As much as White River is blessed with a more temperate climate than our neighbours in the steamy Nelspruit bowl or the Hoedspruit bushveld, Summer nights can be hot and sticky particularly for visitors unaccustomed to Lowveld heat.
Yes, there is always air conditioner but many people can’t sleep in a frigid, sealed room and under those conditions you can’t enjoy a summer indulgence – floral fragrances seeping into the bedroom through open windows, the feel of soft, warm air on your face and best of all, the orchestra of night sounds from insects, frogs and birds.
Besides which, no-one wants to blow a fuse at high electricity bills generated by those pesky aircons nor to give Eskom an excuse to build yet another coal-gobbling, CO2-spewing power station so let’s keep the aircon usage minimal, OK?
Follow these tips for a restful night’s zzzzz’s
Light-coloured bed linen made of lightweight cotton is breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.
Reverse your fan direction
Point box fans out the windows so they push hot air out, and adjust ceiling fan settings so the blades run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling it around the room.
Less is definitely more when it comes to summertime pj’s. Wear a loose, soft cotton shirt and boxers. Or take it all off!
Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist. Cool down a whole room by hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window. The breeze blowing in will quickly bring down the room’s temperature.
Pamper your pulses
To chill out super-fast, apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at the wrists, neck, ankles, and behind the knees. A cool shower before bed brings down the core body temperature, allowing you to hit the hay feeling cool and clean.
Be a lone wolf
Sleeping alone is better than spooning for staying cool. Cuddling with a partner increases body heat L. Sleeping alone has its perks, including plenty of space to stretch out.
Turn off the lights and unplug at night
Light bulbs (even environmentally-friendly CFLs) give off heat. Take advantage of natural light as much as possible, and keep rooms cool after dark by using lights minimally or not at all. Disconnect electronics because gadgets and other small appliances give off heat, even when turned off. Reduce total heat in the house (and save energy!) by keeping plugs out of sockets when the appliances are not in use.
Camp at home
Got access to a safe outdoor space like a roof, courtyard, or backyard? Practice those camping skills by pitching a tent and sleeping al fresco. Rig up a hammock – air circulating under your body helps to cool you down.
Stay in the dark
Take a tip from Mediterranean countries and close curtains and blinds during the day to keep direct sunlight and heat out during the day.
Now you are all set to enjoy an excellent night’s rest and rise refreshed; ready to tackle another action-packed Slowveld day tomorrow.