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Being able to cool down fast is essential in the summer, especially when the temperature rises well above what we're normally used to.
While we're often told it's important to keep babies cool (opens in new tab) in the summer and those going through pregnancy are always warned to stay out of the sun (opens in new tab), overheating is actually dangerous for most people. As well as being uncomfortable, being too hot can often lead to other serious conditions such as sun stroke and heat exhaustion (opens in new tab).
There are some basic ways to cool down, like getting out of the sun as soon as you feel too warm, or taking a dip in the paddling pool - as long as there's no hosepipe ban (opens in new tab), of course! But once you're inside, whether you're trying to sleep in the heat (opens in new tab) or stop feeling so hot during the day, this is what else you can do to cool down quickly.
How to cool down fast
1. Apply ice to particular points on the body
Dig some ice out of the freezer and apply it to particular points on the body, where the veins are closest to the surface of the skin. This includes the insides of your wrists, your neck, chest and temples.
By doing this, you can quickly lower the temperature of your blood which in turn, allows the body to feel cooler.
2. Drink coconut water
Everyone knows that drinking water is essential for rehydrating, especially if you've been out in the sun all day. But it turns out that coconut water may actually be more effective (opens in new tab) at cooling you down in the short-term than standard tap water.
The additional vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in coconut water make it a great way to rehydrate following time spent in the sunshine. It also re-energises your body following stress from being too warm over a number of hours.
3. Make yourself a peppermint tea
But not a hot one! Diffusing a peppermint tea bag in some cold or ice water produces the same beverage as when it's put into hot water.
Peppermint is famous for the cooling effect (opens in new tab) it produces as a result of the high natural menthol content in the leaf. Research (opens in new tab) also shows that menthol has a positive effect on our cold receptors, meaning it helps to satiate thirst, ease breathing difficulties and make us feel more alert.
Regularly drinking liquids is also important as it prevent dehydration, which can also increase body heat (opens in new tab). For the perfect summer drink, add one peppermint tea bag into a glass full of ice and stir. Then add some mint leaves, which have the same effect as peppermint, to finish.
4. Create a cross breeze
Creating a cross breeze in your home will help the space around you feel cooler. Put a fan across the room from a window so the breeze coming through from outside meets with the fan, creating a cooling cross-breeze (opens in new tab). To amp up the effects of this, set up more fans around the room.
A classic trick is to also put a bottle full of ice water in front of the fans, so you're being gently sprayed with ice cold water as they blow around you.
5. Try the Egyptian method
Made famous not so much from the civilisation but from the hot climate of the country, the so-called Egyptian method (opens in new tab) is a technique for cooling down very quickly.
Soak two sheets (a top and bottom sheet) in cold water in the shower or put them through a cold wash in the washing machine. Then wring the sheets out so they're damp, rather than soaking wet, then make your bed as you normally would. The damp sheets deliver a cooling sensation almost immediately, whether you're heading to bed or just looking to lie down out of the sun.
6. Close your curtains
Rooms that face the sun tend to warm up the quickest and get the hottest throughout the day, so to ward off any excess heat coming directly from the sun and into your home, close the curtains. It may also be a good ideal to keep windows closed during the hot weather (opens in new tab) too.
Additionally, if you're looking for a longer-term way to ward off the heat then swap any darker coloured curtains in your home - which tend to absorb heat - with lighter-coloured ones. Lighter-coloured fabrics, whether that be upholstery or clothing, has been proven to expel heat away (opens in new tab).
7. Remove pets from the bed
There are plenty of reports which say sleeping in the same bed as your dog can improve your mental health, but it's definitely not the thing to do if you're trying to cool down on a summer's night.
While the average body temperature of a person is somewhere between 36.1°C to 37.2°C, dogs have a body temperature of 38°C to 39.2°C. This makes them an additional source of heat in your bed and so it will be harder to cool down with them lying next to you. In addition to this, studies have shown that while sleeping with a dog in your bedroom can actually improve the quality of your sleep, trying to go to bed with them also in it may reduce the quality of your sleep (opens in new tab).
8. Put on cotton pyjamas to sleep
Cotton pyjamas have been proven (opens in new tab) to help people have deeper, more restorative sleep and fall asleep faster in the warmer months as they're cooling, due to the ventilation and airflow they allow.
While silk, satin, brush cotton and polyester sheets are ideal for cooler evenings when you're trying to stay warm, lightweight cotton bedsheets are also the ones to go for during the warmer months. Egyptian cotton bedsheets are especially breathable.
Grace Walsh is a Features Writer for Goodto.com, covering breaking news health stories during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as lifestyle and entertainment topics. She has worked in media since graduating from the University of Warwick in 2019 with a degree in Classical Civilisation and a year spent abroad in Italy. It was here that Grace caught the bug for journalism, after becoming involved in the university’s student newspaper and radio station.
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