'I kept my house cool in a heatwave after I had a lightbulb moment - it was so simple'

too hot to sleep
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

The UK was blessed with a wave of warm weather last week, leading to delightful days but muggy nights that made for uncomfortable sleep in stuffy bedrooms.

As a 'woman of a certain age', I may be more susceptible to feeling overly 'glowy' on hot summer nights, but I'm confident I'm not the only one who finds it challenging to sleep during airless evenings. In my frustration during the early hours, I opened some windows and inadvertently discovered a simple solution.

Opening a window on a hot day might seem like an obvious solution, but the trick lies in which windows you choose to open. This can transform a stale bedroom into a peaceful sanctuary, and I'm somewhat embarrassed that I hadn't thought of this approach before.

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Despite it seeming counterproductive to keep windows closed when it's hot, I was aware that letting in the warmer outside air would only increase the indoor temperature. As a result, I've always kept my windows firmly shut and curtains drawn when the temperature rises.

One restless night, unable to sleep, I found myself wandering down to the kitchen. With my children away, the house was quiet and empty. I peered into their darkened bedrooms, hoping one of them might be cooler than mine.

Without a second thought, I flung open the windows in both the front and back bedrooms, inadvertently creating a refreshing corridor of cool air that almost instantly lowered the temperature throughout the house. It's such a simple solution, yet it had never crossed my mind.

nice cool breeze
By simply opening windows at the opposite ends of the house I created a nice cool breeze -Credit:Getty

By opening windows on opposite sides of the house, I'd created an airflow that released all the trapped warm air and allowed the cooler late-night air to rush in.

Apparently, moving air is cooler than still air, so I was able to create a bit of a breeze and allow the air to circulate better. I could have taken my makeshift air-con solution one step further by hanging a damp sheet in front of the open window to make the breeze feel even cooler.

The temperature is set to drop a few degrees this week, but given how unpredictable British weather can be, there could be a heatwave just around the corner. For fellow sweaty sleepers, or anyone who just likes to keep cool under the sheets, here are some more ways to stay comfy on a hot night:

Close blinds and curtains

Keep blinds and curtains shut during the hottest parts of the day to block out the sun and prevent indoor temperatures from rising.

Cool with water

If you have a fan, place a bowl of ice water in front of it to blow cooler air.

Minimise heat from appliances

Avoid using ovens, stoves, and other heat-generating appliances during the day. Opt for microwave meals, salads, or use an outdoor grill instead.

Choose cooling bedding

Use lightweight, breathable cotton sheets. Consider placing pillowcases or bed sheets in the freezer for a few minutes before bed.

Take a cool shower before bed

A cool shower before bed can help lower your body temperature, making it easier to fall asleep.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps your body regulate its temperature more effectively.

Close off unused rooms

Shut doors to unused rooms to prevent cool air from escaping into areas you don't need to cool.

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