Here in the UK we’re rarely happy with the weather – too cold, too windy, too hot. Fortunately we don’t ‘suffer’ from it being too hot very often, but that can be part of the problem. Countries with hotter climates have purpose-built homes with thick walls and even air conditioning. Here, our homes may be heated but they’re rarely cooled! However much you like the sun during the day, sleeping at night in a too-hot room can be next to impossible. We’ve put together this handy guide to staying cool when the heat is on.
Change your habits
In Mediterranean countries, there’s a reason the daily siesta is so popular! It’s certainly not practicable for everyone, but if you can do so you might like to think about catching up on sleep during the day. If it’s too hot in your bedroom at your normal bedtime then consider staying up later and snatching another couple of hours the following day.
Prepare in advance
When the weather is lovely outside it’s tempting to have windows open all day long, but this only lets hot air into the house, heating it up more. Keep windows open overnight instead, closing them before 10am and reopening no earlier than 9pm. Keep curtains and blinds closed during the day, as well, at least on the side of the house that gets the sun. It may seem gloomy, but you’ll be thankful when the bedrooms stay cooler! If you can’t bear to close all the curtains in the house during the day then just close the bedroom curtains and keep bedroom doors closed to prevent hot air going in from the rest of the house.
Be a cool customer
Invest in some suitable nightwear. Steer away from any kind of manmade fabric such as polyester – you’ll melt! Natural cotton is the best for temperature control, and the same applies to sheets. Have a cool (not cold) bath or shower before you go to bed so that you’re not trying to settle down when you’re hot. Spray bedlinen and even your nightwear with cold water from a plant mister bottle before you go to sleep – keep the bottle in the fridge for extra cooling power! Just before you go to bed, take a few sips of cold water or even suck an ice cube or a few ice chips. Fill a hot water bottle with cold water and ice and put it on your feet, or place a cold flannel over your face.
Join the fan club
Fans in the bedroom are a bit controversial – some of them are very noisy and keep you awake. If you’re buying a new one then try and turn it on in the shop before you commit so that you can get an idea of whether you could live with it or not. Alternatively, you can get small fans that clip to a bedhead for targeted air. These are normally almost silent, although do make sure they’re firmly clipped on or you could get a bit of a shock in the night!
Don’t get stressed
If you really can’t sleep, then get up and give yourself a break. To cool down fast, try a cool shower (yes, another one!) or if that’s too much trouble in the middle of the night then just washing your feet in cold water will reduce body temperature.
Above all, look on the bright side – we’ll be back to freezing temperatures and rain faster than you know it.
All images (c) 2021 Pixabay