Feeling uncomfortable at 85-90 degrees.

When I bought a waterbed, the salesman told me that while the body temperature is 98.6 the average skin temperature is around 80 degrees. Since the skin is around 80, any temperature above 80 feels hot and anything below that feels cool. If this is true (and this is unverified information) and allowing for the difference in people anything outside of the 75-85 degree range would feel uncomfortable.

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards, cyborg2828, we’re glad to have you with us.

When you start a thread, it’s helpful to other readers if you provide a link to the column that you’re commenting on. Saves search time and helps keep us all on the same page. I’m guessing that you meant comment on this column: If body temperature is 98.6F, why do we feel uncomfortable when its 90?

If that’s not correct, please email me and let me know which one you meant, and I’ll be glad to fix this. No biggie, you’ll know for next time, and, as I say, welcome!

I’ts not obvious exactly what you’re asserting or asking. But here are some things to think about …

There’s more to it than simply “Is skin temperature above or below air or bedsheet temperature?”.

Your body generates heat all the time. While awake but inactive it’s as much heat as a 60W lightbulb. Moving or working hard it’s more. Sleeping it’s less, but it’s still well over zero Watts. If there’s no way for you to get rid of all that heat into the environment, you’ll overheat & eventually die. Conversely, if it’s cold enough, you’ll be radiating away more heat then you produce. If that lasts long enough, you’ll get colder and eventually die.

Between sweating when you’re hot & limiting circulation to extremities when you’re cold, your body has techniques to try to manage your heat loss into the environment. To some small extent it can also rev up or idle back the heat engine.

In general, yes, any time your body is outside a fairly narrow range around 75 degrees it will be uncomfortable.

Clothes make a big difference on the cold side. You *can *be comfortable in 65 degree air wearing lightweight pants & shirt. Naked in the same conditions you’d be shivering in a few minutes.

The commonly accepted average core body temperature (taken internally) is 37.5 °C (99.5 °F. The typical oral (under the tongue) measurement is slightly cooler, at 37.0±0.5 °C, or 98.6±0.9 °F. Although some people think of these numbers as representing the normal temperature, a wide range of temperatures has been found in healthy people.

comparateur mutuelle santé

Has anyone heard of a body suit that absorbs heat during the day-say while you are hiking in cold weather-rather than just letting the excess heat dissipate into the air? If one was carrying water for drinking anyway, one could use body heat to warm the water, then use the warm water to help keep warm at night. I presume one discards a of lot of heat when urinating too. Just thinking of ways to conserve the excess body heat so it can be used to warm you when it gets cold.

Save heat – piss on a friend.

When one is hiking in cold weather, one tends to wear layers of clothing to trap the heat and keep it from dissipating into the air. That is what a coat is - a layer to keep the warmth from getting dissipated.

Wearing a suit of water and letting the heat warm the water would make you feel cooler at first before the water gets to temp, then would not really have an effect, assuming the system was enclosed within your coat/clothing. Yes, you could then use the body temperature water later, such as for drinking, rather than drinking colder water. Essentially you would be trading the cooling from drinking the cold water for the cooling at the beginning of the hike.

Or you could use a fire/stove to heat the water.

Yes, there is a bit of heat loss when you urinate. If you urinated into a bag, sealed it, then used the bag as a hand warmer or something, that might get a bit of the heat back. I’m not really sure what other use. Maybe put water in a cup and wrap it in the bag of urine? The some of the heat from the urine would transfer to the cup of water.

Not sure of the psychological factors, or ensuring hygiene.

I rather fancy the 2[sup]nd[/sup] Law of Thermodynamics stands in the way of any such thing working efficiently.

Well yeah, I didn’t say it would be very effective, just that you might recapture some of the heat.