HOW TO PLAN TO KEEP COOL THIS SUMMER – AND KEEP YOUR BILLS DOWN
- During summer before you leave in the morning, block out the heat of the day by keeping the windows closed and drawing the curtains or blinds. On the contrary, if the temperature drops off towards the later afternoon, opening up the windows can help cool the house down. If your bedroom curtains are made of a lighter, sheer material, opt for a thicker curtain that can best block out the sun’s rays.
- Thinking of roasting, braising or baking? Think again. One sure way to quickly increase the temperature inside your house is to use an indoor oven. If you’re baking in the evening, that heat will likely stick around until well into the night. Instead, try cooking outside on the grill, whip up no-cook recipes like salads and sandwiches or order take-away, summer is a great time to be outside. An extra tip: keep the meals light and mild (not spicy) to help promote better sleep.
- We switch off the lights just before going to bed but try turning them off in the hours leading up to bedtime as well. Lights (incandescent and LED) produce heat as well as light, so if they are on in your bedroom all evening, you are inadvertently heating up your room. To minimise the heat, make an effort to limit the lighting you use no matter which room you are in (i.e. use lamps instead of overhead lights).
- Do you have different sheets for different seasons? When the weather starts to warm up for summer, it’s time to put away any polyester, silk, or dark-coloured sheets. Instead, switch them out for light-coloured linens made of lightweight cotton. These allow for better ventilation, letting all that heat escape.
- Don’t reach for the AC remote – fans are a much cheaper alternative to help you cool down, especially if you engineer them correctly. Set your ceiling fan to run counter-clockwise so hot air is pulled up instead of just being pushed around the room. If you have a small box fan, place it in the window facing outwards, so it blows all the hot air out (and vice versa). If you’ve got more than one fan on hand, this can help to create a nice cross-breeze that better dispels the heat. To maximise the airflow of a stand fan, keep your bedroom door open and put the fan in the corner of the room facing you.
- The type of mattress you lie on also plays a role in the amount of heat you experience while sleeping. Look out for one that is designed with airflow, quick evaporation and ventilation in mind. For example, Sealy’s Crown Jewel mattress collection contains a fabric treatment known as Smartex to the mattress ticking; this allows moisture to disperse as the temperature rises, helping to speed up evaporation and cooling. In addition, Sealy’s Premium and Performance mattress range both contain a Spacer Airflow Gusset for ventilation, which circulates airflow in and around the mattress, allowing it to ‘breathe’ and help cool your body down. Furthermore, the comfort level and layers of a mattress also impact the amount of heat you experience during sleep. For example, a firm mattress has less conformance than a soft one, allowing more airflow between the bed and body which has a cooling effect.
- The clothing you choose to sleep in should follow the same guidelines as the sheets for summer; light, loose and made of cotton. It will help to wick away sweat from your body while allowing air to circulate and keep you cool.
- You can also bring down your body temperature before bed by taking a shower or bath. Be careful the water isn’t too cold, however – freezing cold temperatures can cause your body to heat up in an attempt to counteract the coldness. For best results, set the water to a lukewarm temperature. If you have a pool a dip in that will do nicely as well.
- While working-out might allow you to unwind from the day, be aware that the increases in your body’s temperature mean you’ll find yourself feeling a little bit warmer afterwards. Instead, opt for a morning exercise routine and your body will have plenty of time to get back to its normal temperature by bedtime.
- Got an ice pack in the freezer? Take it with you to bed! Place it on your head, neck, armpits or back to help cool down the entire body.
- Lastly, stay hydrated by drinking cool water before bed, making sure it’s not too cold. It’s a good idea to avoid drinking alcohol before bed as this can cause your body temperature to rise, making it harder to fall asleep.
Stay Cool and Get a Better Night’s Sleep this Summer.
Don’t forget to check out our blog on are you sun smart enough? for more tips this summer season.