Summertime sun and heat may cause us to get excited for the pool, patio, and beach. But when it's tough to find relief, the air out there can make us tired, fatigued, and even make some of us wish for fall. 


What You Need To Know

  • Extreme heat can make a person extremely tired

  • The body's process of keeping cool takes up energy

  • Chemical changes such as repairing after a sunburn can cause fatigue

  • Replenishing water is the most effective way to combat exhaustion

The temperature outside directly affects the human body. In extreme summer heat, or in prolonged periods of outdoor exposure to hot temperatures, our bodies work overtime to regulate how we feel. It takes massive amounts of energy to maintain a normal and consistent body temperature, moreso on very hot days. All this energy use can cause us to feel tired and sluggish.

The Processes

First and foremost, to maintain an average body temperature of 98 degrees, vasodilation needs to happen. Vasodilation is the process by which your blood dilates, allowing more blood flow close to the surface of your skin, which releases heat. This allows you to cool down but also can make you appear "flushed." This takes up energy and can make a person tired.

Sweating is another process that our body goes through to keep us cool. Sweating allows the skin to cool as the sweat evaporates. On the inside, however, sweating causes both a person's heart rate and metabolic rate to increase, which can zap massive amounts of energy. Excessive sweating can make you extremely tired and sleepy.

It's not just the hot temperatures - it's the sun exposure in the summer that can really cause sleepiness. A sunburn can cause everlasting damage, including skin cancer. But fatigue can be an issue, even with seemingly mild sunburns.

As your skin cells work to reverse the chemical changes on your outer layer, massive amounts of energy are used as your body works overtime to repair the damage. 

As Always, Prevention Is Key

Whether you are at the pool, out in the yard, or just relaxing in the shade, hot temperatures will eventually cause you to feel tired. The best way to stop or even reverse this is to stay hydrated. Hydration replaces the fluid loss caused by sweating.

If water isn't your thing, try eating watermelon or drinking coconut water. The electrolytes and nutrients can act as a natural "pick me up" as your body regulates its temperature.

For more information on summer heat, heat safety, and signs of heat stroke and heat-related illness, check this out: Know The Signs Of Heat Related Illness.