Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Record
Daily Record
Abi Jackson & Nicola Roy

Expert explains why heatwave might be making you feel more tired than usual

The recent heatwave is likely to have made many of us overjoyed at first, giving us plenty of opportunity to get out into the sun with friends and family.

But you might have noticed that you've been more exhausted than usual - and the heat may have something to do with this.

Spending long periods of time outdoors when the weather is hot can leave us feeling physically drained, understanding more and more why those in warm Mediterranean countries like to go for a daytime siesta to recharge.

To help people understand why the heat can have this tiring effect on our bodies, one doctor has offered his expertise and provided a few possible explanations.

Bodies have to work harder in the heat

"When the weather is hot, our bodies have to work harder to cool themselves down," said Dr Zulqarnain Shah, medical director at SSP Health and GP at SSP Health practice Colne Road Surgery.

"The body’s natural cooling mechanism involves increasing blood circulation near the skin’s surface and promoting sweat production. These physiological changes can lead to fatigue and a feeling of lethargy.

"It is essential to recognise that this fatigue is a normal response to heat and is typically temporary."


It's vital to make sure you're drinking enough water when the weather is warm (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Feeling tired and not having a lot of energy is also common when you're not staying hydrated enough.

"Hot weather increases the rate of fluid loss through sweating, leading to dehydration. Dehydration can contribute to fatigue and make you feel even more lethargic," added Dr Shah.

"To avoid this, it’s important to stay adequately hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. Aim to drink even when you’re not feeling thirsty, as thirst is not always an accurate indicator of dehydration."

Heat exhaustion

Being out in the sun for too long can cause heat exhaustion. Some of the symptoms of this include weakness, dizziness, headaches and sweating profusely.

It's important to keep an eye out for these signs, as they can cause heat stroke, which is a medical emergency.

Dr Shah said: "Heat stroke is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical intervention. It occurs when the body’s temperature regulation fails, and the core temperature rises dangerously high.

"Symptoms may include a high body temperature (above 39.4°C), altered mental state, confusion, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, and even loss of consciousness. If you suspect heat stroke, call emergency services immediately."

Lack of sleep

The heat can make it more difficult to get a good night's sleep (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It can be hard to get to sleep during warm weather, meaning we're more tired during the day.

Dr Shah explained: "Hot temperatures can disrupt sleep and lead to poor sleep quality. The body needs to cool down to initiate sleep, and excessive heat can make it difficult to reach the optimal sleep temperature.

"To improve sleep in hot weather, consider using fans or air conditioning, wearing lightweight and breathable sleepwear, keeping your bedroom well-ventilated, and using lighter bedding."

Pre-existing conditions could get worse

Those with long-term or chronic illnesses may already deal with tiredness, and these conditions may get worse when the weather is hot.

"Hot weather can exacerbate symptoms and increase fatigue in individuals with certain chronic health conditions. Conditions such as heart disease, kidney problems, and respiratory issues can be particularly sensitive to heat," said Dr Shah.

"It’s vital to be aware of your specific health condition and consult with your healthcare provider for personalised advice on managing your symptoms during hot weather. They may recommend staying in cooler environments, adjusting medications, or monitoring your fluid intake more closely."

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our newsletter here.


Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.