Behind the Forecast: Does cold weather help us think more clearly?
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The weather affects our bodies in various ways but did you know that colder temperatures may help you think better?
Temperature regulation is one of the most vital daily bodily functions. We use glucose source of energy to help regulate our internal temperatures by shivering, sweating, etc. Our bodies use more energy to cool down themselves compared to warming up. Maintaining homeostasis in warmer temperatures requires more glucose. Glucose is also critical for mental processes, thus, dealing with excessive heat may reduce cognitive function.
Researchers from the University of Virginia and the University of Houston compared cognitive performance at 67°F and 77°F. Since people tend to be most comfortable around 72°F, those temperatures are a 5°F deviation from that point. Participants performed worse at specific tasks in warmer rooms compared to those in cool rooms.
This, of course, does not mean that those who live in warmer climates are more inclined to bad decision-making. Our bodies can adapt over time to the climates we live in.
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