Beat the heat on a budget

 Over the last 12 years, I’ve written about summer heat more than a few times. 

 I’ve researched a lot and there is no shortage of information on how to keep cool if you can buy air conditioners, install solar film or add blackout lining to your drapery. But if you are on a low budget, these solutions are not available to you. So. 

Here are 12 ways to keep cooler in the summer. Some of these are free, some cost a bit, some a bit more, but they work, and they will work over and over.

 The most common mistake I see is twofold — the idea that shorts and a tank top will keep you cooler is a HUGE no-no. Big mistake, so wrong. And the other is that knits — T-shirts and tank tops are the most common of these, are good things to wear in the summer. Same thing, so very wrong, they just increase the temperature against your skin. (I’ll post the links to the studies that prove this when I put this column on the website next week.)

 1. Do not wear T-shirts or knits of any kind. ( A polyester shirt can increase the temperature at your skin by 20 degrees. So if it’s 80 outside, against your skin it’s 100. ) Tank tops are in this too. Anything that sucks close to your skin holds the heat in. Bare arms or not. Take a page from people who live in hot places: flowing natural fiber clothing that covers the arms. 

2. Wear natural fibers. See #1. The best fiber is linen because it sucks the moisture away from your body. And for those of you who don’t like the wrinkles, remember this. YOU can’t see the wrinkles when you are wearing that linen top. And if anyone else is concerned about the wrinkles they can see in your garments, YOUR wrinkles, tell them to get a life.

3. Sleep in natural fibers, in Pajamas and sheets. Covered arms and legs will keep you cooler, and your sheets cleaner. 

 4. An old trick, believed to be from the Egyptians, is to wet a sheet, wring it out to almost dry and drape it over you in bed. The evaporation will cool you. Hanging a damp sheet in front of an open window can also help.

 5. Have a cool bath or shower before going to bed. Not only will you keep your sheets cleaner than if you slept in your days-old flaked-off skin ick, but you will cool yourself down and that will help you sleep better.

6. Drink your water from a cool blue glass

7. Put cool compresses on the inside of your wrists, and along the sides of your neck and hold them there for a few minutes. The neckerchief things with the beads in them really do work.

8. Have a cool foot bath.

9. Apply Alovera gel to your feet. Keep it in the fridge for a bigger whammy.

10. Eat something spicy, something that makes you sweat. Sweating cools us down.

 11. Hot water bottle. Well, sort of the opposite. Get one, fill it 3/4 full, and freeze it. Stick that down into your sheets.

 12. Put your pillow case, (or the whole pillow if you have room), in the freezer for an hour before you go to bed. No, I’m not kidding.

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