We can joke about wanting a heatwave over the summer, but the reality is excessive heat in the summer is no laughing matter. Thankfully in Northern Ireland our mild climate means that heatwaves are pretty scarce, but that humid heat where you feel like you can’t catch a breath is still uncomfortable and annoying. If you can’t stand the summer heat, here are a few tips on how to stay cool without air conditioning so you can still enjoy the summer.
Sleeping in the heat
Finding a comfortable sleeping position is hard enough without factoring in a hot night, so try these great tips for helping you sleep more comfortably in the summer heat:
- First things first, make sure your heating is switched off, or is just set to heat your water. Not only will this help you avoid wasting home heating oil, but you’ll save money too.
- Light and breathable cotton pyjamas are a must – nothing clingy or with polyester
- Try freezing your bed sheets before you put them on the bed
- Ventilation in your bedroom is a must – sleep with the window open a crack
- Take a lukewarm shower just before bed – not too cold, otherwise your body will try and compensate for heat lost by warming up – definitely not what you want.
It’s recommended that you drink at least 2 litres of water per day, but when it’s warm and you sweat, you’ll need to increase this further. It’s often said that when it’s warm you should stick to warm drinks as these help to cool you down. They do this by raising your body temperature so that you sweat more and so this process of sweat evaporating helps to keep you cool. If the climate is very humid however, the sweat cannot evaporate as easily so in this case, cold drinks are more beneficial, as well as enjoyable.
Staying cool at work
Working in the heat can be uncomfortable – it’s hard to focus, and in a shared office space it’s harder to control the temperature so that everyone is comfortable. If you have air conditioning, make sure it’s switched on, or alternatively if your windows open try to create a breeze which allows some fresh air to circulate. Closing the blinds will stop the sun from heating up the office like a greenhouse, and instead of your usual cuppa break in the afternoon, switch to chrysanthemum tea (supposedly chrysanthemum is a cooling herb which clears the head – better for your concentration levels too!)
Quick fixes for the heat
If you’re struggling and need a way to cool down fast, try running your wrists under cold water for a few minutes. This helps to cool your blood and makes you feel more comfortable. You can also soak your feet in cold water before bed – your feet and ankles have lots of pulse points in them, so doing this can cool down the whole body.