen tiredness in chronically ill persons.

“Hot weather can worsen chronic health conditions and fatigue. Shah warns that heat can exacerbate cardiac, renal, and breathing ailments.

“Knowing your health condition and consulting with your doctor for hot-weather symptom management is crucial. They may advise remaining cool, changing medicines, or increasing fluid consumption.

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