It depends on many factors including the climate you live in. One way is to keep your wiindows open all night with fans blowing cooler air into the house. When the sun comes up close the windows and cover them (even if it’s sheer, it will disperse direct light, negating some of the heat energy). This will lock the cool air in the house. Another method is to turn the fan around to blow out during the day. It won’t provide that comforting breeze, but it will promote air circulation and draw cool air through the house. Many attics have a two direction exhaust fan for just this purpose. Mini blinds can reduce solar heat gain by up to 50%. Tightly woven screens and bamboo shades outside the window can stop up to 80% of solar heat gain.
Window shading over the east and west windows can also make a huge deal. An awning will reduce direct light until the sun is very low in the sky.
Building materials and house type can also make a big difference. If you have a flat roof, try exploring some options like rooftop gardening. It will reflect more light than it absorbs, as well as making the most of the solar rays and the space available. Solar panels would have a similar (though more costly) effect of reflection.
Plants and shade trees also help absorb and block heat.
I agree with UrbanUrsine about keeping the windows open all night and then closing them in the morning. This is something that I do myself during the day. I also find it helpful to jump in the shower for about two seconds with all my clothes on and then the water cools me as it evaporates. This effect can last for an hour or just thirty minutes if you go out in the sun. I really like to do that right before going somewhere by bicycle because the combination of wind and water feels wonderful.
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