We hear you, America: it’s hot. Reuters reports that 3,400 triple-digit high-temperature records were either tied or broken in July. Thousands of people have been without power due to energy blackouts, and some have been injured. But all of us have been at least uncomfortable at one time or another this month because of the heat.
The heat is on. So we’ve come up with our top advice for staying cool when temperatures skyrocket. If it’s so hot in your city that you can barely touch your steering wheel without needing an ice bath, read on:
- When it’s hot, freeze. Put your pillowcase in the freezer for a couple hours before you go to bed. You can also put socks, workout shirts and shorts, and headbands in the freezer for a quick jolt of relief. (In fact, you can probably put other clothing items in there, too, if a little dripping doesn’t bother you once you step outside!)
- Water yourself. After a cold glass of water, you’ll feel better almost immediately. Drink plenty of water throughout the day—both for your own comfort, and for the fact that hydration is imperative in hot weather.
- Eat spicy food. Wait, what? It’s true—experts claim that eating spicy food can actually cool you down. You start to sweat, and your body cools down on the spot. It sounds crazy, but when you consider the places in the world where people eat really spicy food—like India—it makes a little more sense.
- Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol. It may seem difficult, because a cold beer or iced coffee may sound like what the doctor ordered in hot conditions, but excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol are only going to exacerbate the problem. Chew on an ice cube instead.
- Just add aloe. Aloe vera lotions and gels have a cooling effect on skin—and not only when skin is sunburned or has a rash. This soothing feeling works anytime, so try putting some aloe on arms and legs before going into a hot car or before sleeping.
- Don’t circumvent the cool air. Your AC may be turned up to high heaven, but is anything blocking the air flow? Check the floor vents, especially, for furniture that’s blocking the precious cold air from flowing in your home.
- Keep your feet cool. Your feet are one of your body’s temperature
regulators. If your feet are hot, you’re going to feel hot. Wear sandals if your workplace allows it, or at least invest in a few summer pairs of thinner socks.
- Let the clothes and dishes air-dry. Hang up wet clothes and open your dishwasher door to let dishes dry more slowly. These drying machines create excess heat and steam in your home.
- Feathers are better. As far as pillows go, feather pillows will keep you cooler than manmade-material pillows. When you’re hot, sleep is one of the first things that can be affected, so picking a proper pillow can make a big difference in the amount of zzzs you catch.
To be up to six times more hydrated in the heat (as well as in any weather pattern), drink alkaline ionized water from a water ionizer. You can also make ice out of alkaline ionized water, so your entire glass can be optimally hydrating and refreshing.