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Tips for Sleeping Warm in a Cold Winter-- 16 Tips To Help You Stay Warm!

Why Is She Always Cold? 

There are actual scientific reasons for why some women-- except for the women in the throes of peri-menopausal hot flashes-- seem to be shivery and discontent with the household temperatures when it is cold outside.  It  is interesting to note that women, on average, have a much higher core body temperature than men do, and are more sensitive to deviations in that temperature.  

Women also apparently generate much less body heat than men do.  Men tend to expend about 23% more calories than women. Those expended calories were fuel.  When that heat is ''exhausted" off, it warms the skin, clothing and nearby surroundings. 

While women appear to be constructed to keep their important organs warm and well, you would never guess that through exposure to most of our cold extremities.  While women's hand temperatures average about 87.2 F, men's hands (and feet?) temperature averages about 90 F. My husband has never been too keen on having a stone cold foot, or two, on some available warm body spot.  I accept that now after fifty years of marriage, but I did yearn often to use his girth like some convenient, over-sized hot water bottle.  I confess.

And not only do we have what seems unfair biological temperature issues, but evidently some fairly ancient building standards (from 50 years ago) still have managers in apartment complexes thinking it is necessary to control the thermostat locks based on a 155-pound man's metabolism back around the time my husband and I married.  I am happy to have some control over the thermostat here, but that might not be the case in the seniors' community where we seem to be headed.

Most of us like to Feel Cozy and Warm in our Homes, 

and We Sleep Better When We are Happy

At 70 years, I really appreciate a just-right warm space where I can do whatever I am doing-- cooking, an art project, talking to a friend, writing an article-- and not feel like I have to rush through because my feet are cold or there is a draft of cold air coming in from a leak around the windows or whatever.  

A cold and draughty house makes me feel crabby and I often seriously consider sleeping down in the cozy livingroom vs. climbing up through the chilly stairwell to the cool bedroom.  

And when I go to bed in a cozy room I fall asleep in a good state of mind and sleep well.  

Here are some Tips for Keeping Warm in Your Home:

  1. Dress Warm for Being At Home and Going to Bed                                                                  COVID 19 has shown up pretty casual in our house.  I am pretty sure I am not the only 70-year old who has pretty much dispensed with a bra and I have about 4 pairs of pyjamas that I rotate most days (except when I have an appointment out there in the "Real World"). My mother would have been shocked if she had known that our little dog slept on our bed.  She likely would have had some choice words about my "not getting dressed" and even my wearing socks to bed.  But she is not around to make those critiques.  The point is to be warm and comfortable for bed.  I sometimes shed the socks in the middle of the night, but I no longer feel tempted to shock my husband out of his slumber with an icy foot where he probably could not even identify it as an icy foot.  
  2. Invest in a scheduled thermostat.                                                                      How nice it would be to go up to the same warm and inviting bedroom every night.  Sort of like that fantasy about living in a hotel with room service, but without the room service and the coke machine just outside the door.  And nice to come down to a warm kitchen in the morning.  
  3. Tricking the Thermostat Lock                                                                                       If you are a poor soul living in one of those buildings where someone else manages your unit temperature, I hear that if you put a bag of frozen peas beside the thermostat you can maybe trick the furnace into kicking in.
  4. Pull your Bed away from Outside Walls                                                                   Even a  little space between your bed and the wall will make the room less chilly.
  5. Get Active.                                                                            Yes, I intended to do all that as well.  The bottom line is that we will have better circulation if we do that online workout or yoga or go for a walk somewhere safe or jump on a rebounder or do some stair-climbing on actual stairs-- hey, there's a novel idea!   
  6. Dress Your Windows Up Warm                                                                              Cover the cracks and leaks.  Pull the blinds down against the cold.  Pull the drapes shut.  Put up thicker drapes or hang a blanket over an offending window.  It will make it gloomy, but it will make it warmer.  Pull the blinds up when the sun shines!  (Free heat)
  7. Get Rid of the Door Draught-                                                                        Measure a pool noodle to the size of the base of your draughty doors. Cover it with an old towel and put it down where the draught 'was'/  
  8. Eat healthy!                                                                          I am not a nutritionist so I will just leave that there.  There are healthy foods that are wonderful for staving off illness and that make you feel warm when you eat them.
  9. Cut back on Alcohol-- or better yet, Take a Break until the Weather is Warmer                                                                      Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does NOT warm you up.  It actually has the reverse effect.
  10. Make Your Bed Warm and Comfy:                                                                                                       Warm, but not hot.  If you like flannelette sheets and they don't cook you, go for them.  Fluffy blanket next to the body, and dense-woven, thinner blankets on top of that.  Some people swear by a 'weighted' blanket.
  11. If you Can Afford It and Are Looking for a Nice Little Oasis of Hygge in the Dry Cold (in the Canadian prairies, for example), get a Humidifier.    Get one of the Deluxe ones that Allow you to Choose Warm or Cold settings!                                               Don't bother with one if you live somewhere pretty wet, like I do, on Vancouver Island.   Some people would probably recommend a de-humidifier.  Not sure if it helps with cold.but helps with keeping mold away.  
  12. If you have an Overhead Fan, turn it on Low and Let It Turn Clockwise to distribute the warm air that rises to the ceiling
  13. Bake up a Storm as you feel inclined.  Then after baking, turn off the oven and open the door, letting the warm air fill the room.  (Free heat).
  14. Dry your clothes in your auto dryer.  Let the warm air vent into your living space vs. out the roof.  (More Free Heat)
  15. Choose warm drinks over cold drinks.  Eat soup.  
  16. Wrap in warm blankets and engage with pets, watch movies like Mama Mia and A Year In Provence and Roman Holiday and old Beach Party movies from the 60s (they are Public Domain now, somewhere online)             Think warm thoughts of who you love and who loves you, and what you will do when you are no longer in the house in the Winter in the COVID.  Start that Gratitude Journal.  Get out your paints.   
References:

5 Scientific Explanations Why Women Are Always Colder Than Men (by Amy Schlinger, Nov 2019. Glamour Magazine)

12 Toasty Tips for Staying Warm in Cold Weather (Amanda Green, Jan. 2019 Mental Floss)

Here's the Secret to Feeling Warm All Winter (Hello Thermal Jane Blog, Jan. 2020)


By this author:


How To Play Winter Sports Without Freezing To Death
                                           

            
BLUE PILE

When it gets really cold bluebirds roost together in a pile using their collective body heat to help them survive. They arrange themselves so they don’t smother and alternate positions within the pile
  

Photo posted by Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina (WRNC)