Summer is most definitely here. Air conditioning systems in offices across the land have been ramped up to the max, stoking debates over the optimal temperature, whilst those who don’t have such luxuries are forced to sweat it out and Google “what temperature does it have to be before it is too hot to work” and variations thereof.
Whether you’re too hot at work, out and about, at home during the day or at night, here are some top tips on how to stay cool during a heatwave, such as using rice to cool down (yes, really).
We start with probably the most obvious option, although there are different schools of thought when it comes to keeping your fluids up. Some subscribe to the idea that you should generally never feel thirsty and should consistently drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Others believe that you should simply listen to your body and drink when you’re thirsty. Whatever the case, generally accepted advice during a heatwave is to significantly increase the amount you drink, be it water, tea, or fruit juices.
Consider keeping bottles of water in the fridge or in a drinks chiller like the A+ rated CMes 502 Compact Fridge or the newer UKes 1752. Rather than buying bottled water, consider investing in a couple of large glass bottles to refill and chill in your refrigerator if you don’t have a drinks chiller.
You may be surprised to learn that some studies, such as this Canadian study of the rehydration of active children, have found that milk is even better than water for hydration. If you do opt for more than a glass of milk consider skimmed and be mindful of sugar content (200ml skimmed milk contains 10g of sugar). To keep your milk as fresh a possible keep it in a BioFresh compartment where it will last for up to 12 days, around 4 times longer than a standard fridge compartment (up to 3 days).
On the rocks
If you have a Liebherr appliance with an IceMaker, you’re able to enjoy drinks with ice cubes whenever you like, as it automatically refills the IceBox container(s) to a set level using the water tank or a plumbed-in mains connection.
As tempting as it is to have a whisky on the rocks at the end of a stressful day, during a heatwave or an especially hot summer’s day you should stick to soft drinks as alcohol is a diuretic and will, therefore, dehydrate you.
Wet behind the ears
Try it – dab water on your ears (especially the ear lobes), wrists, behind the knees, neck, and ankles for a temporary cooling sensation. This actually demonstrates that cooling occurs as the result of evaporation. The process is no different in your refrigerator’s cooling process! Where practical, putting any water on your body will help cool you down. Having a shower, of course, or just running cold water over your wrists for 30 seconds will provide more prolonged relief from the heat.
Cleanse, chill & moisturise
Store your moisturiser in the fridge and, after your cold shower, apply it for another cool fix. Your skin will thank you.
Bowl of ice
Harking back to less sophisticated days of refrigeration when fridges actually contained blocks of ice, try placing a fan behind a shallow bowl of ice. You’ll benefit from a nice cool breezy mist. Once the ice has melted you can dip your hot feet in to double up on the chill factor.
Actually, if you can, you should sleep with limbs akimbo to minimise heat generation and, if you’re really struggling to nod off, you should consider sleeping alone too. Whilst we’re on the subject of sleep, ditch the duvet and cover yourself with a wet sheet or even place it in the fridge or freezer (in a plastic bag to avoid odours) to help keep you cool at night.
Another top tip is to insert an icepack in your pillowcase and, in a similar vein, fill a sock with rice and freeze it for about an hour to use as a temporary cold source.
If you’re still struggling after trying all of that, you could invest in a hammock to sleep in, to benefit from superior air circulation, or even try sleeping on an uncarpeted floor.
Eat cold meals
Keep the oven off during a heatwave and look at eating small cold meals such as this summer salad as well as food with a high water content such as melons, cucumbers and strawberries. The body will produce more heat after a large hot meal compared to a small salad but if you must have a hot meal, use the grill. Any hunger pangs can be sated by plenty of ice lollies and an ice cream or two. All in the interests of body temperature regulation of course.
Your mother was right about this. Wearing cotton clothing – and using the best quality cotton bedding, too – will help keep you cool, so ditch the wool blend trousers or that synthetic skirt if you can.
Stay away from the sun
Finally, we don’t suggest being antisocial and staying indoors all day, but NHS guidelines suggest staying out of the sun and not to venture out during the ‘heat of the day’ (11am – 3pm), especially if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat. If you do spend time in direct sunshine (or even in the shade) wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, regularly apply sun cream and wear a hat.
So, there you have it, some cool tips for keeping your temperature down and your spirits up. Do you have any hacks for keeping your head during a heatwave? Do let us know! Get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.