10 tips to stay cool in the heat

Summer brings with it longer days, warmer nights and plenty of opportunity to spend more time outdoors.

And while most of us love the summer heat, the rising temperature also brings with it a certain stickiness we could do without.

Whatever you’re up to this summer, here’s 10 easy tips to stay cool in the heat when air conditioning is nothing more than a faraway fantasy.

  1. Freeze your water bottle
    Here’s a trick: fill a water bottle up half way before bed and turn it on its side in the freezer. The next morning simply take it out, fill the other half up and go on your way – you’ll have perfectly chilled water to start your day and a bottle that stays cool as the rest of the ice melts as the day goes on.
  2. Cool those pulse points
    Resting something cold against your pulse points is a fast-fix when you’re feeling too hot. Get an ice pack, water bottle or any cold drink – a pint of beer or cocktail with ice works well for this – and rest the insides of your wrists against it. In a few minutes you’ll be cool and comfortable again; the perfect antidote for the London Underground or a busy train.
  3. Freeze your sheets
    On those hot, sticky nights where falling asleep feels next to impossible, this simple trick might make all the difference. A couple of  hours or so before bed, fold your sheets and place them into a plastic grocery bag and then put them inside your freezer to chill. Take them out just before you plan to go to sleep – the chilled sheets will be just refreshing enough to settle in comfortably and quickly nod off. Especially good for fussy grandchildren on holiday abroad!
  4. Try a cold shower
    It may be the oldest trick in the book but it still works a treat – a tepid shower before bed will help lower your body temperature and wash off sweat so you can fall asleep with ease.
  5. Hang a wet sheet
    If you don’t access to a fan, a wet sheet might do the trick – dunk a sheet in ice cold water, ring it out and hang it in front of the window. The breeze blowing in through the sheet will act like a makeshift air conditioner and quickly cool down the room.
  6. Eat something spicy
    Counterintuitive though it may seem, spicy food actually works to cool you down – a hot curry can help enhance circulation and cause sweating, in turn cooling down the body.
  7. Sleep under the stars
    If you’ve ever fancied yourself a bit of an adventurer, now is the time to indulge that fantasy. Heat gets trapped indoors, meaning sometimes it’s warmer inside than it is out. Dust of that tent from the shed and sleep in the garden. Not your style? Try spending the evening outside playing cards instead of in front of the TV; as the night wears on and the temperature drops, you’ll start to cool down and feel more comfortable before heading to bed.
  8. Repurpose your hot water bottle
    The same way we use a hot water bottle to warm our beds in winter, you can use it to cool your bed in summer. Fill your hot water bottle with ice-cold water and place it on the mattress before bed; by the time you lie down, your sheets and mattress will feel cool and comfortable.
  9. Freeze a damp flannel
    Dunk an old flannel in water, wring it out and place it in the freezer to use throughout the day – if you feel uncomfortably hot, grab one and place it over your face or on your hands. While you’re there close your eyes and take a few deep breaths; you’ll be cooler and calmer too.
  10. Make a footbath
    Taking a swim on a hot summer’s day is a summer highlight – but many of us don’t have access to a beach or swimming pool everyday. Instead, get the same refreshing feeling by filling a basin with cold water and soaking your feet – also a great trick if your hands and feet swell when the weather gets warmer.

What are your top tips for staying cool?

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