As the temperatures start to rise, figuring out ways to stay cool and ‘beat the heat’ become increasingly more important with every degree.
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Here are some ways to keep yourself, your home and your night time sleep schedule a little cooler in the summer.
1. Pay attention to pulse points
Placing ice cubes or running cool water on your body’s main pulse points (the inside of your wrists, back of neck, temples and behind the knees) helps your body’s natural cooling system to work more efficiently by cooling the surfaces of the skin where blood circulates more closely.
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2. Drink water
Staying hydrated is always a good idea no matter the season, but your body will feel cooler if it’s properly hydrated. For the summer, try adding things like cucumber, mint leaves or hints of citrus to make the water more refreshing.
3. Spray bottles
A cheap spray bottle filled with cool water makes delivering a cool mist to your skin easier. You can even purchase ones with a small fan attached for that extra cooling factor.
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4. Use ice or get creative with rice
While ice is one of the most obvious methods to keeping your body cool, melted ice can also create inconvenient dampness or run the possibility of leaks if you’re trying to place them in a bag to put on your skin.
For an easy alternative, place regular white rice in a clean sock, throw it in the freezer and use as an ice pack that’s mouldable to your body — no leaks.
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5. Alter your diet
If you’re used to chowing down on huge meals, particularly dinner, try switching to more frequent, lighter meals throughout the day that are easier to metabolize. Fruits, veggies and legumes are a lighter alternative to a huge steak and heavy sides.
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6. Dress appropriately
Keep clothes loose and light to keep breezy if you’re going to walk around in the heat. Your black pants, black tee and black sweatshirt should probably move to the back of your closet.
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7. Get cold feet
Your feet are extremely sensitive to temperature, so dunking your feet in a small pan of cold water can help to cool your whole body down. This is particularly effective right before going to sleep.
8. Change your sheets
If you haven’t already, switch out heavy comforters or thick blankets for thinner sheets made of light breathable cotton or even silk and satin for a cooler nights sleep.
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9. Hang sheets in cool areas of the house
If there’s a certain area of your home that is usually cast in shade (or if you have a basement), hang your bedding there to expose it to cooler air.
10. Frozen under the covers
Wrap smaller pillowcases or throw blankets in a bag and place in the freezer for a few minutes right before going to sleep. The relief is temporary, but may help in cooling you down long enough to lull yourself to sleep in the heat.
11. Fan efficiently
Fans are a great (and portable) way to stay cool. But to cool your house more efficiently you can face fans towards doors and windows to help blow hot air out of your home. At night, turn them around to help cooler evening air into your house.
12. Frozen fanning
In addition to creating smarter ways of circulating hot air out and cool air into your home, you can also place bowls of salted ice water in front of fans. The fan will pick up the cooler air that forms as the ice melts, blowing colder wind throughout any room.
Image: University of Florida
13. Refrain from using heat elements
If you can, try not to use your stove or oven excessively as both elements will produce heat inside your home. Grilling during the summer is a long-standing tradition for a reason.
14. Turn off all heat sources
When not in use, turn off all light sources including lamps and overhead lights. Even environmentally-friendly bulbs generate a lot of heat so shut them off when they’re not in use. This should be easy as summer means more hours of natural light to take advantage of (often until 8 in the evening). Unnecessary power adapters, televisions and computer devices should also be switched off.
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15. White out your fabrics
Similar to changing your sheets to more temperature-friendly options, the cases on throw pillows in your living room can be swapped out for white, breathable fabrics that will reflect light instead of absorb it. Throwing white linen throws over wool (or even leather) sofas also helps to make you feel cooler when you’re sitting around your place.
16. Black out your windows
As soon as the sun is out, it’s best to keep the shades or blinds of your house drawn to keep cool air in.
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