As winter temperatures creep in, there is nothing more comforting than snuggling up under the covers in a warm bed. Temperatures lower as the sun sets because the sun’s rays are no longer beaming directly at us.
The lack of light and cooler temperatures signals to our primal brains that it is now time to rest. Even if you are a self-proclaimed night owl, all human beings are diurnal, meaning we are active during the day.
As you go along with your brain’s natural yearning for rest, you may struggle to get a good night’s rest because you are too chilly. There are many ways to help yourself stay warm throughout the night.
1. Prepare for Bed
Having a nighttime routine is the secret to success for people who no longer struggle to sleep. For anyone prone to insomnia, these activities are centered around relaxing your body and mind in preparation for a restful slumber. If your main concern is keeping warm at night, there are a few things you can do before you climb into bed that can help.
Exercise is an essential part of staying healthy, but did you know it can help you sleep better as well?
Not only will exercising physically exhaust you, making it easier to fall asleep, but it can also help keep you warm. Depending on the type of exercise, how strenuous it is, and how long you work out for, you can raise your core body temperature by three degrees.
While you may not be actively perspiring after you conclude your exercise, your body temperature will remain elevated.
Avoid working out too closely to bedtime as the surge of adrenaline could keep you awake longer. Exercise should be complete at least one hour before you lie your head down to sleep.
After all that sweating, a shower or bath will suit you well. After a lengthy sweat session, a cool or cold shower sounds insanely tempting. If your goal is to remain warm into the night, you’ll want to keep the bath water’s temperature above the lukewarm level.
Much like exercising, a warm bathing session can increase your body’s temperature. This is the perfect reason to put your children to bed early and draw yourself a nice, warm bubble bath. Unlike exercising, you don’t have to worry about how close to bedtime you complete this activity.
If the air in your home is cool, you will want to dry your hair promptly after you exit the tub. Wet hair will make the chilly temperatures creep in even faster. Dry your body as well as your hair right after you’re done bathing to preserve the heat you’ve worked to create.
4. Toasty Drinks
When many people envision the word “cozy,” they think about curling up with a warm drink on a damp or cold day. This feeling of coziness is caused by the warm drink raising our body temperature as we ingest it.
To cash in on this warm, fuzzy feeling, you can make yourself a warm beverage. A classic warm nighttime beverage is the Hot Toddy. You can make your own hot toddy by combining hot water, whiskey, honey, and lemon. This cocktail has long been regarded as an adult pacifier of sorts. It can help you go to sleep, soothe a sore throat, and warm you up after a long, cold day.
If you’re not keen on alcohol, there are many other beverages that you can fit into your nightly routine. Warm milk has long been a comforting agent for children at bedtime, and it can have the same effect on adults. As an adult, you can dress up your old fashioned warm milk by simmering it with cinnamon, lavender, or any other herb or spice that brings you comfort. You can even maximize the warmth you get from the drink by making it spicy, such as adding cayenne or chili powder to hot chocolate.
What you choose to wear to bed can have a huge effect on how warm your body stays throughout the night.
If you choose to sleep in your birthday suit, you’re pretty much asking to be cold throughout the night. The most common reason as to why people sleep naked is because they find night clothes too warm, and they become uncomfortable throughout the night.
It may be tempting to wear tight clothing in the hopes that it will keep your body’s natural warmth closer to you. Unfortunately, the truth is the opposite. Tight clothing can restrict circulation in parts of the body, leaving those areas cooler. To stay warm throughout the night, choose clothing that is loose on your body and doesn’t restrict movement.
Nothing is worse than being warm and cozy in your bed only to come in contact with your own (or your partner’s) ice cold feet. Our feet are the point of our body furthest from the heart, even if you are of short stature. Being so far from the heart means that your feet are prone to poor circulation, making these extremities frosty even when the rest of your body is warm.
To counteract this, wear a pair of socks to bed. If you find your toes are cold often, use a pair of thick wool socks, or a crazy patterned pair of fuzzy socks.
The fabric your clothes is made out of effect how warm you are as well. Natural materials such as cotton, silk, and wool keep the body warmer longer than synthetic fabric choices.
If you live in a frigid climate, dressing in layers isn’t just for going outdoors. Wearing a pair of Long Johns or other form of thermal underwear beneath your clothing makes it much easier to stay warm at night. The warmer you dress, the less blankets you will need.
6. Room Temperature
Keeping your bedroom warm when possible is crucial to staying warm in bed. Routinely inspect the interior and exterior of your home for cracks, leaks, or failures of the structure. These flaws in the home can create a path for chilly outdoor air to creep in and precious warm air to funnel out of.
Drafts around windows and door frames can easily be corrected. You can purchase weather strips to tack down, or you can obtain caulk or silicone to fill in whatever voids there are. If winds are emitting from the roof or the floorboards, you will need to enlist the help of a contractor or handyman. These are major structures in your home, and they should not be modified without a professional’s input.
Seventy-eight percent of Americans have the luxury of central air in their homes. For the rest of the population, portable heaters and air conditioners are used to control the temperatures in their home. If you are using a non-centralized heating element in your home, take the utmost caution.
Space heaters cause one third of all winter home fires in the United States. Do not use a heater that is faulty, has frayed wiring, or can spark.
If your home’s heat is powered by natural gas, have your home routinely inspected for gas leaks.
7. Replace Your Mattress
Your mattress could be keeping you cold throughout the night. Soft, fluffy mattresses retain heat much better than hard, flat mattresses. If you love the support a firm mattress gives you, but you want a little more warmth, consider purchasing a mattress topper. Mattress toppers are similar in style to a fitted sheet, but they have more layers to make your bed as soft and pillowy as can be without changing the mattress below it.
If your mattress came equipped with a gel layer or a gel topper, these materials could be keeping you from retaining heat at night. See about removing these components from your mattress during the winter months.
8. Heated Blankets
One of the most convenient ways to stay warm at night is to purchase a heated blanket. These blankets are powered by electricity and contain heated coils that spread throughout the blanket.
These covers can go under or over you. To warm your bed up before getting into it, place your heated blanket underneath your top sheet and main cover. Power on the heated blanket as you get ready for bed. Typically, it only takes 10 minutes for the entire blanket to be radiating heat. Then, when you’re ready, you can turn off the heated blanket and climb into a cozy bed.
If you need help staying warm throughout the night, wrap the heated blanket around your body and power it on. Layer an additional duvet or comforter over yourself to retain the heat, and slip into blissful, warm sleep.
If you utilize these tips, you can soon cast away worries of being frigid at night. Welcome in warmth as you dress in layers, use a heated blanket, and enjoy a warm beverage. When you begin enjoying better sleep, you’ll notice other areas of your life improving. Being well rested leads to higher energy throughout the day and improved moods.