If you find you are having trouble falling asleep, are waking up a lot during the night, or waking up tired, it could be the weather. Now that we are snap frozen like little peas in the winter freeze, our sleep can be disrupted, and strangely, we might not register that we are cold when we are laying there awake. That’s because, when we are tucked up in bed, the cold itself isn’t what’s keeping us awake, but our body burning energy trying to maintain its warmth.
Even if you have a thick doona on your bed for winter, it might not be adequate to combat the cold, especially if you are living in an older style home, or don’t have adequate home insulation or heating.
In order to get quality sleep in and stay toasty warm all night, here are some ways to sleep warm this winter without adding to your electricity bill.
All the facts on blankets
A winter weight blanket feels great to snuggle in under and also helps to trap in your natural body heat. Natural fibres are the best blanket materials to consider when you are looking to stay warm all night. Consider wool (or wool blends), bamboo and cotton. These have the added ability to regulate your body temperature and wick away moister, plus, they typically feel more calming and soothing than synthetic materials.
To boost your blanket effectiveness place it under your doona, so the order of your made bed goes, top sheet then blanket then doona. The difference is noticeable compared to placing a blanket on top of a made bed. As an added bonus, because the blanket is hidden, you can get away with using an ugly wool blend blanket without destroying your décor.
For couples, wool is a great choice because the heat will be evenly distributed across the whole bed, meaning that different body temperatures will be evened out, so no more push and pull fights over blankets.
For those with allergies
Not every can tolerate natural fibres, or they don’t like the added cost or weight of a natural blanket. The answer is microfibre. These hypoallergenic blankets are light, durable, and machine washable, making them especially great for kids.
While it may be tempting to run an electric blanket all night, it’s dangerous. All electric blanket manufactures instruct that you put your blanket on before you get in and turn it off or keep it low once you are in bed. Leaving a blanket running not only risks fire or electrical issues, you are also relying on an external heat source rather than your body’s natural rhythm. Stay natural, save electricity and keep the blanket as an occasional treat you turn off before you slide into bed.
There are so many doona fillings that have different weights and different rates for keeping in heat. A mix of feathers and alpaca can sometimes prove to be the in-between mix that both warms and comforts. Make sure your filling is stitched in so it can’t bunch up at the bottom of your bed. If you can’t afford a summer and winter doona, or don’t have the storage space to store the extra don’t despair, the blanket hacks above and tricks below will see you through.
You might be losing heat under your bed, through the mattress. If you have a slate style bed frame try inserting some cardboard (like flattened moving boxes) between the mattress and the wooden slates. Cardboard works because it is breathable enough to allow air to circulate while trapping in heat. The other option is to place a wool blend blanket between the mattress and the base, or under the bottom sheet, to prevent body heat escaping underneath you to the cold floor below.
Winter sheets make all the difference, plus it’s a wonderful feeling to crawl in between flannelette sheets at the end of a long day. It’s worth spending the money on high quality threads as they will last wash after wash and maintain shape and density. Kids will lose the fluffy texture of flannelette sheets as well.
Hot water bottles
This old style heating technique has it’s advantages, that warm squishiness lulls you to sleep and is great for targeting problem areas, like those toes. However, there are leaking and burn risks and you should never have a hot water bottle in a bed with an electric blanket. More often the biggest issue with hot water bottles is they don’t stay warm all night and as temperatures drop in the small hours of the morning, you may be caught out cold.
Wearing extra layers, such as a singlet or thermie under your PJs can help keep your body heat in. Socks and beanies are another good way to hold onto your body heat.
If you have a hard floor you might be fighting a losing battle between your body heat and the cold expanse of floor. A rug under the bed can make a difference here.
Now that you know all the possible ways the cold could be creeping in and disrupting a good night sleep, you can switch up and bundle in for a deep and warm night in.