By Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Is it hot enough for ya?
Somehow I’ve managed to stay pretty cool during this past week’s record-breaking heatwave on the West coast.
Sleeping through the night hasn’t been much of an issue for me. For once I’m grateful for living in a basement apartment. It stays pretty cool without air conditioning.
Water on the Inside
I’ve also increased my water intake during the day. Staying hydrated is key.
And the same goes for your pets. You can tell if your animals aren’t getting enough fluids if they’re panting or if their muscles are twitching. Of course, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make ’em drink. At least have some bowls of cool water available to them in case they do get thirsty.
A few weeks ago, I asked my personal trainer why I was feeling so tired when I woke up in the morning even though I went to bed early and thought the quality of my sleep was pretty good. She said I wasn’t drinking enough water and recommended drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning and sipping water throughout the day, especially since I’m exercising more.
Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. I don’t recommend drinking beverages that have extra sugar, sodium, caffeine or alcohol, however. These ingredients will dehydrate you and will get you back to square one – that is, being uncomfortable in the heat. Being dehydrated makes you sluggish, tired and fatigued – which isn’t fun at all.
On the other hand, keeping yourself well-hydrated during the day will help you regulate your body temperature at night, which in turn will help you sleep better, which will make your days brighter.
Take a page from the book of cucumber
Cucumbers are mostly composed of water. The expression “cool as a cucumber” stems from the fact that the inner core of a cucumber is known to be significantly cooler than the outer skin, in spite of the external room temperature.
According to folklore, cucumbers are said to be “ruled by the moon” and everyone onhealthy knows that the moon influences the tides and our moods and affects our sleep.
1/4 English Cucumber, thinly sliced in rounds – is widely known as a remedy for puffy eyes. Its soothing, cooling and toning properties also work on general skin problems including wrinkles.
1 Litre of fresh water – Drinking water hydrates skin, lubricates joints and muscles and helps the body flush out toxins.
Wash the cucumber and cut into slices. Place the cucumber slices in a glass pitcher. Fill the pitcher with cold water. The taste of cucumber will infuse the water over time, making a refreshing drink.
Keep chilled in the fridge. Pour over ice in a nice, tall glass. Alternatively, you can freeze the cucumber water as ice cubes and then add them to your favourite drinks like tomato juice.
Water on the Outside
And don’t forget, water and cucumbers work well on the outside of your body, too. Taking a cool bath or shower before bed could make all of the difference for you when 2:00am rolls around.
Cucumber Bath for Hot Summer Nights
Soaking in a bath cleans the body and relaxes the mind.
1 cucumber, pureed – Matches the pH level of skin and is good for all skin types. Contains potassium and Vitamin C. Helps relieve the pain from sunburned skin.
1 12″x12″ piece of cheesecloth or sieve.
Wash the cucumber and cut into chunks. Place the cucumber in a blender or food processor and puree to an even consistency. Put the pulp in a sieve and strain out the water or achieve the same result with a cheesecloth. Reserve the cucumber water for your bath. If you want, you can add the pulp to a salad or apply it to your face as a face mask.
Draw a cool/warm bath before bedtime. Add the reserved cucumber water to the bathwater. Sit, soak and cool off.
I hope these tips help you enjoy your summer more. If you have any comments about this post or have any sleep-related questions, please let me know.