Taking a hot shower when temperatures have climbed past the 90˚ mark, is about as unappealing as taking a cold shower during the middle of winter. But, does taking a cold shower actually cool you down on the hottest days of summer?
Surprisingly, the answer is no.
When exposed to extreme heat or cold, our body immediately tries to regulate our core temperature. One of the primary ways the body controls our core temperatures is with sensors that automatically react to control the blood flow to the skin. The circulatory system transports heat around the body, sending it wherever it needs to go. When blood flow to the skin is reduced, heat is conserved within the body. When blood flow is increased, heat is lost from the body and into the environment, which is why we sweat when we’re hot.
Taking a cold shower may make you feel colder for a short period of time due to the way our skin reacts to the immediate temperature change. However, when cold water on your skin immediately reduces blood flow. This reaction essentially tricks our outer layer of skin into thinking our core temperature is cooler. In actuality, our bodies just keep more heat inside in an effort to balance core temperature – unintentionally increasing our bodies’ overall temperatures.
The best ways to cool down?
1. Sleep on sheets and bedding made from breathable fabric, like cotton.
2. Use ceiling, tower or desktop fans to help circulate the air. Create a cross-breeze by positioning your fan across from a window so that the air from the outside and the air from the fan combine to create a cooling effect.
3. Make sure you stay hydrated and drink lots of water.
4. Keep your blinds closed, particularly in sun-facing rooms.
5. Use cold cloths or ice packs on your pulse points (i.e. neck and wrists) to lower your core body temperature.
Perhaps one of the best, most long-term, solutions is to have a high-quality, energy efficient air conditioner installed in your home. Not only does an air conditioner increase the value of your home, it creates a comfortable summer retreat for family and friends. Skip the last ditch effort of taking a cold shower and give us a call today! Our certified HVAC professionals will get your home cooled off for the remainder of the summer in no time.