Staying Cool in the Summer

For most people living with MS, summer does not bring feelings of excitement and joy. Rather, it’s a time of strategizing, planning and being careful to avoid the heat, which tends to worsen symptoms.

To start a conversation, we at asked our Facebook page for tips and tricks to avoid summer’s worst. More than 500 community members reacted to the post, and 34 offered their strategies for staying cool and comfortable all summer long. Here’s what they had to say!

“My bedroom is the coldest room in the house!”

We all want our bedrooms to be sanctuaries where we can get the rest we need. For those whose MS symptoms are aggravated by heat, it’s key to keep the bedroom as cold as possible. Granted, some share beds with partners who don’t appreciate bedding down in the Arctic—to which one reader found a solution called the BedJet, which sends cold air in a concentrated area, much like how newer luxury cars allow the driver and passenger to set different temperatures for each side of the car.

“My bedroom is the coldest room in the house! My husband says it’s like a freezer!”

“I found a way to get my bed the right temperature. It’s called BedJet. It blows A/C on just one side of the bed so you don’t freeze your partner. My partner has one on his side that blows heat.”

“I get all my things, or as much of it as can be done, before noon.”

For some in the community, timing is everything. Rising early, before the highest temperatures of the day set in, allows them to whittle down your to-do list. Just be sure to go to bed early as well so you’re not missing sleep!

“I try to get up early and do what I can around the house.”

“I get all my things, or as much of it as can be done, before noon. After that, I will be found in the shade if anyone’s looking.”

“Just received my Cooling Vest …”

Not everyone can control the temperature of where they spend their hours. Luckily, for those who are on the go or who spend a lot of time outside, there are cooling vests, made by companies such as Ergodyne, Techniche and Allegro.

“Just received my Cooling Vest. Started work today at a dive center in the Florida Keys. I am sure it will be very much needed on the docks.”

“I also got a cooling vest from MSAA. And my doctor filled out a form from PG&E for a baseline discount on our cooling bill the hot months, which there are too many in California!”

“I have good circulation fans on and everything open in the morning …”

One member of the community joked that her perfectly timed system for keeping the house cool may seem neurotic to some, but that it works to keep her environment comfortable all day long. She takes advantage of the cooler hours of the day with open windows, then closes everything up during the peak of the day’s heat.

“I have good circulation fans on and everything open in the morning. Then I rely on blackout blinds and windows closed for the afternoon. Then around 8 or 9 pm, I open everything again. I’m also going to get a mister for outside.”

“I keep the shades and curtains drawn and run fans in most of the rooms of the house, 24/7. And I just love October!”

A special thanks to everyone who shared tips for keeping cool this summer. We hope you all stay cool and comfortable during these coming months.

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