Summer’s here and for most of us it’s the time for barbecues, gardening projects, and sipping a cool drink with family and friends as you talk long into the night, bathed in the amber glow of the setting sun. However; it’s also the time for sweaty armpits, feeling the need to shower three or four times a day, cranky kids and (possibly worst of all), thrashing around all night trying to get to sleep in the intense heat.
The importance of a good night’s sleep
Starting your day feeling sticky, fuzzy-headed and cranky through sleep deprivation is a guaranteed way to ruin your day before it’s even properly started. While the hot summer nights aren’t exactly conducive to a good night’s sleep, it’s especially important since the long days and earlier sunrises can significantly shorten our sleeping hours.
A good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to your health. It maintains healthy brain function, helps to maintain emotional well being and it’s a vital component in all metabolic and healing processes. So here are some hints to help you enjoy cool, blissful slumber even when the deck is stacked against you by the relentless heat.
Air conditioning. Think of it as an investment
There really is no substitute for a good air conditioning system, so don’t be put off by your preconceived notions of huge cost, noise and inefficiency. Air conditioner maintenance and systems are surprisingly affordable and far less intrusive than you may think. AC systems of old were noisy and bulky but today there are whole new generations of portable and silent AC units. If, however, you’re unable or unwilling to invest in a new AC unit then there are plenty of cheaper (or even free) low-tech solutions to getting some shut eye in spite of the heat.
Getting the right bedding
It’s important to bedeck your bed with light, breathing fabrics such as cotton or linen. Satin may look and feel luxurious but it’s best left for when things cool down. Some people put their sheets in the refrigerator or freezer prior to sleeping but if this seems a little extreme for you, then try If filling a hot water bottle with icy water for a quick and easy cold pack.
Create your own old-school ice box
If you have elderly relatives then you may hear them refer to your refrigerator as an ice box. This is because early refrigerators were insulated boxes that cooled food using blocks of ice stored on the upper shelves that cooled the produce below. This same principle can be used to keep yourself cool when the nights heat up. Make a low-tech DIY air conditioner by placing a shallow pan or bowl (such as a roasting tin) filled with ice in front of a desk fan. The breeze picks up cold water vapor from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist that is spread throughout the room. Bliss!
Whatever stay-cool solution you choose, be aware that a cool, breezy night will pave the way to you waking up fresh and ready to enjoy a summer’s day.