By Lisa Meadows

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many cities in Minnesota started this summer with the longest and most severe heatwave ever so early in the season, and now with July also bringing more heat, it’s not just the extreme temperatures but also the duration of the heat that is starting to get to us.

“I’ve been coming out here a lot and it’s just so hot, so I’ve just been very tired, like when I get home. Like pretty drowsy,” says skateboarder Rand Humes.

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So how does the length of these heatwaves take a toll on our bodies?

“Staying cool when it’s this hot and humid means producing sweat, and that requires energy and over several days of doing that, that redirects energy from other activities and makes us feel more fatigued,” said Hennepin Healthcare ER Dr. John Litell.

One factor that goes into implementing a heat advisory is not just the heat of the day, but also the lack of cooler nights.

“I don’t have air conditioning at home so no luxury for me, it’s all hot,” said Humes.

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This luxury is key when this heat hangs around overnight.

“When it’s this hot and stays this hot at night, we lose that opportunity to rest and recover. And particularly for those who aren’t fortunate enough to have air conditioning,” said Litell.

The usual nighttime dip in temps allows our bodies the reprieve we need.

“When it’s this hot and humid and stays that way into the night, we don’t have the ability to reset those systems that require energy to cool us off,” said Litell.

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Wednesday could be the hottest day we have seen all year so please be sure to check on your friends and family who live alone, especially if they don’t have air conditioning.

Lisa Meadows