Fortunately, in the United Kingdom keeping cool at night is not a regular problem since heatwaves are few and far between, however when they do strike, they can last for several days or even a fortnight and often, being a small Island, hot weather also brings with it high and often oppressive levels of humidity especially when it is cloudy, because clouds effectively act like insulation – a thick blanket, trapping the days’ heat at surface level, so it doesn’t really cool down overnight.
High Humidity coupled with High Temperatures, in those conditions bring misery for most, especially in a Country where most homes and workplaces do not have Air Conditioning, and most people are not at their best or their most productive after several sleepless nights, when they walk into a hot office to do their days’ work.
One of the most effective ways of staying cool is to use an Air Conditioner or Air Cooler, and you can buy small air conditioners which are portable and do not require expensive installation and maintenance, just plug in and go. More information on Air Conditioners and other Appliances which can be used to physically cool the room down, by reducing its temperature can be found on our How to Cool Down Page.
However, it is not always possible or affordable to use an Electrical means of cooling, so here we examine 12 practical ways of Keeping Cool at Night.
1) Wet a large sheet and fix it across each open window. If you have more than one open window in a room, then hang a sheet across each one. The air will pass through the wet sheet cooling down the air as it comes into the room.
2) If you have a large freezer, then put your pillow case(s) in there for an hour before you go to bed. Also cover your pillow with a towel, which will soak up sweat from your head during the night and stop you having a wet pillow by morning.
3) Keep the curtains closed and windows open during the day, this will stop the sun from shining into the room, heating it up whilst still maintaining some ventilation. Don’t forget to open the curtains again as soon as the sun sets, in order to maximise the air flow from the open window!
4) Buy an Electric Desk Fan or fit a ceiling fan, these are much cheaper than air conditioners and use far less Electricity. Fans don’t actually cool the air but the flow of air over your skin will aid natural sweat evaporation making you feel cooler. Positioning the fan near to an open window (especially one covered by a wet sheet) will help even more.
5) Wet a cloth and position it across your forehead, this will help cool your blood flow, this is even more effective when used in combination with air flow from an Electric Fan.
6) Use very thin cotton sheets on your bed, this will allow heat and sweat to evaporate instead of turning into a film of moisture on your skin, making you feel damp.
7) Avoid Alcohol, instead drink plenty of tea
8) Place a bottle of water in the fridge a few hours before you go to bed, then use it to fill a hot water bottle to put in the bed with you.
9) If you can’t sleep due to the heat, avoid activities like using a mobile phone or computer and instead read by an open window for 20 – 30 minutes.
10) In very hot weather, consider sleeping on a camp bed or Sun Lounger, this will help heat escape from underneath you, as well as from the top. If you really want to be creative, position a fan on a low speed under the sun lounger, so the cool air blows upwards.
11) Buy some cool bag ice blocks or Cool Gel Packs (used for food bags), and place them in the freezer during the day. Then at night put them in your bed for 20 – 30 minutes before retiring.
12) Obtain a small diffuser spray bottle and fill it with ice water, also have a supply of wet wipes on your bedside table. Whilst not actually helpful in cooling the room temperature, they will be useful if you wake in a hot sweat.
Do you have any tips to add for keeping cool at night?. If so, please use the comment form below.