It’s summer, and if you’ve not been in a puddle of your own sweat in recent memory then you’re either quite heat-resistant, living down under, or you’ve got an air conditioning unit — one that can gobble up a decent amount of cash. Summer cooling costs can get pretty serious, especially considering the trend that summers have been getting hotter over time. That said, there are still a ton of ways to beat the heat on a budget — for example:
#1. Cool your pulse
Neat, and immediate — make a cold compress either from cloth soaked in ice water, or a little ice bag from ice cubes wrapped in a rag, then press this to your temple, your wrist, your ankles, the back of your knees, your groin and your elbows. These are all points in your body where your veins and arteries are most exposed and nerve endings are most common, so you can cool your blood quickly.
#2. Blow off some steam
Sweating is the body’s first defense against the heat, and any way to induce sweat is, somewhat counter-intuitively, a great tool to cool down. Think spicy food, think hot soups — or even better, think spicy hot soups.
#3. Cross the streams
If you’ve got a fan — or even better, an entire fanclu- uh, set of fans, then position them opposite a window to create a cross-breeze. Increase the number of window-fan combinations, or just open your windows for more airflow, and thus, a better breeze. Get plants outside to increase your shade, letting less sunlight through your windows but keeping that sweet, sweet breeze.
#4. Get iced
Ice is an obvious way to cool down quickly, but the quickest way (without having to hold a bag of ice or a cold compress), is to stick your feet in an ice bath. Your feet are dense with blood vessels and nerve endings, and thanks to gravity, your blood is bound to travel through them, meaning you’ll feel nice and cool that much quicker.
#5. Stay down low
When picking out a place to sleep (or do anything, really), your best bet is down low. The basement and ground floor in a multi-story house are better for staying cool, as heat inevitably travels upwards. You can set up fans blowing outwards on all your upper windows to suck hot air out of your house, and have fans blowing inwards on the ground floor to suck in new cool(er) air, too.
#6. Make an early curtain call
Sunlight, while it’s got definite benefits for your home, is also a fast way to warm your place up. Keep your curtains closed and block out most of the sun as it passes over the day. Do the reverse at night, keeping windows with the strongest breeze open to stay cool.
#7. Eat lightly
Heavy meals are not a good idea in the hot weather — the more energy your body needs to metabolize your food, the more heat it produces. Spicy soups and refreshing, hydrating salads are an amazing combo for a great summer meal.
#8. Unplug before bed
Appliances, lamps and electronic devices produce minute amounts of heat in the home overnight, when you’ll most likely not use ’em (unless you have some severe form of sleep eating involving a waffle iron and cheese), so unplug your house before heading to bed to keep it just that much cooler.
#9. Wet the bed
Hehe, no, not in that way. This has been a trick for about as long as beer and paper have been a thing — the Egyptians figured that a nice way to stay cool is to dampen your sheets. Obviously, the key isn’t to get them drenched, but a slight cooling damp will let any night breeze keep you cool for quite some time. Keep an ice bath by your bed for feet dipping at night if the heat wakes you up.
#10. Stuff the freezer
If you’re not all about damp bed gear, then a better solution for you might be to toss your sheets in the ice box for a little while. Stuffing your bed essentials into the freezer for a couple minutes will definitely cut through the toasty summer heat, and you don’t have to deal with the negative effects of dampness.
#11. Use a hot water bottle
Instead of filling that hot water bottle with, well, hot water, try filling it with ice cold water, then lie down with the bottle under your ankles. Just like with the ice bath, this will cool you down quickly with the added benefit of allowing you to lie down properly and not have to worry about wet feet.
#12. Spread those limbs
If you sleep alone — or have a very forgiving SO and a small capacity for remorse — hog the entirety of your bed with a classic spread eagle position when sleeping. Keeping your limbs spread away from your torso will allow more air to flow around you, keeping you just a little bit cooler. Consider going commando, or even entirely nude if you’re all about that — otherwise, go for light cotton.