Not so many years ago, air conditioning was a luxury vouchsafed only to the privileged few. Now, though, it’s the norm in many offices and public transport systems, so it’s a part of our lives whether we want it or not. Unfortunately, abusively low temperatures and faulty maintenance have led to health problems, triggering common disorders in some people and occasional major outbreaks of illnesses.
Extreme heat has a clear negative impact on the intellect and on physical activity and the use of air conditioning can go some way to rectifying this:
- It improves comfort levels at work and at leisure.
- It improves job performance.
- It can result in increased physical and intellectual activity.
- A lower temperature reduces the presence of insects and parasites.
- Lower temperatures mean less sweating, reducing the risk of dehydration.
- A clean air conditioning system helps exclude external allergens such as pollens.
- If the air conditioning installation is good, and if it is well maintained, it renews and improves air quality.
But, we stay in air conditioned offices all day and we stay in well air-conditioned rooms all night. The perpetual staying inside such cold temperatures may be relieving you of your sweat-fits but is sure not healthy. Here we take a look at what happens when you sleep in an air-conditioned room all night.
When you sleep inside rooms that are closed and air-conditioned, three things happen primarily:
- No cross-ventilation and lack of fresh air: When our rooms are air conditioned, we shut the doors so that the air inside remains cool. We close the windows and every possible source of air to restrict fresh air from outside because we don’t want the room to get warmer below our liking.
- Too cold temperature: Many-a-times, when we are sleeping, the temperature of our surroundings gets below our body’s liking. If we are awake, we can turn the AC off but because we are sleeping, we are not able to react to it.
- Dryness : Air conditioners absorb all the moisture that’s present in the air, or for that matter, even from our bodies.
These three consequences of an air-conditioned room have the following three repercussions on our bodies:
- Lack of fresh air can leave one with a sense of perpetual fatigue . If you are one of those who also don’t leave their air-conditioned surroundings during the day, your condition can get severe and may lead you to develop a condition known as ‘sick building syndrome’. It refers to a state of constant fatigue and tiredness.
- Also, if the ducts of your AC are not cleaned from time to time (chances are they are not), you may even encounter breathing difficulties. This is because your AC will become the breeding ground for pathogens like fungi, bacteria and moulds.
- Low temperature can lead to m uscle contractions, headaches and backaches . When your body stays in temperatures that are below its liking, it develops pain in the joints and muscles which may become rheumatic over a period of time. If the situation gets severe, such pains can develop into arthritis.
- Because AC, without being biased, pulls out all the moisture from your surroundings, it can also pull out good moisture from your skin , leaving it flaky and stretched. As a result of lack of moisture, your skin also begins to lose its elasticity, becoming prone to creases and wrinkles. This, in turn, fastens ageing. It also makes the skin prone to other skin disorders.
- Also, it can pull out moisture from your eyes making them get red or leading to a blurry vision.