Dave Gibson


Winter sleep tips

How To Get To Sleep When It’s Too Cold

When it’s too cold many can find it difficult to get comfortable enough to get to sleep. As your body’s ideal sleep temperature is in the range of 16 to 21 degrees centigrade, having an ambient temperature that is dramatically lower than this impedes your body from relaxing and drifting off. It’s well worth preparing your sleeping environment for the chilly nights to ensure you have everything you need to sleep soundly.

Natural fibres such as wool and cotton are ideal temperature regulators

When selecting bed linen, sleep wear and even a mattress, it’s vital to pick materials that will help you feel comfortable. Cotton and wool are ideal as they naturally regulate your temperature. They also wick excess moisture from your body to keep you from overheating. Cotton is also great choice for bedding and nightwear. When selecting bedding, try to use many thinner layers rather than one thicker, as air will become trapped between each layer to keep you warmer.

Wool is great in mattress ticking too, and a pair of woolly socks (or hot water bottle on the feet) make for a classic winter warmer . Not only do these feel more comfortable but as the feet heat up and the blood vessels within the feet will dilate, the brain gets the signal that it’s time to sleep. Also some research shows that heating the feet (and hands) can actually increase the speed at which we get to sleep.

Warming drinks or a bath are a great way to bring your temperature up just before you snuggle into bed

Hot drinks are a good, quick way of getting some heat into your body. A warm glass of milk or a herbal tea (uncaffeinated) is a great way to warm up before bed and will help your body to relax too. Milk and chamomile have added natural benefits helping you drift off. Wrap up warm so that you trap the heat. However, your body will actually react to the heat by sweating to cool back down. Our bodies naturally cool down as we drift off, so this process can also help you sleep.

Having a warm bath will also raise your body temperature. Keep in mind that too hot bath can lead to overheating which will cause you to sweat too much and lose heat too quick.

Set your heating to turn off in the night– use extra layers to keep you warm instead

If your heating is warm enough when you’re awake, it might prevent your body from cooling down to its natural mid-sleep temperature. Set your heating on a timer to go off in the evening before bed. It’s better to use extra bedding layers, clothing and even a hot water bottle to ensure you feel warm enough. Set the heating to come back on before you wake up in the morning so you won’t have to wake up to the frosty temperatures. I particularly like Dyson’s Pure Hot + Cool Link™ Purifier, as it both removes pollution and dust (removes 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns), and doubles up as a cooler in the summer and a heater in winter. It has a night-time mode with a dimmer, a built in thermostat and a timing system. So you can set your purifier to switch off when you go to sleep and to start before you want to wake up, perfect for cold winter mornings.

Block drafts from your bedroom to keep the chill-out

Drafty rooms lose all your heat and could cause you to wake up in the night. Be sure to block drafts from coming into your bedroom with blankets. You can hang a blanket over a drafty window or roll one up by the base of your door to stop colder drafts entering your room in the night.