We’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy some great weather so far this summer, and it’s only going to get better. With a heatwave due across the UK this week, we can expect to see some top temperatures that might make you think about rearranging your holiday!
While it’s great to enjoy the sunshine, too much heat can have an impact on your health. Learn how to survive the hot temperatures with tips for cooling down in the summer heat.
1. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is important every day, but even more so during hot temperatures. When it’s hot, you’ll be more likely to sweat, which can lead to dehydration. You should drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated, but aim to drink more if you’ve been sweating a lot. Keep a supply of cold water in the fridge so that you can keep cool throughout the day and night.
2. Take a cool shower before bed
Getting to sleep in the summer heat is one of the most difficult things about the season, affecting your sleep quality which can have further effects on your health. Try to bring your body temperature down to make things more comfortable so that you can get to sleep easier. A cool shower before bed is a great idea, as is spraying your sheets with water using a spray bottle. Alternatively, open a window if it is safe to do so, or use a fan on a timer to help you sleep better in warmer temperatures.
3. Stick to the shade in the summer heat
While it’s nice to get out and about in the sun, you should avoid being out for too long during peak sun hours (11am – 3pm). Make an effort to stay in the shade when the sun is at its hottest to make sure you stay cool and avoid sunburn and sunstroke. This is especially important for children, so make sure you keep babies and children in the shade.
4. Wear loose, light-coloured clothing
Loose, light-coloured clothing is ideal for warmer temperatures, helping your body to stay cool. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen are more breathable and will help you to stay cool. Dark colours absorb the heat of the sun, so stick to lighter shades if you want to stay cool whilst outside in the sunshine.
5. Maximise the impact of household fans
A fan is a very useful tool to have around the house, helping air to circulate to keep you cooler during the day and in the evening. You can make your fan even more effective by placing a bowl of ice or iced water underneath the fan to help encourage colder air to blow around the room. Keep fans out of the way of pets and children for safety purposes.
6. Keep your home cool during the day
Your home can overheat during the day, making it uncomfortable by the time you get home from work. Prepare your home by closing the curtains during the day and opening some of your windows to help air circulate. Your home will be more comfortable and it should be easier to get to sleep at night when the whole house is that bit cooler.
7. Eat fewer hot foods
Eating hot food in the summer can leave you feeling uncomfortable, while also raising your body temperature further. Use the opportunity to try out healthy recipes for salads and pasta dishes that can be enjoyed cold. You might want to give spicy foods a miss when it’s particularly warm outside.
Taking steps to cool down in the summer heat is not only good for your comfort, but for protecting your health too. If you suspect you’ve developed heat stroke or heat exhaustion, make sure you consult a doctor. Our out of hours services can help on weekends, bank holidays and during summer evenings to provide you with assistance if you need it. Contact 111 in the first instance to get the medical advice you need.