August 23, 2022

How Excessive Heat Can Take a Toll on Mental Health

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We just got through peak summer months in 2022 that saw 25 90-degree days in Albany, New York. That’s the most since 1988 and the fifth-most since records have been kept in 1874.

The excessive heat can take a toll on our bodies, especially when its prolonged, but there’s also research that has found it can affect your mental health as well.

Centers Health Care takes a look at some studies that are investigating the link between increased heat and mental well-being.

Research Is Clear But Doesn’t Have Many Answers

Studies have found that temperature extremes affect day-to-day mood, and when they persist, it can make these issues revolving mood and mental health more chronic.

One study analyzed the results of over 2 million adults who made visits to the emergency room across the United States from 2010-19 and found that the amount of ER visits for mental health reasons rose 8% on the hottest days of the year compared to the coolest days.

Other studies suggest that higher sunlight exposures can trigger manic episodes in those who suffer from bipolar disorder. Other than connections like that, doctors believe that people are just less comfortable when it gets too hot, plus it takes a lot for the body to cool itself down, so people are less able to fend off feelings of irritability, pain, and agitation.

Keep Your Sleeping Area Cool

If you’re able to, get a respite from the heat at night in your bedroom. Sleeping in a cool environment will allow you to get a better night’s sleep overall. If your body isn’t getting enough sleep, that will make things tougher on your entire body, including in aspects of mental health.

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