5 Ways to Keep Your Cool in the Summer Heat
As delightful as the hot Summer weather is, it can lead to an energy-sapping cycle: you start socialising more and going to bed late because the evenings are longer. But then you sleep badly because it’s way too hot. You wake up early (but groggy) because the sun is streaming in your window. Then you end up guzzling sugar, caffeine or energy drinks to get you through the day.
Does this sound frustratingly familiar?
Here are 5 ways to break free of this summery slump, sleep better at night despite the heat and restore your energy and vitality during the day.
A Way To Keep Cool At Night
Wearing damp socks is an old army trick for when you’re feeling HOT, but you need to sleep.
Your feet are perfectly designed to quickly offload heat – their surface area is large, muscle mass is low, and they have a large network of vessels that can quickly circulate significant volumes of blood. Wearing damp socks helps speed up this process and even if your room is airless and stuffy, you’ll soon feel cool enough to fall asleep. Simply run your socks under the cold tap and squeeze out the excess water before putting them on.
In fact, I frequently use this trick when I find myself overheated and awake at night. Normally I cover my toes, rather than my whole foot, so I can quickly kick off my socks if I start to get too cool. Putting a towel on the bed will keep your mattress dry.
Ideas To Cool Off and Reenergise During the Day
Rebalance with minerals
If you’re drinking water throughout the day (trust me, you should be!) then adding a little sachet of goodness is a no-brainer. Balance from Vogel does the trick. It’s aimed at promoting a healthy acid-alkaline balance, which helps your cells and body perform at their best. Providing minerals to replace those lost when sweating, you also get magnesium which contributes to the reduction of tiredness.
Did you know an overly-acidic system is a struggling system, and many of our normal habits actually promote acidity? Like lack of sleep, extra stress, and our diet. While meat, pate, cheese, white refined bread and alcohol all influence our acid-alkaline balance and make it more acidic, vegetables, fruit, nuts and oils promote alkalinity. Drink glasses of water throughout the day and eat plenty of vegetables and some fruit too.
Refresh with herbal water
Don’t drink because you don’t like the taste of water? Really that’s no excuse – especially when you can add natural flavours from fruit and herbs and make your water taste delicious. Lemon, lime, cucumber, rosemary are all exciting tastes. The natural antioxidants in the fresh fruit and herbs are great for the body too. For instance rosmarinic acid in rosemary is both an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.
If these don’t tickle your fancy then try a new product by Pukka Herbs. Aqua Herbs come in 3 flavours; Citrus Zing and Turmeric Active are both enlivening enough to use during the day.
Eat cooling foods AND spices
Foods like cucumber, celery, watermelon and melon have a particular appeal due to their high water content. Yogurt, mint, green vegetables and salads are also pretty cooling which is why they feature in many summer recipes.
But there’s also room for curries and spices on the list of cooling foods. They make you sweat, profusely, which is a classic mechanism to help regulate your body temperature.
You can eat cooling foods easily – they’re combined in this ideal summer dish of Spicy Aubergine and Chickpea Pittas.
A Way to Unwind at Bedtime
Taking time to unwind before bed is a good idea, particularly if your day has been pretty hectic. This is where a glass of sour cherry juice comes into play.
Humans naturally produce melatonin – this hormone regulates your sleep-wake cycle but, due to its high antioxidant activity, also contributes to you waking feeling refreshed. Sour cherries are rich in antioxidants and a source of plant melatonin and studies suggest drinking sour cherry juice can have a positive effect on your sleep – improving both time spent asleep and sleep efficiency. In a different study of insomniacs, participants drinking 240ml of juice in the morning, and another glass 1-2 hours before bed, slept an extra 84 minutes each night!
Seems like it’s time to update your night cap and drink a glass of sour cherry juice.
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As the temperature rises in the hot summer months you may find your sleep is affected. Sleeping in a hot stuffy bedroom can prompt you to wake up during the night, not get a full night’s sleep, and wake up feeling exhausted. Fortunately there are natural ways to help you cool down at night and improve your sleeping patterns – such as sleeping in damp socks and drinking sour cherry juice. If you wake up exhausted, drinking water enriched with organic herbs or electrolytes and minerals may help you keep your cool and support your energy levels during the day.
References Howatson et al (2012) Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality.
Losso et al (2018) Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms.
Ronise da Luz at Unsplash.com