Advertising
Advertising

Beat the Heat this Summer with these Home Improvement Tips and Projects

Beat the Heat this Summer with these Home Improvement Tips and Projects

Do you find that your home gets way too hot during the summer months and you need to find a bit of relief? There are all kinds of simple things that you can do in order to cool your home down, and you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money. In fact, most of the things you can do won’t cost anything at all. Here are a few ways you can beat the heat this summer (and get some things done around your home).

1. Block Sunlight

When sunlight beams in your home, it can really heat it up. Your pets may enjoy the comfortable sunbeams, but you won’t enjoy the heat. Simply close the blinds or curtains during the hours when the sun shines in. Keep the windows open to allow air to pass through and circulate.

Advertising

2. Make an Air Conditioner

You can easily make your own air conditioner without spending a single penny. All you have to do is fill a bowl with ice, and place it in front of an electric fan. The fan will blow the coolness from the ice throughout the room.

3. Use a Damp Sheet

An old desert trick that really works is to hang damp sheets in open windows. The air flowing in will be cooled by the dampness in the sheet and lower the temperature inside your home by several degrees. This is also a good way to dry freshly cleaned sheets, and you don’t have to use the dryer or stand outside in the heat hanging them out on the line.

Advertising

4. Maintain Your AC

Make sure that routine maintenance is regularly performed to ensure that it is running efficiently. It should be inspected by an HVAC technician, and you should replace the air filter every month so air flows through easily. Learn more about this and other household maintenance tips at Invitation Homes.

5. Run Appliances at Off Peak Times

When temperatures are lowest (early mornings and evenings), this is the best time to run appliances. They throw off heat, so you don’t want to use them when it is really hot outside. Another option is to invest in small appliances that don’t give off as much heat, such as electric roasters, slow cookers, and pressure cookers.

Advertising

6. Do Inside Projects

When it is hot outside, start doing things inside that you have been putting off. Hang those pictures, or clean up that basement (you will also stay a lot cooler if you are working in the basement). Avoid working in the attic when it gets too hot.

7. Use the AC and Fans Together

When you use an air conditioner and a fan at the same time, you get a much cooler home. Don’t worry about using more electricity. With the fan helping to circulate the air, the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool your home, so there will be little difference in the amount of electricity used.

Advertising

8. Cool the AC

The outside portion of your air conditioning unit should be in a shaded area. The cooler it is, the better and longer it is going to work. Plant some shrubs around the unit, or even create a shade screen all around it. Either way, in addition to helping to keep your home cool, it will also be an attractive addition to the property and cover up the ugly air conditioning unit.

9. Use Your Ceiling Fan Properly

In the hot summer months, make sure your ceiling fans are switched so they move counter-clockwise. This will move the warm air upward, leaving more comfortable, cool air throughout the home.

Featured photo credit: Binyamin Mellish via pexels.com

More by this author

Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

Stay Productive On The Go – The Top 20 Tools For Digital Nomads 10 Great Books to Help You Find the Meaning of Life 30 Makeup Hacks That Will Change Every Girl’s Life 15 Best Brainstorming And Mind-Mapping Tech Tools For Every Creative Mind The Best 8 Project Management Apps

Trending in DIY

1 11 Killer Ways To Get Rid Of Roaches Without Harming You 2 12 Quick And Safe Ways To Get Rid Of A Stye 3 Complete Guide To Getting Rid Of Flies In The House 4 Bedroom Makeover 101: Enhancing The Most Important Place In Your Home 5 7 Effective Ways To A Happy And Healthier Home You Probably Never Knew

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

Advertising

Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

Advertising

Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

    Advertising

    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

    Advertising

    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

    Read Next