Cold Blooded People

Not literally cold-blooded of course but what are some of the factors that go into people’s sensation of temperature in a room? I can be in a room with twenty people and some are just right, some are complaining about the heat, others are pulling on sweaters. Why such a difference?

good question, with mrAru and I - he has hashimotos [thyroid issues] and is always freezing, I had a hysterectomy and am in menopause, so I am having hot flashes. I just kicked on the air conditioner to blow cold air from the blizzard going on outside on me, he is huddled on the bed wrapped in 2 comforters considering going and sleeping on the sofa and throwing more wood on the fire … :rolleyes:

Those with a lot of muscle mass are going to be warmer than those who have more body fat. Muscle is always working and making heat. Fat just kind of sits there and does nothing.

I (anecdotally) heard fat people claim that they feel hot in normal weather.

Sometimes I’m cold for no apparent reason. Sometimes I’m warm, but the reason is apparent–menopause, or the fact that I live in Florida. I find that I’m cool after a sweaty workout, after the sweat wears off and I’m just sitting somewhere, or if I’m in air conditioning lower than about 76 degrees F. Sometimes I’m really cold and then suddenly really hot–really, there are probably reasons, but I think it’s just part of being human.

I’m hot almost all the time, I think, getting hot flashes about three times a day, on a good day. Summers are unbearable. In winter I will turn down the heat to 65 and wear a t-shirt or camisole under a blouse or sweater that I can whip off for a few minutes. I’d probably be a prime customer for a fleece Snuggie or whatever they’re called, but I think they look dorky, and fleece is too hot!

My dad takes blood thinners, and is always cold. His dad went through the same thing.

I’ve always heard it called “cold natured” rather than cold blooded…

Muscle isn’t “always working,” it’s only working when it…umm…works. If I let my arm lay still, most of the muscles are barely doing anything, and therefore not generating heat. And fat may just sit there, but it is a fan-TAS-tic insulator. Go take a look at a sea mammal that spends a lot of time in cold waters and tell me what you see…a lot of fat, mostly between the muscle and skin, to help insulate it.

I know this is purely anecdotal, but in winter, the people I see most often not wearing heavy coats, hats, etc… are larger people, and there are also the ones I see sweating the most while doing the least activity in the summer.

After I lost a lot of weight (150 pounds at first), I was cold all of the time.

The skin on my arms up to my elbows is very, very thin. (No puns, please.) I react quickly to extreme temperatures – easily warmed and easily chilled because my blood is so close to the surface and then it circulates to the rest of the body.

I knew there had to be a better term but couldn’t think of one.

Why are we whispering? :stuck_out_tongue:

That might be a factor, now that I think about it. I’m quite a bit less tolerant to the cold than I used to be, and it wasn’t all that many years ago that I was somewhere around 50-60 pounds overweight.

On the other hand, don’t some people become more (or less) used to temperature extremes just from being in them? I was raised in upstate NY, but have lived in one Carolina or the other since '94. During my first years here, I was the one silently giggling at all the folk in jackets when the temperature was only down in the 50s. Now I’m one of them.

Does body temperature have anything to do with how cold or hot you feel? I’m often cold sooner than others, but more comfortable in the heat than most people. My normal temp hovers just above 98F

As people have indicated so far, the dull but accurate answer seems to be that there are lots of variable factors that affect an individual’s response to ambient temperature, including size, shape, body fat, metabolism, health-related issues, hormonal issues, location, what one considers ‘comfortable’ clothing and so on.

Another obvious factor is early conditioning with regard to what an individual regards as ‘normal’. This factor happens to be one I find myself talking about quite often. I grew up in the 60s and 70s in a part of north-west England called Lancashire. Nothing wrong with it, perfectly okay childhood and everything, but it was a very cold, damp, wet environment. Rain was more or less ‘the norm’, and it was cold more often than it was anything else (the climate has improved slightly in more recent decades). This has had some nice consequences for me in my later life. I just about never feel cold or uncomfortable, and I don’t mind rain in the slightest. Sometimes I barely even notice it.

I love to travel, and I never feel concerned about the weather. I know that just about anywhere I go, the climate is going to be gentler than the one I endured during all my formative years (there are exceptions, obviously, but it’s generally true). In places where others might be uncomfortable because “it’s a bit chilly” or “there’s an icy draught”, I won’t even notice.

It’s how cold your skin is that normally affects how cold you feel. I’ve read that’s why women on average feel colder than men, despite actually being more resistant to cold. They have more subcutaneous fat and less blood flow beneath the skin ( smaller muscles ), so their bodies lose less heat. But that insulation means their skin cools more, so they feel colder. Or, on the flip side drinking alcohol makes you feel warmer by opening up the blood flow of your surface blood vessels ( thus the flushed look of the skin ).

My wife has Reynaud’s Syndrome as a symptom of her scleroderma. Her fingers turn blue and cold in the slightest draft, and she frequently feels cold in otherwise warm conditions.

Folks who work outdoors for a living (like road crews) get used to it. They’ll be in a T-shirt when others are wrapping up in scarfs and sweaters.

There are lots of interesting replies here but this is very close to answering the question I had in mind when I started the thread. I was actually in the lunchroom at work and most of the guys were either comfortable or too warm; the women were all cold. Good luck trying to set the HVAC to make everyone happy in a setting like that!

It might have more to do with blood sugar than weight. I had undiagnosed diabetes for several years, and I sweated constantly. Even outdoors in winter, I sweated under my coat. Once I was diagnosed and got my blood sugar under control, this no longer has been a problem.

A relevant Zen koan:
"A monk asked Tozan, “How can we escape the cold and heat?” Tozan replied, “Why not go where there is no cold and heat?” “Is there such a place?” the monk asked. Tozan commented, “When cold, be thoroughly cold; when hot, be hot through and through.”

So, it’s all in the mind.

Your perception of temperature is ultimately regulated in your brain, and everyone’s is a little different. In the case of people like my father, who has a severely damaged brain, the system can go pretty haywire - in the early years after his injury he was freezing cold and shivering in 90 degree weather, and his internal temperature would fluctuate quite a bit, but not dangerously (going down to 96 degrees, and up into a mild fever, with no real cause except that his brain wasn’t working properly).

Things like muscle and fat percentage, circulation, and metabolism/calories burned also have an effect of course, and work in concert with your brain.

I’ve always been skinny and am usually the coldest one in the room. But I’m a lot less cold now that I have more muscle, and I get quite overheated after I eat a lot - probably since I can’t put on weight, my body burns off the extra calories as heat.