Five ways to comfort without artificial cooling
Health
Read about: 4 min.
1 months ago
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The heat may encourage fun summer activities, but the body shouldn't be too hot for too long, as excess heat can damage the brain and other organs, according to the US National Institutes of Health.

Sweating is the body's natural cooling system, but when it is insufficient, there is an increased risk of developing heat-induced hyperthermia – the signs of which include heat cramps, heat edema and heat stroke.

The heat combined with high humidity increases this health risk, as air saturation levels cause sweat to collect on the skin, preventing the body from cooling down naturally, the BBC reports.

Stay hydrated

When you're hot, hydration is the first and most important step in cooling down, said Wendell Porter, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Florida.

The temperature of the water is not important because the body of steam will heat it. If your body is suffering from heat and needs to cool down, it can't do so without a certain amount of moisture, because the body cools down by sweating, he adds.

Take a cold shower or bath

A cold shower or bath helps cool the body by lowering its core temperature, Porter said. For extra freshness, try mint soap. The menthol in peppermint oil activates brain receptors that tell your body that something you eat or feel is cold.

In addition, you can also use cold wipes on your neck or wrists. Place a cold cloth or ice pack on your wrists or wrap them around your neck to cool your body. These pulse points are areas where the blood vessels are close to the skin, so you will cool down faster.

Close the curtains

If you have windows that face the sun, close curtains or blinds over them to "prevent the sun from coming directly into the house and heating it up," Porter said.

If you do turn on the air conditioner, don't set it below 21 degrees to cool the house down faster, says Samantha Hall, founder of an Australian design research firm that helps create healthy, sustainable buildings.

"It just takes longer to reach that temperature and it will continue until you start to feel cold and then it's hard to balance," she added. Instead, keep the temperature as high as possible while still being comfortable.

Use cotton sheets

Cotton is one of the most breathable materials, so cotton sheets can help keep you cool at night.

The lower the cotton thread count, the better, Porter said. This is because a higher thread count has more stitches per square centimeter.

Enjoy frozen desserts

The last and sweetest potential way to beat the heat is ice cream, but don't overdo it if you're hot or at risk of overheating, Porter said.

“Sugar would speed up your metabolism and you would start to feel hot inside. So a cold treat might be good, but added sugar might not be," he added.

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