During hot weather, most of us turn on the air conditioning to feel the relief of a pleasant coolness. Researchers appeal, however, that a siesta is a much better solution.
When the temperature outside starts to get higher – most of us use the air conditioning. It is one of the simplest, fastest and most comfortable solutions. However, it turns out that if you use air conditioning often – you can get serious ailments. There is another way to deal with the heat, which is becoming more and more frequent in our country – it is siesta, a custom practiced, among others, in Greece, Spain and Italy. It is a short nap in the early afternoon. Be sure to also check what are other, unobvious ways to cool the body during the heat.
Negative consequences of using air conditioning
Researchers from “The Australian National University” have proven that a siesta is a better solution in hot weather than using air conditioning. The study was published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health. Scientists have estimated that people in northern Australia have spent much more time in air-conditioned rooms over the last 40 years. And although in today’s world the use of such facilities is completely normal, it turns out that it makes people more susceptible to death caused by high temperatures.
The situation is completely different in the case of the indigenous inhabitants of this continent – they use air conditioning much less often, and thus this community is less burdened with a number of various types of health problems.
Siesta is the best solution during hot weather
The authors argue that communities living in hot climates should begin to consider socio-cultural measures to adapt to increasingly warmer weather. “Our study shows that sociocultural practices used by entire generations of First Nations, such as avoiding activity during the hottest period of the day, are powerful protective factors for human health. An afternoon nap helps the body acclimate, protects against the heat, costs nothing and leaves no carbon footprint,” explains Dr Simon Quilty, lead author of the paper.
Prof. Aparna Lal, co-author of the study, is of the opinion that air conditioning – yes – provides comfort during hot days, but at the same time it also makes it difficult to adapt to the prevailing conditions, i.e. high temperatures. A better solution in hot places would be appropriate building architecture that would provide passive cooling. However, the right lifestyle is also important, i.e. siesta.
Benefits of napping during the day
Previous studies have already proven that a nap during the day is good for our body – among other things, it improves concentration, well-being, but also makes it easier to remember information. Now we also know that it works great in hot weather, allowing the body to regenerate. Such a nap, however, should not be too long and last more than 25 minutes (the optimal time is 20 minutes), because then instead of feeling rested, we will feel dizzy for several hours (the body will then enter a deeper phase of sleep). However, a 20-minute nap will not disturb the rhythm of the day, nor will it cause problems with falling asleep in the evening.