In heat waves, sweltering nights carry dangers

By TOM McELROY | July 22, 2011 | 3:43 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — As searing heat spreads over the East, experts are warning that the real danger may lurk at night.

A nighttime respite from the worst of the heat gives the body a vital chance to recover from the stresses of the day. Those stresses can actually rise when nighttime air doesn't cool to levels that provide relief.

Those trying to find ways to beat the nighttime heat have to get creative.

Joan Peltier of Toledo says "I jump in the pool or take a shower and go to bed with wet hair." Temperatures there soared past 100 on Thursday.

Forecasters have issued excessive heat warnings for a huge section of the country from Kansas to Massachusetts.