Here’s why you should * never * fall asleep in the sun

We’ve all been there: sleepy, warm and comforted by the glow of the sun. It’s so tempting – delicious even – to fall asleep on a picnic blanket or lounge chair while the rays of the sun hit your skin.

Only you wake up a little later, groggy, with a horrible tan line and / or burns, and a headache on top of that.

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Sleeping in the sun is always a better idea before you do, rather than after. And in fact, not to be alarmist, it can have serious health consequences.

It really is a guilty pleasure, let me tell you. Starting with the skin, Harriet Dalwood, spokesperson for the British Association of Dermatologists, told GLAMOR: “Falling asleep in the sun can be tempting, but it really calls for trouble and can put you at major risk of damage. caused by the sun.

“Relying on sunscreen as the only defense is a mistake; it doesn’t make you invulnerable in the sun and makes you especially vulnerable in areas where you’ve missed a spot or applied sunscreen too thinly.

“Sunscreen can also bleed or be washed off with perspiration, and should be reapplied at least every two hours. Sunscreen really should be your last line of defense, rather than your only one. That’s why we encourage people. to use protective clothing and enjoy the shade.

“It’s important to remember that once damage has been done to the skin, it cannot be undone. Therefore, if you feel drowsy outside, move away from the sun and stand in a shaded and protected area. ”

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We all know the importance of wearing an SPF and luckily attitudes are changing – many people now like to apply sunscreen of their choice, thanks to modern formulations that are not thick and leave a white cast.

But let’s be honest, probably not all of us are used to reapplying as often as we should. And even if it does, we’re unlikely to give every patch of skin the attention it needs.

Damage to the skin both aesthetically (hello, pigmentation) and health is easy to do when you fall asleep in your backyard / beach / park / patio.

Dr Thivi Maruthappu, consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation, tells us that falling asleep in the sun is “a dermatologist’s nightmare”.

“This puts you at risk of sunburn because you may not know how hot the sun is and you cannot reapply the necessary sun protection.

“If you want to take a nap, find a shady spot, apply an SPF, and cover yourself with clothing such as UPF protective clothing (clothing tested to SPF standards) whenever possible. Set a timer on your phone. so as not to take too long a nap and can generously reapply the SPF every two hours, ”she advises.

Beyond the skin, there are other risks. Babylon GP, ​​Dr Claudia Pastides, warns that dehydration can occur.

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She explains, “The body needs to regulate its internal temperature for the body’s organs to function properly. He does it in different ways and one of them is sweating.

“Sweating can cause dehydration and dehydration can make us feel very bad, from fatigue and weakness to headaches and dizziness. Severe dehydration can of course be fatal. So make sure you drink enough. water when it’s hot outside and avoid falling asleep in direct sunlight. “

Other serious things to consider are heat stroke and the increased possibility of skin cancer.

A moment of calm can lead to a nightmarish sunburn that takes days to heal, if not worse. How about picking a shady spot next time or setting an alarm after 20 minutes?

Your body will thank you.

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