Overheating isn’t just a pets phenomenon but we get exceptionally warm weather so infrequently in the UK, and usually only for a few days, that everyone seems to forget how to cope with the heat!
Here are lots of top tips that make a difference.
Firstly, getting prepared makes all the difference! Don’t assume that you won’t get effected.
Don’t assume that your fan works or you can’t do anything if the air-conditioning unit stops working!
There are plenty of natural, free or cheap solutions everyone can do.
Overheating can be a medical emergency, especially if combined with de-hydration – and it can creep up on you if you don’t know what to look for.
The elderly and very young are the most vulnerable due to their body functions. Stay alert!
How to stay cool at night
- “Spray your sheets with water and put them in the freezer. Lovely.”
- “A great trick for warm nights is to use a hot water bottle, but fill it with cold water (or pop it in the freezer for a while). Keeps you nice and cold and saves on electricity for fans.”
- “The best way to keep cool in bed is to get a large bath towel, soak it in cold water, wring it out and then use it to cover you when you go to bed – bliss.”
- “Put on a pair of wet socks, if you don’t mind damp sheets. I’ve also found a wet pillowcase to be quite effective.”
- “Spray your sheets with water and put them in the freezer. Lovely.”
- “I’ve been putting a baby bath filled with cold water and ice cubes next to the bed. Every time I feel a hot flush coming on I simply swing my legs out of bed and plonk my feet in the water for five minutes.”
Keeping cool when you’re out and about
- “If you have to go out anywhere, take a packet of wet wipes with you and keep wiping your face and back of your neck or a cool flannel in a plastic bag that you can get out when you need to. “Try Magicool – it is brilliant and helped cool me down.”
- “If you have trouble with a sweaty scalp and drippy make-up like I do – try Odaban. You spray or dab a bit on your scalp and hairline when you’ve dried your hair and it stops your head sweating.”
- “Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.”
Coping with work and commuting
- “If you work at a computer all day, get a cheap USB-powered desk fan.”
- “Water bottles and wet flannels in a freezer bag in the freezer overnight if doing a tube journey the next day.”
- “If you have to sit anywhere hot for a long time – like commuting on an un-airconditioned hell train – an ice pack helps a lot! I wrapped one in thin fabric and put it down my back.”
How to stay hydrated
- “Fizzy drinks do not quench your thirst – plain water is best.” “Stuff like watermelon and cucumbers are lovely and cooling, as well as being full of water.”
- “Make some Ribena (other brands are available!) ice cubes.”
- “Ice lollies are better than ice cream, particularly if you make your own overnight (less fat and sugar, so not as sickly).”
- “Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.”
Lowering your body temperature
- “I have been told to drink warm or hot drinks so that the internal body temperature rises to the outside temperature, making you feel less hot. It works.”
- “Take a cool shower and let the water evaporate off you.”
- “I always find a really really hot shower works for me. When you get out it’s all nice and cool. It may sound mad, but give it a go!”
- “Keep your hair wet if you can – I found this really helped to keep me cool and as much as possible, keep it off your shoulders.”
Finding your cooling spots
- “Those kool strips for migraines are good for cooling your head down.” “Run your wrists under cold water for an instant cool.”
- “Try putting an ice pack in the crook between your chin and neck, just under your ear. It’s where the blood is closest to the surface of your skin and should cool you quicker.”
- “Put socks in cold water, then in the freezer for half an hour, then put them on (or get someone else to if you can’t reach).”
- “Keep a foot spray in the fridge.”
Staying comfortable throughout pregnancy – an especially difficult time
- “My friend lived in a bikini and sarong at home when pregnant. Fab idea in my opinion!” “You just have to buy large, airy, cotton clothes and try and look bohemian and have a good time.”
- “I spent any time I had at home wafting around in this huge nightgown that was more like a circus tent. It was great as it created its own breeze.”
- “Sit around the house in wet clothes!” “Sitting at home entirely as nature made me – very comfortable!”
Keeping your home cool
- “If you have a fan – get a tea towel and wet it, then put it over the grills (make sure it can’t get caught). This will circulate cool air with some moisture, which reduces dehydration.”
- “Keep curtains and blinds shut during the day.”
- “If you have a loft hatch, open it and warm air will go up.”
- *Open your front door and let the breeze get blown out by going up the stairs and out the upstairs windows.”
- “Stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11:00 and 15:00 (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.”
Avoid any unnecessary exertion
“If you work at a computer all day, get a cheap USB-powered desk fan.”
“Water bottles and wet flannels in a freezer bag in the freezer overnight if doing a tube journey the next day.”
“If you have to sit anywhere hot for a long time – like commuting on an non-airconditioned hell train – an ice pack helps a lot! I wrapped one in thin fabric and put it down my back.”
And lastly – Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
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Here is a video that goes through many of the issues with heat management for you as well, with transcript.
How to manage when the weather gets very hot and sticky.How to stay cool and sane!
Posted by Living Elements Clinic on Tuesday, 25 June 2019
MANAGING REALLY HOT WEATHER – transcript
by Gayle Palmer D.O.
Hi. This is Gayle Palmer from the Living Elements Clinic in Sidlesham in Chichester, United Kingdom. I am an osteopath and healer, and we are currently experiencing some high temperatures. I know this is England, it is summer but you know sometimes it is really lovely. It does not rain all the time. Probably because it is not yet Wimbledon. It will catch up later. But I just wanted to help people be aware of what they can do to stay cool, calm and collected during this weather period. There are lots of top tips that you can do to make a difference, make yourself more comfortable, feel healthier and feel happier.
So, firstly, getting prepared makes a huge much difference. Okay? Do not just try and do everything last minute. It does not work at all. So, things like do not assume that your fan works just because it has been sitting there for a while or trying to fix the air conditioning unit, if you are lucky enough to have air conditioning if it is not working at the last minute. Because everyone is going to have the same thought.
But, if you have not got air conditioning and let us face it – most Brits do not, there are still plenty of things that you can do free or extremely inexpensive that would make a difference. Why this is so important?
Overheating is a medical emergency. Okay? It is a serious problem particularly if it is combined with dehydration. It can lead to all sorts of problems particularly among the elderly. Confusion, falling over, problems with diabetes, heart failure, lung condition problems and all sorts. So, it is not something to just be left out and go “haha”, it is funny you know. It is hot, so what? This is a serious problem.
So, first well let us just work out how to stay cool at night because often that is quite a challenge, isn’t it? So, you can do all sorts of things. You could spray your sheets with some water which as they dry out because your body heat will have a cooling effect. We can even put them in the fridge or the freezer for a short period of time and cool them down that way. That is a good tip isn’t it?
Fill up a hot water bottle work with cold water or put it in the fridge or the freezer to get it cooler and that will also save on electricity and fans particularly if you put them on to your feet. Feet have massive amounts of blood circulation close to the surface so it makes them enormous difference.
Wearing wet socks, that makes a difference. Again, because you can lose your body heat to your feet and that so both to dry on a damp socks that will cool everything down.
Having a large bowl, basin, baby bath, something like that next to your bed with cold water in it or some ice keeps as well. You can do this at night. Also, a good tip for those who are starting with the menopause and everything is frankly too hot at night. So, that is quite a good idea.
What about keeping cool when you are out and about? So, taking a pack of wet wipes or wet flannel, a wet cloth with you, wipe in your brow, putting it behind your neck, all of those things will make a really big difference. If you have got some of those cold packs, you can use those. There are some that are flexible or you can use them at the beach for a picnic cooler. Once that you put them in with the picnic for instance. Basic. Great news!
Wet loose fitting cool, natural fabric clothing so that your sweat can get away from you. Cotton is ideal. Silk actually is really good for that as well. Wear a hat and sunnies. If you get outdoors particularly if you are prone to hay fever as well because that helps to keep the pollen count down for you.
And what about when you get to work or when you are travelling? So, you might be lucky enough to be able to have a desk fan blowing at you in the hot weather. But you can also get a USB powered desk fan. That is quite small. You can put them on to your laptop for instance. That might be easy. Cheap solution for you.
Again, use the cold flannels and cold pack solution. You can take those with you on your commute into work. Maybe you have a freezer at work that you can use and keep those in so you can go and you can put that on the back of your neck and on your head for instance. So, that is really useful. Easy to do. So cheap.
Stay hydrated. Please, please in this weather, stay hydrated. I cannot tell you how important it is. As soon as you start getting thirsty, you are already four, five, six percent dehydrated. To make that up, have a big glass of cool water. Plain. Do not put anything into it if you can avoid it. If you are really dehydrated, really dry, put a pinch of salt in because your tissue salt when you are sweating profusely, your kidneys are unable to keep with tissue salt loss as you sweat and as you pass more water to your urine. So, make it sure that you keep your tissue salt up is really important. Those are going to be cranky, you get cramps much more quickly, you cannot concentrate, etc.
Other things you can have, would you tend to go for an ice cream. Don’t we when it is hot. Keeps us cool. An Ice lollipop is better and you can make your own up. You probably did this when you were at school. You know, get some orange squash, lemon squash, whatever you found and a stick in a mold, stick the stick in and put it in the freezer. Instant ice lollipop when and as you need it. They are cheap. Does not have anything like as much sugar or any of the other things that you would get if you have a commercial lollipop.
Avoid excess alcohol. Avoid caffeine. Tea, coffee, soda during hot weather and any high sugar drinks. Liquors are included. They tend to cause you sugar ups and downs that aggravates any dehydration that you have, causes more metabolic imbalance in your body and you feel worse. Do not do it. Just have water. Okay?
So, things to do to lower your own body temperature. I know it seems crazy but actually sometimes having a hot drink helps. Because it increases the perspiration and sweating reflexes and that helps you to stay cooler. So, sometimes having a warm drink, a warm tea or herbal tea could be even better than having a cold drink.
Have a cool shower. Let the water evaporate off you or go for a swim in the sea. Sometimes, having a hot shower and alternating through hot and cold also has a really fantastic cooling effect and stimulates the circulation which is a really useful tip. Keep your hair wet or damp if you can. Again, because it is able as it dries it will cool your head down. Very important to keep your head cool. Wear the hat. Wear the sunglasses.
Other things that is important. If you are prone to migraines, having a cooling strips, so one of those flexible ice packs across your forehead often makes an enormous difference, makes much more comfortable and much more quickly. Putting an ice pack in the crook of your chin and neck in here. Just near your ear, that can make a difference too. Keeping a foot spray in the fridge so when it comes out, it is cool. How delicious to do is that?
Now, one of the populations that really, really struggle when it is incredibly hot weather is when you are pregnant particularly in the last trimester.
- A… you are producing way more heat because your metabolic state is faster. Because you are growing a baby as well. But there are some things that you can do.
- Obviously, flowing airy cotton clothes particularly underwear makes you feel more comfortable. Wearing a bikini and a sarong. Making much more comfortable than anything else. And also keeping those damp again we are going to settle this. Having a big night gown… this is a good one. Having a big night gown that kind of flows with you when you are walking around like a circus tent that is surprisingly cooling. And it is because it creates its own breeze.
- Sitting around in a damper place! That will make a difference. If you got a fan, learn how to use your fan effectively. Okay? So, the best way, obviously is having a fan around your lovely place. The best way to do this is you set up your fan so it is blowing at you or towards you and a little bit away from the fan, you have a rack or a rail and you have a damp towel, tea towel or hand towel, the fan blows at that. Okay? And the reason why is as the towel evaporates the water. It has a fabulous cooling effect on the whole room and that can take the temperature down four five degrees quite easily in an oversize room in no time at all.
- Keep your curtains and your windows shut. Keep the heat out from the house. Okay? If you need to have fresh air in? Early morning when the temperature is cool as you can make it, that is the time that you have the curtains open and the windows open for a short period and then effectively shut the house down. It makes an enormous difference. If you got a loft hatch, open it up, the heat will go up there and will then hopefully dissipate in the loft. If it is scorching up there then probably keep it close.
Use convection currents or a fan at night. If you open the front door, and then the air goes upstairs, you have the windows open, the passage of air will travel up through the house as the current whether or not the wind is going in that direction. So, that is really a top tip.
And obviously do not go out when it is the hottest. Now, in the United Kingdom, most of the temperature that we have is between 11 and 4 in the afternoon. So, do not go outside when it is that hot. Okay? Simple isn’t it? I mean it is kind of basic.
But other things, avoid unnecessary exertion. Okay? So, when it is very hot do not go out and play squash. Do not go and running in the park. Do not go out until it is cooler at the coolest part of the day. Do not do it, all! Okay? It will only make life more uncomfortable for you, but if you are feeling really unwell, you cannot say how about how you are feeling. Do these really simple top tips, possibly go and seek a medical advice if you are feeling faint or what have you. It might be an indication of something else going on. Please seek a medical advice as soon as possible. And also you can give me a call at the Living Elements Clinic and I will see what I think is going on as well.
So, I hope those have been useful top tips with dealing with really hot weather and if you got any comments or you got some extra ideas i have not already thought of, let me know. Write in the comments below and I will speak to you soon.
Take care for now. Bye bye.
© Living Elements Clinic 2019 Gayle Palmer D.O.
Your health IS my Priority.