The same principle applies when you rub yourself with a warm ointment or eat a spicy curry. Because the heat receptors also respond to pepper and chili. As a result, they report heat even though the core body temperature hasn’t really changed.
Sometimes it is our environment that causes differences in our temperature perception. “Anything that makes us lose more heat causes us to freeze faster,” Brandes says.
An example of this is concepts. In a windless environment, a heat layer forms around the body. When the wind picks up, the warm air around the body blows away – to put it bluntly. We freeze faster. This phenomenon is also known as the wind chill effect.
At least at home you can try to curb this effect. For example, you can seal a leaking window so that a barely perceptible airflow cools the skin. For example, the non-profit consultancy “co2online” recommends filling the gaps between the window and the frame with foam sealing tape or a rubber seal.
Front doors often let cold air through. A door stopper, such as a fabric hose, is a solution. But it has to be pushed back and forth again and again. A rubber lip that you attach to the bottom of the door, or the so-called enemy of the cold, are more practical alternatives.
Sometimes sitting elsewhere in the room can help: According to the Federal Environment Agency, a person feels more comfortable the closer their own body temperature is to the temperature of the room surface around them. You feel this in the winter, for example, when you sit next to a cold window: you quickly feel more uncomfortable here than in the rest of the heated room.
Can we get used to cooler temperatures?
Yes, you can train your sensitivity to cold. A tip that is often read in this regard: take a cold shower. “It definitely makes you tougher and it also has several positive effects on your health,” says Brandes. However, it has not been investigated whether short, cold showers reduce the perception of cold in the long term.
The body can only get used to the cold if it is regularly exposed to it. But there are limits. “When the temperature in the core of the body drops, we inevitably have to freeze in order not to freeze to death,” says Ralf Brandes. This manifests itself, for example, in the form of muscle vibrations, causing the body to produce heat.
It is therefore also important to keep the heat loss from the body within limits. And a hat helps a lot. Because: The average temperature of the brain is 38.5 degrees, slightly higher than the average body temperature. A hat is quick to put on – and ensures that we lose less heat through our head.