Aah, the sun. We love basking in its cheery rays and spending time outdoors. But the tiredness and brain fog that creep in as our body battles to stay cool on hot, humid days? Not so much. Thankfully, experts say these simple strategies help you enjoy every sunny day feeling clearheaded and energized. Check them out below.
Pull on a ball cap.
Good news: The hat you put on to shield your face from sunburn protects your brain too! That’s the word from Greek researchers, who found that when UV light made people’s scalps uncomfortably warm, it disrupted nerve function in their brain, making them feel foggy and sluggish. Study author Lars Nybo, Ph.D., explains that just cooling your scalp by donning a hat or relaxing under an umbrella sidesteps the problem altogether.
Can’t think clearly? Lift your head and square up your shoulders! German researchers say a sudden shift to great posture (whether sitting or standing) fires up brain function, boosting word recall and memory in 60 seconds.
Upgrade your H2O.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a glass of water for a refreshing zing. Doing so lowers your risk of dehydration and brain fog more effectively than sipping plain water. Women’s health expert Michelle Schoffro Cook, Ph.D., says fruit acids speed water absorption in the small intestine. Bonus: Citrus scents up focus by 50 percent in two minutes.
Turn on internal A/C.
Longer, sunnier days confuse your body’s internal clock. This prevents a nighttime drop in core temperature essential for deep, rejuvenating sleep and next-day sharpness. Thankfully, University of Connecticut investigators say a simple bedtime breathing technique can cool you down and help you drift off to dreamland in as little as 10 minutes.
To do: After stretching out in bed, form your lips into an O, stick out your tongue and curl it into a U. Inhale slowly through your mouth, focusing on the cooling sensation of the air moving along your tongue. Then close your mouth and exhale slowly through your nose. Repeat until you feel drowsy.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.