| 15.9°C Belfast

Don’t sweat it: How to survive and sleep in sweltering temperatures of NI heatwave

Just how do you stay cool and sane for the heatwave and hottest temperatures in living memory from the minute you wake up until you hit your pillow at night?

Here’s a few handy tips on how to cope:


When you wake up you should drink a glass of water and remember to rehydrate throughout the day.

Although a cup of coffee is what most people tend to reach for in the morning try to avoid it as it’s a diuretic and can have dehydrating effects. Avoid the sun between 11am and 2pm.

The sun is the hottest between these hours so it’s best to avoid being outside between these times in order to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.


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As many of us are working from home it can be very tempting to bring the laptop outside. Although this is usually perfectly fine in NI, electronic devices will not get on well with temperatures in the high 20Cs.

If your laptop does overheat turn it off, unplug the cords and if possible remove the battery for a couple of minutes.

Ensure none of its air vents are being covered.

Keep windows shut

You should keep windows and curtains closed if the temperature is hotter outside than it is inside.

This will shut the heat out and keep your house cooler. However, if it’s cooler outside than it is in your home and there is a pleasant breeze then there’s no harm opening the windows.

Leaving your windows open for a small portion of the day in the morning and evening and then closing them at the hottest part of the day is probably your best bet.

Out and about

As we are experiencing much sunnier weather then usual our eyes are not used to it. So make sure to wear sunglasses when outside and especially when driving.

The Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has urged urged the public to consider if their journey is necessary given the potential risk of delays on the rail and road network.

Roads have also had to be monitored with the surface softening in the heat. Motorist have been urged to exercise caution.

"I would remind the public to avoid visiting places where there is a chance that large numbers of people will gather and crowds will form,” the SDLP minister said.

"This is particularly important as we know that delays are likely and this may result in people being in cars or on public transport for an extended period of time which can be very uncomfortable in very hot weather.

“We know that the very high temperatures can have an impact on the rail network with track speeds reduced causing delays to services. In recent days we have seen large numbers of people flocking to beauty spots across Northern Ireland. While I understand that people want to enjoy the good weather, health and safety must be of paramount importance.

"Translink will work to provide some additional capacity on the busiest routes where possible however I would strongly urge the public to consider if their journey is necessary over the coming days. If you are using public transport, including the Strangford and Rathlin ferries, please remember that the rules requiring face coverings remain in place for everyone’s protection.”

Evening meal

Apparently spicy food actually helps cool you down as it increases your blood circulation, which in turn gets you sweaty and sweating helps you stay cool.

So why not try curry or chili if you are feeling adventurous?

Before you sleep

With another sweaty night of tossing and turning ahead, we’ve come up with some options to help you get a restful eight hours.

  • For a cool night’s sleep, consider refrigerating your bedsheets half an hour before you go to sleep.
  • Material choice The shiny acrylic duvet might go perfect with your red wallpaper but if you want to minimise the sweats, best to pluck the cotton from the hot press for duvet cover, sheet and pillow case. For those willing to go that extra mile – and with a large fridge – try wrapping the sheet in plastic and placing them in the fridge for an hour or two before bed.
  • Use what you’ve got If you are a perisher in the winter and have accumulated at least one hot water bottle over the years, try taking off the furry pink outer cover and filling it with water. Pop it in the freezer for a few hours and hey presto – your very own ice pack for bed.
  • Science works Forget about blowing the hot air around your room. Position a fan at an open window to blow the hot air out. Better still, create some welcome cross breeze with multiple fans. Just watch you don’t trip over the wires.
  • Sleep like an Egyptian Not for the fainthearted but damp sheets are an option if want to keep the body temperature down. Best to lay a dry towel underneath so you don’t soak the mattress though.
  • Go commando Just take your clothes off. Some people swear by loose clothing as oppose to going butt naked but whatever you do, stay away from any energetic horizontal exercise just before you want to nod off.
  • Billy no bedmates And to make sure you maintain that self-imposed ban on bed hijinks, get a better sleep by sleeping alone. Not only will your bed be cooler, you will be able to reduce your body temperature further by completely spreading out.
  • Keep it simple Brave it by blasting yourself with cold water for about five mins before patting yourself. It might feel oh so wrong in the shower but it’s oh so right when you lay down afterwards.

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