How heat waves can affect mental health


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — “I slept really badly. It was hot. I was starting to sweat,” Fortune Meya said.

The City Heights resident was trying to stay in the shade of a local gas station in his neighborhood. Meya says he doesn’t like the heat.

“When you sleep, your core body temperature should drop by one degree. When there’s high heat, it’s harder to sleep,” says Dr. Vi Thuy Nguyen of Kaiser Permanente.

Dr. Nguyen says it’s not only important to stay cool and hydrated before bed, but throughout the day. She says being better prepared will help your mental health.

“Try not to force yourself during the day. You’ll sleep better at night if you’ve taken care of yourself during the day,” she adds.

But some we spoke to at the City Heights gas station say the heat doesn’t stress them out at all. Especially a woman who came from Arizona. She says she brought the heat with her.

“I don’t think it stresses us out. I think we’re just used to it,” the Arizona woman said.

But Nguyen says that during a heat wave, the number of people with anxiety disorders who are hospitalized increases. She says it’s important to check in on family and friends on hot days.

“The power of community matters. We all have family members with pre-existing health conditions. Now is the time to call,” she said.

Many we spoke to said they would be taking care of themselves and others in the coming days. A woman said she would exercise in the morning. His son said just being around people makes him feel better.


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