Do you ever wonder how to stay cool in summer? It’s England, and for once it’s sunshine all around! Normally we’d all be jumping up and down with excitement at this rare joy, that is however until it’s too hot for too long.
Living in the UK we are of course not used to any kind of heat for very long – so when heat waves arrive us Brits are of course left feeling tired, irritable, drained, and not really wanting to do anything at all!
So, throughout this article we are going to explore some practical steps and tips that we ourselves use to actually survive the UK summer heat both personally and in our homes, to stay happy, healthy, and productive.
Stay Cool in Summer: Food & Drink
Image: The Table Stylist
You’ve probably heard this one so many times by now it’s like a mantra in your head. Even the announcer on the tube says it during peak summer months!
But it really is the key to keeping yourself healthy and alert during a heatwave, and this is one of our favourite ways to stay cool in summer. On a normal day, you should be drinking around 6-8 glasses of water, which can come in all shapes and sizes from tea to fruit juices.
But during a heatwave, experts recommend you increase your water intake significantly.
This is because higher temperatures and humidity increase the speed of evaporation from the skin, meaning we sweat more (in case you hadn’t noticed!). This increases the amount of fluid we lose each day, and so we need to up our water intake to replenish this.
Even when you work in an airconditioned office, you will still be spending time outside, whether that’s a walk over lunch, your morning commute or relaxing in the garden in the evening, so don’t think you’ve escaped! It’s all too easy to get dehydrated in a heatwave without really realising it, and this can have some nasty side effects.
So grab yourself a big water bottle and keep it with you at all times. If you struggle to remember to drink water, set yourself some alarms throughout the day to take sips of water.
You can even mark out how much water you want to drink per hour in a sharpie on the side of your bottle, so you know if you’ve drunk enough or not.
Image: The Tartan Blanket Company
Similarly, focussing on eating the correct foods during hot summer months is equally as important as making sure that you are properly hydrated.
However, have you ever noticed that you don’t feel like eating during a heatwave? The will to cook, or even to eat the same sizes of portions just isn’t there, and sometimes you feel like you could go without dinner and still not feel hungry.
That’s a fairly natural reaction to heat. In fact, it’s our body’s way of regulating our temperature and keeping us cool, by reducing heat-generating activities like digestion.
But food accounts for around 20-30% of our daily fluid intake, and as we’ve already established, it’s important to stay hydrated!
Rather than focussing on the quantity, you’re eating, instead, make sure that what you do eat is packed with nutrients and liquids to keep your body functioning and healthy.
Some good choices include strawberries, melons, watermelons, tomatoes, cucumber, and celery, along with things like stew or nice leafy green salads.
These options don’t feel too heavy or difficult to prepare, but will help keep your body fuelled and cool.
Make the Best use of a Fan
Turn Your Fan Into An AC With Ice
I always have on a fan when I need to stay cool in summer. We all know the feeling of having the fan on in the room, only to feel as if it’s barely making a difference during the hot summer months!
Well a simple and effective DIY trick that we use all the time to help our house fans blow cooler air around the room involves teaming up with some bottles of ICE!
All you’ll need to do is place a few empty plastic bottles with water in the freezer overnight, and in the morning place these ice bottles in front of your fan.
What will happen is that as the fan pushes warm air past the ice bottles, the air will cool down, resulting in a reduction of the temperature of the air that makes it to you!
This is a very simple and effective DIY trick that works great in small rooms where you are not too far from the fan.
Change Your Fan Direction
For those of you that have ceiling fans installed at home there is another fantastic tip to help your fan keep you cool!
Did you know that ceiling fans have 2 directions for a reason? The blades on ceiling fans are designed to tilt slightly to help them push air either up or down as they rotate. The direction you have the blades spinning will change the temperature of the air you feel moving.
In winter you want them moving clockwise, which pulls the colder air in the room upwards and pushes the warm air down.
But in summer you don’t want that! Switch the direction counter clockwise, and your fan will start pushing wind currents into the room below. The switch to do this is usually on the body of the fan, but if in doubt check the instructions. It really does make a difference!
Use A Cooling Duvet and Pillow
Image: English Blinds
Of course, once you finally hit the sheets, it can still feel hot, sticky and generally uncomfortable. This makes it really hard to fall asleep, or stay asleep as the heat increases.
One of the reasons some people are more irritable in a heatwave is because it interrupts sleep patterns and causes difficulty in cooling down.
Luckily there’s an easy solution to this.
Swap your normal bedding for cooling versions!
Sleep.8 makes some fantastic cooling duvets, pillows and even mattresses, so your bed can become an oasis of cool on the hottest of days.
This cooling duvet is super thin, lightweight, and uses Outlast Thermos-technology to regulate body temperature all year round.
For context, this technology was designed for use in outer space as a way to stop up to 48% of sweat production, wick away moisture from the skin and keep a low, regulated temperature. And now it’s in a duvet that can leave you feeling cool and dry on the hottest, stickiest summer days.
And if you’re someone who struggles with ‘hot head’ syndrome in summer, then the hybrid pillow from Sleep 8 is another winner.
It’s super comfortable with a shoulder curve to provide space for your shoulder, but it’s filled with elastic and voluminous fibres that keep air circulating through the pillow and regulate the temperature, so you never need to worry about your pillow getting hot.
Love these tips on how to stay cool in summer?
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