Study shows Hot nights can increase cases of strokes by 7%

Study shows Hot nights can increase cases of strokes by 7%


11000 cases of strokes over the past 15 years, researchers have identified a 7% increase in the number of strokes. These cases are more prevalent in the elderly and women.

What are hot nights?

Hot nights are when temperatures rise above the Hot Night Excess Index, which is around 5% exceeding the average temperature. This 5% appears to be a small number but it does affect us significantly. Usually, when the maximum temperature is around 40°C and the minimum temperature is above 4.5 °C than average, it is considered a hot night or a warm night. From 2006 to 2012, 2 additional cases of strokes per year were recorded whereas from 2013 to 2020, 33 additional cases of strokes were witnessed.

Read more: Doordarshan Anchor fainted due to Heatstroke in a live Show

How are hot nights affecting our health? 

Most people take this global warming as something that is not personal to them. But even a mild increase in the temperature, like in a hot night can impair humans with even deadly consequences.

Body Temperature: 

Our body has a circadian rhythm of the 24-hour cycle. With the dawn approaching, the body tends to reduce its temperature. This is because our body tries to get into a state of rest through sleep. Our blood vessels in the extremities, that is our arms and legs, get expanded. With this, the body releases the heat. The hormone melatonin plays this role. Without the issue of climate change, the nights are colder than the day, irrespective of the season. But when the temperature is not reduced at night, releasing this heat becomes difficult, adversely affecting our health.

Read More: Indian States Facing Hazards of Heatwave: Does It Affect You Mentally?

Sleep Difficulty: 

Sleep has an extremely significant effect on our brain and body. Our functioning and learning are directly impacted by our sleeping patterns. Sleep efficiency, which is the quality of our sleep rather than the duration of the sleep, gets poor. With changes in such body temperature, sleep gets affected. Prolonged difficulties in sleep can result in sleep disorders, a higher prevalence of strokes and hypertension.

How to deal with it? Global warming is indeed a collective fight from each one of us. Though we can’t bring a change individually, small steps can go miles. Apart from this, what are the tips and tricks to handle a warm night with a good night?

Air circulation: Apart from a regulated source of temperature, a fan can be used to ensure that the airs keep moving within the room. Our skin needs to get exposed to this, helping to feel cooler.

Cooling before sleeping: Yes, most of us cool our room temperature with air conditioning. But here we are talking about cooling ourselves. Taking a shower before going to bed is found to be extremely beneficial for letting go of all the extra heat stored in our body throughout the day.

Going minimalistic: Continuing the trend or the tradition of going minimalistic, try to keep your bed, remove anything from your bed that is not required and change into thin sheets of cotton or linen. Wearing cotton clothes can help reduce hyperthermia a lot when the skin is not in close contact with a cloth. Letting your skin breathe is a happy way to deal with warm nights.

Stress: Apart from all the tips and tactics, the most crucial aspect is not to be stressed about hot nights. Hot nights are already a risk factor for increased chances of hypertension and stroke cases as extreme examples. Taking things calmly and modifying the bedroom style can be quickly and completely effective.

Moreover, dealing with hot nights is of utmost importance, especially this time when India is burning with increasing temperatures. Maintenance at this time can significantly reduce the probability of acquiring sleep disorders and mental illnesses.

Citations + Lee WV, Shaman J. Heat-coping strategies and bedroom thermal satisfaction in New York City. Sci Total Environ. 2017 Jan 1;574:1217-1231. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.006. Epub 2016 Sep 22. PMID: 27666472; PMCID: PMC5099111.

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