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Is the Heat Making You Crankier? [POLL/AUDIO]

As the temperature rises, our patience drops. Experts claim the extreme heat can make people irritable and downright meaner. Studies have even shown that crime rates pick up during the hotter months.

Jamie Squire, Getty Images

“When the weather gets hotter, people’s tempers also tend to get hotter as well,” said Dr. Steven Tobias, director of the Center for Child & Family Development in Morristown. “It does make it hard for people to be at their best.”

An increase in body temperature equals an increase in heart rate and blood pressure as the body tries to cool itself off. This increased arousal can elevate stress in people without them knowing, causing what Dr. Tobias calls a “vicious cycle” among society.

“The more uncomfortable you are and stressed out you are, the poorer your interactions are with others,” he explained. “Then that just cascades and adds to both greater stress in you and others as well.”

Dr. Tobias said people need to “chill,” figuratively and literally. The unbearable heat should be a signal for everyone to not push themselves as much. Folks can also find a way to enjoy the heat; relax outside or escape to a cool movie theater.


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