Our desert summers get HOT! Whether you’re in Palm Springs for a few days in June, July or August or you’re about to spend your first entire summer in the Valley, you’re going to experience our infamous heat. The average temperature in July, for example, hovers around 106 degrees, but August is statistically our hottest month. Individual days – or clusters of them – reach 115 degrees or higher.
The highest official temperature ever reached in Palm Springs of 121 degrees was achieved last year – on August 4, 2019. It toppled the 50 year old temperature record set in 1969.
So here are our top 10 tips to staying cool in the Desert!
1. DRINK WATER: Okay, I know I know... everyone and their mother tells us this but honestly. Drinking cool water helps the body cool down and maintain that temp. Even if we are not outside, the heat and sun of the day (even in the car) can be draining - so stay hydrated.
2. Take Cold Showers: We have intentionally switched to taking cold showers in the summer and staying away from hot or even warm water. Not only does this help cool our body down before we go to sleep but its also a refreshing wake-up technique. Plus, taking cold showers has many health benefits as well.
3. Fans: Literally, having a ceiling fan (an efficient one) in each room is the difference between setting your air conditioner to 75° and it still feeling like 80° or setting it to 75° and it really feeling like 75° degrees. Fans are truly the best way to keep air moving and allowing the room to cool down.
**Fan Life Hack**
Change your ceiling fan direction in the Summer vs. the Winter
SUMMER: A ceiling fan should rotate counterclockwise in the summer so that the blades push cooler air down in a column. This is the best ceiling fan direction for air conditioning since it makes the air feel cooler than it is. It allows you to turn your thermostat up a few degrees. The ceiling fan improves air circulation and creates a breeze that you feel on your skin, a “wind chill” effect.
WINTER: Ceiling fan direction in winter should be clockwise and the fan should run at the lowest speed. This pulls cool air up toward the ceiling, which in turn displaces the warm air that rises and collects near the ceiling. It makes the warmer air trapped at the very top of the room disperse down toward the floor and along the walls to make the room feel warmer, allowing you to lower the thermostat.
4. Sleeping COLD!: According to several health experts the ideal bedroom temperature is between 60° and 67° degrees. So sleep cold if you can and try to add a fan in the mix as you sleep to keep the air moving.
5. Wake Up Early: Any activity that you wish to do outside try to get up early and get outside between 5am and 7am. Wear a hat, loose fitting clothes, sunscreen, and sunglasses. This is a great time to get a workout in if you don't mind the early morning or the already 75-80° temps.
6. Night/Evening Walks: Another alternative to getting outside is an evening walk at dusk. This is a great way to get some movement in outside while the weather is just a bit nicer. We like to go for our walks with Humphrey around 7:45-8 pm right after dinner before we go to bed.
7. Put Your Lotions in the Fridge: This is a crazy idea but honestly it works so well! It's perfect for a relaxing, rejuvinatize hack to help your body feel cool and like we've gotten away to a spa!
8. Dress Light: Cool, flowing, light colored, loose clothing is ideal for heat such as ours. Its a great way to let movement, airflow, and fabrics like cotton and bamboo or high-tech synthetics like CoolMax will prevent you from overheating. You should avoid very dark colors because they tend to absorb the sun’s rays, causing you to feel even hotter. Contrastingly, lighter colors reflect sunlight and keep you at a decent temperature, especially if the fabric is made of cotton.
9. Eat spicy foods: This is literally my favorite!!! Being originally from Bangladesh, I LOVE to eat everything spicy!! but the truth is...people in hot countries eat hot foods and when we eat spicy foods we sweat. When we sweat our bodies cool down. Just one more reason to reach for more Jalapeños/Habaneros and Hot Sauce!
10. Listen to your body!!!: It has some pretty important things to say. Do not ignore signs of dizziness or feelings of lightheadedness while out in the heat. Heat has the ability to sneak up on you, so if you’re body starts to warn you that something is wrong, make sure to take a break and drink some water right away!
For signs/symptoms of heat stress to look for take a look at the Center for Disease Control’s article here.
Let us know some of your top tips for surviving our hot summers!
Mike & Bettina