The Surprising Way Summer Heat May Be Impacting You

Research suggests soaring temps can negatively affect your brain.

While we already know that too much sun can cause dehydration and skin cancer, it looks like being exposed to the heat can also impact your brain. A small study that looked at college students' academic performance found that those who lived in air-conditioned dorms performed better than those without any air conditioning. The researchers analyzed 44 college students ages 18-29 over the course of 12 days during the summer of 2016.

While the first half of the study period fell on temperate weather days, the other half fell during a heat wave. The students took cognitive assessments first thing in the morning and it was discovered that during the heat wave, students without AC had nearly 15 percent longer reaction times and scored around 13 percent lower compared to students in a cooler environment. As Jose Guillermo Cedeño Laurent, associate director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health explains, "some of the effects are common sense but this is providing an opportunity to better control thermal environments in our buildings."


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