Wet socks can make a difference: Tips from readers on keeping cool without AC

Readers and a heatwave researcher share their tips and tricks for staying cool without air conditioning during heatwaves.

Staying cool with food: Dr. Gulrez Shah Azhar and readers shared tips on how to make lifestyle and diet changes to stay cooler.
* Colette Parry, a reader from Boston, suggested eating no-cook meals and cooking at night to avoid generating heat during the day.
* Meg T. from Portland, Maine learned in India to eat cooling foods like watermelon and cucumber on hot days.
* Anthea Peck from Sebastopol, California remembers using U.N. oral rehydration packets given by her father to stay hydrated during high heat in India.

Cooling with water: Tips included using water to cool down in various ways.
* Laurisa Rich from Martha’s Vineyard suggested keeping hair wet and dripping to utilize evaporative cooling.
* For Jeff Weit from Atascadero, California, battling the heat included using water guns for fun and cooling at night.

Beat the heat with smart sleeping: Readers shared their experiences of sleeping in cool environments.
* Scott Taylor from Lawrence, Kansas mentioned the “Arizona room,” a three-sided screened porch often found in older houses in the south for sleeping during hot nights.
* L. Chunn from Prescott, Arizona remembers lying on the cold tiled floor to cool off.
* Kevin Webb from Cave Creek, Arizona shared a tip of using a wet sheet as a source of evaporative cooling when sleeping outside.

Frozen solutions: Including using ice packs and other frozen items to stay cool.
* Anne James from San Leandro, California uses ice packs to cool down her mattress before sleeping.
* Lisa Downey from Lahaina, Hawaii suggests using a gel pack wrapped in a cotton tea towel on the neck and chest.

Ideas from India: Azhar shared the cultural practices from India to keep cool.
* He mentioned how Rabaris, a nomadic tribe in western India, use small mirrors on their clothes to reflect sunlight and regulate their body temperature with color choices in their clothes.
* The key lessons to stay hydrated with plenty of water and food before outdoor activities, opting to do heavy work during cooler parts of the day and staying in shade were also advised.

Finally, anonymous contributor shared the tip of wearing wet socks to bed, which was endorsed enthusiastically by Azhar.

View original article on NPR

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