August 06, 2015 12:04
A heat wave advisory has been issued throughout most of the nation as temperatures on Thursday are expected to soar to 33 degrees Celsius in Seoul, 37 degrees in Daegu, and 35 degrees in Gwangju and Ulsan. That also makes for sweltering nights, so the day's fatigue is compounded by sleeplessness.
Here are some tips on how to stay healthy and sane in the summer heat.
◆ Drink Lots of Water
Excessive sweating can lead to dehydration, causing low blood pressure and dizziness. It is crucial to drink a lot of water to keep the body hydrated, but it should be drunk in frequent sips rather than one long gulp. Avoid alcohol or caffeine, which cause dehydration.
Senior citizens and people suffering from chronic illnesses, who may have difficulties controlling their body temperatures, should stay indoors between noon and 5 p.m. People with heart or kidney ailments or diabetes are especially vulnerable to heat, because lower blood pressure can slow down their metabolism and worsen their condition.
Hats are a must when stepping out into the sun. Brightly colored, thin and loose-fitting clothes are also recommended.
Prolonged physical activity in the sun can lead to extreme fatigue, dizziness, nausea and even muscle seizures. People suffering from such symptoms should be moved into the shade and given plenty of water.
Heatstroke is a different matter. It paralyzes the brain's ability to control body temperature, making a person unable to sweat and cause body temperatures to rise to dangerously-high levels. It requires immediate medical care.
◆ Exercise Regularly
The body prepares for sleep once the body temperatures cools down in the evening. But this process is disrupted during tropical nights, when the mercury stays above 25 degrees Celsius. The central nervous system continues to work overtime to lower body temperature, which makes it difficult to fall asleep.
But heavy exercise or drinking a cold beer wake up the brain, and while getting intoxicated may knock you out for a while, it will not ensure a sound sleep.
Chung Seock-hoon at Asan Medical Center said, "The best thing to do is to exercising for 30 minutes every day until you break into a sweat. But exercising late at night or drinking alcohol ends up dehydrating you and makes you feel hotter."
Experts say using the air conditioner to lower home temperatures for about an hour or two before bedtime and showering with lukewarm water makes it easier to fall asleep on hot summer nights.
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