If you're like me, you can't sleep when you're cold. Sometimes, even snuggled down under the covers, I can't seem to get warm. Some of that has to do with my lupus and thyroid problems, but some of it is just plain, old cold-naturedness. Short of cranking up the thermostat and paying outrageous utility bills, what can you do to keep your bed toasty? Over the years, I've tried just about everything, but these tips work best for frugal-minded people like me.
Pull Out the Flannel
Flannel is a brushed or "napped" fabric that has excellent insulation properties, because its weave doesn't allow heat to move away from your body. Flannel pajamas, nightgowns, and even sheets are wonderful ways to reserve your body heat during the night.
Cover Your Head
We've all seen pictures of men, women, and children wearing nightcaps. It is actually a myth that most of your heat escapes through your head, but when you're in bed, it might be true. When you're covered with blankets up to your neck, your head is the only exposed part of your body, so covering it may tend to retain a bit more heat. Some people like to sleep with their heads under the covers. I've found this actually does warm you up, because your breath is trapped beneath the covers, creating a sort of warm cocoon.
Get Down, Get Down
You don't need to lay down the boogie to stay warm; just use down comforters. Down is the fluffy white covering that sits underneath a bird's feathers. Just as it provides warmth for birds, down has a very high insulation value for humans. Down is actually flat, and the bits stack up on each other like snowflakes, blocking out the cold and keeping in your body heat. That's why campers prefer down sleeping bags, and winter athletes love down jackets. The one drawback is that down bedding is relatively expensive, but if you're a camper, a down sleeping bag can double as a comforter on a cold, winter night.
Spice It Up
Before you go to bed, drink something hot and spicy. Cinnamon, ginger, or cayenne added to a hot drink will actually raise your body temperature slightly for a short while, so you can get to sleep before the cold gets to you.
More from Deborah Aldridge: