If you’re struggling to sleep during the heatwave, here are 20 ways to keep cool.
- Have a cooling shower before bed.
- Some people suggest wetting your hair so it’s a bit damp. (But if you do this, make sure your pillow dries out properly during the next day – you really don’t want mould in it.)
- A damp flannel on your forehead, or over your shoulders, will evaporate gradually and cool you. You could even put it in the freezer for a bit, so it’s really chilled.
- Use a plant mister or spray bottle to spray a mist of cold water all over yourself.
- Make sure you drink enough water to keep hydrated. Have a glass beside the bed.
- Put your pillowcase in the fridge so it’s cold. Some people try the sheets, too.
- Get your feet cold: try putting a pair of socks in the freezer. Or put your feet into cold water.
- Suck an ice-cube.
- Fill a jug with water and put it in the fridge. At bedtime fill a hot water bottle with the cold water. Or you can use a freezer pack, or even ice. (To avoid a midnight flood, wrap ice cubes in a tea-towel, then put the whole lot in a waterproof plastic bag. Then wrap the bag in another tea-towel so it’s not too lumpy.) Put it on the bed to cool the sheets before you get in, then put it against your back as you go to sleep.
Cool your home
- Keep the sun out of your bedroom by shutting the windows, and drawing the curtains or blinds during the day. Then open the windows in the evening when it’s cooler.
- Open the window and door to try to get a draught. If you can, hang a wet sheet in front of an open window. That will help reduce the temperature of the room.
- If you have a loft, open the hatch at night to allow hot air to escape upwards.
- Most electrical appliances will produce heat. Turn them all off at the plug. When there are thunderstorms forecast (like this week) you should do this anyway: lightning can cause an electricity surge which can severely damage them.
- People give off body heat. So you may want to sleep in a separate bed from your partner – just temporarily!
- You don’t need a duvet or blanket – just a cotton sheet.
- Turn your pillow over when it gets hot – or even have a second pillow on the floor, so you can swap.
- If you can, try sleeping downstairs – it’ll be cooler than upstairs. Or you could just move your mattress onto the floor.
Things to avoid
- Some people have tried to sleep in a vehicle with the air conditioning running. That is very dangerous – as well as very bad for the environment – because the slightest leak in your exhaust can lead to a build-up of deadly carbon monoxide. (You risk engine damage if it overheats, too, but that’s less important.)
- Avoid eating a big meal in the evening, and cut down on meat. (You’ll feel good about doing your bit for the planet, too.) Digesting food raises your body temperature, especially large portions of meat. Try a salad or some fruit for supper instead.
- Avoid alcohol, which is dehydrating, and also raises your temperature.
If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments box below!