Let’s face it the Spanish summers can be a little on the warm side and unless you have air conditioning. These modern boxes can keep a bedroom at the optimum sleep temperature (roughly 24 degrees Celsius), plus provide some nice white noise to boot. But even small window units use up lots of energy and increase the monthly electric bills.
So what’s an environmentally responsible, budget-conscious sleeper to do?
Well first of all do what the Spanish do, during the day they shut all the windows and doors and close the shutters. Then in the evening they open everything up to let the cooler evening breezes in to the house.
And yes it does work!
However, there are some other ways to keep cool in the heat of the night, some very unusual ways, but will give you some relief…
Drink lots of water, you sweat when you are hot so to help your body cool drink water… Both the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca get hot during the summer and NO drinking beer does not do it, in fact it will make you more dehydrated.
Save the satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton (Egyptian or otherwise) are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.
Feel the freezer
Yes a tried and tested one, put your sheets in the freezer half an hour before you go to bed, we do suggest you put them in a plastic bag first… This will not keep you cool all night but it will allow you to drift off to sleep.
Get cold comfort
Another great use of a ‘Hot Water’ bottle fill with water (not too much) and place in the freezer until frozen… you will be surprised how cold it stays during the night.
Also under this heading by keeping your feet cold it will lower your body temperature, so place now frozen bottle by your feet.
DIY air cooler
This stay-cool trick is straight out of the icebox era, though. Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) 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.
The Romans had a similar idea by placing fountains in courtyards, so when the wind blew through the air was cooled as it came in to the house. You still see this in the older buildings in Spain.
Sleep like an Egyptian
If there seem to be a lot of Egyptian references on the internet, it’s because those Nile-dwellers knew how to do it right. The so-called “Egyptian method” involves dampening a sheet or towel in cool water and using it as a blanket. We recommend laying the damp sheets on top of a dry towel to avoid soaking the mattress.
Camp at home
Got access to a safe outdoor space like a roof, courtyard, or terrace? Practice those camping skills (and stay cooler) by pitching a tent and sleeping al fresco. You may need to look in to a good mosquito repellent when trying this idea!
Some other ideas…
- Hog the bed – sleep alone, 2 people in the bed increase the heat
- Unplug everything at night helps to cut down heat
- Hang wet sheet in front of a window cools the air
- Or if all else fails invest in air conditioning