How to stay cool during a heatwave

Published: Thursday 21st Jul 2016

Written by: The Grace Darling Holidays Team

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As the temperature in Britain is soaring at the moment and thousands of us are heading off on holiday to make the most of the long, hot summer days, here are some top tips to keep you cool in the heatwave.

All of these tips are easily accommodated in any of the Grace Darling holiday cottages while holidaying in Northumberland and the surrounding area this summer.

Helpful Tips

Wear lightweight, light-coloured, cotton clothing. Heat is trapped by synthetic fibres, but cotton absorbs perspiration and its evaporation causes you to feel cooler. The light colours reflect the suns radiation.

Take a tepid bath or shower just below temperature, especially before bed. Although a cold shower might sound more tempting, your body generates heat afterwards to compensate for the heat loss.

Run your wrists under a cold tap for 5 seconds every couple of hours. Because a main vein passes through the area it helps to cool the blood.

While you are out, keep the house curtains drawn to stop it heating up like a greenhouse.

Slow down and avoid strenuous activity which will stimulate your body and raise its core temperature. If you must go jogging, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually before 7am.

Sleep on a feather or down pillow with a cotton pillow case. Synthetic pillows will retain heat.

Ditch the duvet and sleep under a sheet instead. Even better, put your sheets in a plastic bag and stick them in your fridge for a couple of hours before going to bed. As we fall asleep, our body temperature lowers, which is why it’s difficult to sleep in hot weather. Cold sheets straight from the fridge should help you sleep better.

Avoid alcohol because it dehydrates the body. Mineral water or low-sugar fizzy drinks are a much better option. Also, avoid drinks that contain caffeine such as coffee and colas. These increase the metabolic heat in the body.

Eat small meals and eat more often. The larger the meal, the more metabolic heat your body creates to break down the food. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.

Eat spicy food. Although it is probably the last thing you may fancy in hot weather, curries and chillies can stimulate heat receptors in the mouth, enhance circulation and cause sweating, which cools the body down.

Close your eyes and picture snow. Research has shown that the body reacts to these daydreams, reducing its overall temperature.

Stay Safe

A heatwave can affect anyone, and it is important for everyone to take care during a heatwave to avoid becoming unwell. The most vulnerable people are:

  • Older people, especially those over 75
  • Babies and young children
  • People with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • People with mobility problems
  • People with serious mental health problems
  • People on medications that affect sweating and temperature control
  • People who are physically active – for example, labourers or those doing sports

For more information on how to survive a heatwave and how to spot any symptoms of being unwell due to the heat, have a look at the information provided on the NHS Website.

The Grace Darling Holidays Team
The Grace Darling Holidays Team


Your team of holiday experts in Northumberland.


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