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How to stay cool when it gets too hot

Updated on July 4, 2010

So summer is most definitely here and the days are getting hotter with many out enjoying themselves and who can blame them. But then if like me you dislike sunny, hot days then summer is less pleasure and more pain as you become irritable and stressed out by soaring temperatures which never let up even at night when things become unbearably humid and stiflingly sticky. But having suffered numerous uncomfortable sweltering summers I have learned a few things on how to stay cool when it gets too hot and rather than keep them to myself here are some things you can do to stay cool when it gets too hot.

#1 - If you're not using it turn it off.

In reality we should be doing this anyway but when the heat is starting to get to you turn off those appliances that are non essential. Most appliances which run off electricity will generate some heat, from your computers monitor through to that adapter for your desk lamp or speakers. So when not in use turn them off it makes a huge difference. Even if you are leaving the room for a 10 minute break, turn off the TV or your desktop monitor it will make a difference in the long run.

#2 - Watch what you drink.

If like me you enjoy your cup of coffee try and swap it to something else when it gets too hot for you, not because it's a hot drink but because it contains caffeine. Now there is scientific evidence which states caffeine increases your body’s metabolic heat but I'm no scientist, having swapped my cup of coffee for some fizzy water or herbal tea it does make a difference or at least helps to keep the heat fuelled stress levels down a bit.

#3 – Eat little but often

Following on from what to drink, the scientists say that eating big meals also increases your body’s metabolic heat as it works harder to digest the food. So eat little meals and more often if need be and to be frank it does help to keep your temperature down a little.

#4 - Use cold socks.

If you are getting too hot and are at home, as I am sure you will get strange looks if you do this whilst out, soak a pair of socks in cold water and then wring them out till damp. Put them on and just relax for a couple of minutes whilst the cold damp socks go to work to bring down your body temperature. I've found using the cold socks is more effective that soaking your head in cold water or a wet flannel on the forehead. And it's almost equal to running your wrists under a cold tap for a few seconds, which has to be said is very effective.

#5 - What to wear

There is a reason why in countries which are hot all the time that they generally light coloured cottons, it helps to keep them cool. Wearing dark colours and synthetic fabrics will absorb the heat and trap it making your life a constant misery. So you may feel like you look an idiot in those light cotton clothes but you will at least be a cool idiot rather than one bright red and uncomfortably hot.

#6 - Keep your home cool

Whether your are staying in or going out and have rooms which at some point end up in full sunlight, close the curtains and draw those blinds and if you have both do both. It definitely helps to keep a room cooler and there is nothing worse than coming home to a room which feels like its part of a greenhouse.

#7 - Artificial air conditioning

So air conditioning is by no means cheap and not within everyone’s budget, but you can make your own sort of air conditioning. Get a couple of freezer blocks and place them in a metal tray in front of a desk fan. As the air passes over the freezer blocks you get a blast of cooler air rather than just circulating warm air around the room. To be honest it's not as good as proper air conditioning but it does help to keep you a little bit cooler and it’s a lot cheaper.

#8 - Sleeping tip 1

If you usually sleep with a duvet, discard the duvet altogether and just put the duvet cover over you. It's a common sense tip but it helps.

#9 - Sleeping tip 2

This is a bit of a hassle but I guarantee it will work. A few hours before you are ready for bed put your sheets, duvet cover, pillow cases in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer. Then when your ready for bed get them out and make your bed, the effect of chilled bed covers, sheets and pillow cases is worth the hassle especially if going to bed often means tossing and turning in the humid night time heat.

#10 - Sleeping tip 3

If chilling your sheets sounds like a hassle then get hold of some soft ice packs, the sort they sell for those who suffer from migraines, and just before going to bed put them on your sheets and pillow cases. The effect is quite good although wears off a lot quicker than if you actually chill the sheets fully.

#11 - Sleeping tip 4

Sleep butt naked! Some people say this makes no difference, others say it's the only way to sleep when it's too hot. I say give it a go if you struggle to sleep on hot summer nights, it may work for you; just keep something to put on close to you in an emergency.


#12 - Buy the right house

Okay so this isn't something you can do easily, but if you are moving house and suffer when it gets hot then take this into consideration when buying. Think about how the house is laid out, is the master bedroom, the one you will choose to use, the one which ends up being in the sun all day long, the same with any office space it may have, will that be in the sun the whole time. Would it be easy to re-arrange the layout, does it have a basement as this will be cooler than the normal rooms. All heat sufferers should seriously think about these things when moving, because they may not be noticeable when you are house hunting.


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