Being cold in your sleep is not only uncomfortable but in the long run, it can affect your sleeping patterns. Luckily, it's fairly easy to avoid with a few simple tricks.
How to keep yourself warm in bed is not only comfort, but has a lot to do with the quality of sleep – and therefore with many health factors that depend on how we sleep. Science has discovered that the circadian rhythm – something like the internal clock that tells us when to be awake and when it's time to go to bed – in addition to light, is also affected by temperature. So heating your bedroom is just as important as a good sleeping posture for getting a healthy night's rest. But not everything is good enough to keep yourself warm in bed. Keep reading.
Finding the right sleeping temperature
Body temperature is not fixed, but varies throughout the day in a cyclical manner, controlled by the hypothalamus. Before we go to sleep, it drops to induce sleep, and during the REM phase – while we dream – the regulation stops being so precise. This is why it is so important to maintain an ambient temperature within the correct parameters.
And what are those parameters? According to neurologist Christopher Winter, an expert in sleep and author of The Sleeping Solution, the ideal temperature is between 60ºF and 70ºF (15.5ºC and 19.5ºC), and should never go below 53ºF (12ºC) or rise above 75ºF (24ºC).
It may seem like low temperatures, but we must not forget that the human body naturally gives off heat, generating the same effect as a radiator under the sheets. That is why the temperature of the room must compensate for the heat released by the body, finding the right balance. In addition, a low temperature helps to fall asleep more quickly.
How to keep your bed warm during winter
Now that we know the temperature that we must have in our bedroom, the challenge is to reach it and, above all, keep it constant throughout the night. Here are some ideas, many of them low-tech, that you can start applying today.
Extra heat for your bedroom
Pretty obvious, huh? Well, it depends on the size of the house and how the heating system is, but many times, as the bedroom is a place we only go to sleep, we neglect the temperature in it. If it is a colder place than the rest of the house, turn up the heat there and close the door for a while before sleeping.
More blankets better than a thick one
Air is a very poor conductor of heat, so trapping it between different layers makes the insulation greater, conserving as much of your body temperature as possible. They also have the advantage that you can remove or add more layers whenever you need to, so it's a flexible solution.
Wear warm pajamas
Pajamas are a very personal thing. There are those who love them and those who hate them – and they sleep completely naked. But if it's cold outside, pajamas that cover the whole body are a great way to keep warm. Those with natural fabrics such as wool or cotton are better insulators. For extreme cold, try flannel ones.
Cover your whole body – all of it
Contrary to popular belief, the body does not lose any more heat through the head and feet. Unless they're the only parts of your body not covered. To avoid getting cold, try a sleeping cap – you don't need a pompom like in the movies – or bed socks – yes, they do exist. And for extra comfort, try wearing an eye mask like the OSTRICHPILLOW Loop, which also blocks the light around your head.
Take a warm bath
Raising body temperature with a warm – not extremely hot – bath is a quick way to reach the right state before going to sleep. In addition, bathing often causes drowsiness, so it's like killing two birds with one stone.
Sleep next to a hot water bottle
One of the oldest remedies. You've probably seen your grandparents use it. Just fill a bottle with hot water - not boiling - and put it to bed before sleeping to warm up the atmosphere, or stay with it all night. Much better if it's one specially designed for that.
And if you still have doubts on how to keep yourself warm in bed, try the best remedy of all: sleeping together the one you love!
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Photo by Nachelle Nocom on Unsplash