Heads Up

Are You Always Cold? Here’s Why

June 19th, 2018

Some people just always seem like they are cold.

No matter what the temperature is outside, you can find them with a sweater close at hand. In the summer, you may see them wearing fuzzy slippers around the house. And during the winter, you won’t catch them outside when they don’t have to be as if their lives depended on it.

It seems like a lot of people have this problem. And in a world where the air conditioner is always blasting, it can be pretty annoying for those who just want to cuddle up by the fire with a chunky blanket and a cup of hot cocoa – in July.

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Flickr/Constanza Source: Flickr/Constanza

But is there a reason that so many people feel this way?

Why are some people colder than others on any given day? Well, recently, a body temperature expert explained why, and he was able to shed some light on why some people are always feeling cold despite the temperature.

The expert’s name is Dr. Christopher Minson, and he works at the University of Oregon as a professor of human physiology. He has a few specialties, but one of them is thermoregulation. For those of you who aren’t scientists, that’s the study of how the human body keeps itself at an appropriate temperature. Because this is something he spends a lot of time studying, he has more knowledge about it than most. And he was willing to talk about the reasons why some people regularly feel cold.

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Flickr/Katarzyna Siwek Source: Flickr/Katarzyna Siwek

He says that on a basic level, feeling either too warm or two cold indicates that your “thermal set point” is being challenged.

For example, have you ever jumped into a cold body of water? At first, it seems almost unbearable. But after you’ve been in the water for a few minutes, your body gets used to the temperature, and you don’t feel as cold anymore. In fact, the coolness of the water might actually start to feel good. Therefore, feeling hot or cold is more about feeling different than you did before. According to Minson:

“So, if your skin temperature is lowered, even though the rest of your body is still at a comfortable set-point, you will feel cold.”

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Flickr/ Hernán Piñera Source: Flickr/ Hernán Piñera

The interviewer then asked Minson why this phenomenon seems to happen largely to women.

Have you ever noticed that, when the guys are burning up, the girls will all be bundling up to stay warm? Why is that? Well, according to Minson, this is probably because women have a “lower muscle mass relative to body surface area.” This is also why older people tend to be cold more often.

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Flickr/Hernán Piñera Source: Flickr/Hernán Piñera

In addition, there has been some research that suggests that women may have a higher density of blood vessels on the surface of their skin.

This means that their blood would be more affected by outside temperatures. However, Minson insists that there hasn’t been enough research in this area to either confirm or deny that claim without further investigation.

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Flickr/Kyle Brown Source: Flickr/Kyle Brown

So, there you have it.

You’re not crazy. There’s actually a reason why some people are so much colder than other people around them. But knowing the science behind it doesn’t change the fact that you’re always freezing. Until science figures out a way to always keep us at the ideal body temperature, those who suffer from constant coldness will still have to don their sweaters and sip their tea while everyone else complains about the heat.

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Flickr/Mitya Ku Source: Flickr/Mitya Ku

It can help to keep a sweater on you at all times and wear layers, especially when you know you’ll be going into buildings that are air-conditioned in the summer.

Many people have to deal with this problem, so at least you know you’re in good company.

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Source: Upworthy