Top tips on how to survive the next heat wave

What a weird summer we’re having in the UK! According to NASA, 2020 was the hottest year on record. And who can forget those endless long sunny days during the first Covid-19 lockdown?

But this year it is a different story. We have had lots – and lots – of rain, strong winds, and some unseasonally cooler temperatures. Which meant that the mini heat wave in July caught many of us off guard. We sweltered for those few baking hot days because we hadn’t done anything to prepare for them.

There may well be more hot weather to come in 2021. So what can you do to prepare for it? Are there things that you can do to keep yourself, your home and your family cool if we do get another heat wave?

Here are five top tips that can help.


Use the power of water

Water can really help us during a heat wave in many different ways. 

First and foremost, make sure you are drinking enough in the heat. Your body will dehydrate much more quickly in the heat, and if you feel thirsty this is a sign that it’s already happening. The best thing to drink is plain water: avoid alcoholic or sugary drinks as they can make you feel worse. 

Drinks made with hot water, such as tea, can also help to cool you down as they raise your body temperature and cause you to sweat, which helps to reduce the heat of your body.

Secondly, try to immerse any part of your body in water to help you cool down. If you can’t manage a dip, or bath or shower, try a quick fix either by plunging your hands or feet into a bucket or basin of cold water or holding a cold cloth to areas such as your neck and wrists, to help keep your body temperature down.


Enjoy spicy foods

This may seem counterintuitive when it’s hot, but it works! Any food containing chili peppers contains a substance called capsaicin. This raises your internal body temperature, which increases your blood circulation. You will start sweating – usually in the face first – and this will cool you off. 

Just remember to keep hydrated whilst eating spicy food, and you should soon feel the double benefit.


Dress for the heat

When the weather is really hot, it’s tempting to throw off clothing and expose our bare skin to the sun. Whilst this is great for sunbathing, it can actually cause you to feel hotter, especially if you are trying to go about your daily business at the same time. The sun’s radiation will heat up your core temperature much more quickly if you don’t have any protective layers on.

So unless you have the luxury of an afternoon’s sunbathing, it’s better to wear light loose clothing on a hot sunny day. This will give you a bit of protection and help you to feel cooler.

Also plan the colour of your clothing carefully. White and paler colours reflect the heat, so are a good choice if you’re going to be out in direct sunlight a lot. But if you anticipate being in the shade, black and darker colours are better as they will radiate out heat, cooling you down.


Protect your home from the heat of the sun

It’s a good idea to keep windows closed during the day when it’s very hot outside. This prevents hotter air from outside getting into the home. If possible though, try and keep a couple of shady windows open, to allow a steady flow of air throughout your home. You may also want to use a fan for this purpose. Try placing a bowl of ice at an angle in front of your fan so that the air from the fan cools as it blows round. 

If you have light curtains or blinds, also keep them closed during the day to help reflect the sun’s rays away from the room. You may also want to try putting something reflective on the glass – for example a car windscreen protector – for added strength. But if you have thick curtains or blackout blinds, it’s probably better to keep them open during the day as they may just trap heat in the room.


Chill out for a good night’s sleep

The above measures should help to keep your home as cool as possible but many of us still have problems sleeping at night during hot weather.

Some additional measures you can take are to chill your pillow covers and/or sheets before bed. Either slightly dampen them down, or place them in the freezer for a while before bedtime. You may also want to place an ice pack near the bed to use as needed.


If your home has an upstairs and you sleep there, this can be a particular problem as hot air rises and seems to make the room feel oppressive. Some families just decide to sleep downstairs – or even outside – when it’s really too hot to sleep upstairs. Whether you use sofas, camp beds or inflatable mattresses, or just drag your normal mattresses downstairs, it can be a bit of a fun adventure for everyone; and if it results in a good night’s sleep, it’s well worth the extra hassle.



We hope that the above information is useful if we do get more hot weather this summer, and helps everyone to keep their cool.

For more lifestyle tips, and financial assistance such as online loans, remember that Simple Fast Loans is here to help.