Temperature regulation is critical for managing and maintaining sleep duration and quality.
While a cooler ambient temperature in a bedroom is considered optimal, Building and Environment stated that cold extremities (hands and feet) could delay the onset of sleep.
Warming the bed before sleep is a way to enjoy the best of both worlds. The air temperature can remain suitable for sleep (around 65°F) while the body enjoys close-contact thermoregulation.
Many people use an electric blanket to ensure the mattress is warm upon entering the bed. Unfortunately, the use of electric blankets has risks.
According to The Journal of the Korean Society of Hazard Mitigation, electric blankets can be a fire hazard. Not switching off the blanket before falling asleep could have dire consequences.
Also, somebody with limited circulation may struggle to sense an overheating electric blanket.
What Can I Use Instead of an Electric Blanket?
Here are some viable alternatives to an electric blanket:
Most smart mattresses offer temperature regulation that the individual can control.
They won’t flood a bed with heat before you enter like an electric blanket. The mattress can be set to a standard temperature, but more importantly, it’ll react to your unique heat signature.
You can choose whether to be warmer or cooler while sleeping, and the mattress will react accordingly. The mattress will hold energy and keep you warm if that’s what you prefer.
Most smart mattresses can be divided into zones, making them ideal for anybody who shares a bed with a partner. If a partner gets hot, the smart mattress will be cooler on their side.
Hot Water Bottles
Hot water bottles provide localized heat in bed, which is ideal for cold extremities.
Holding the bottle against the chest is a common approach. However, you could apply several hot water bottles to other locales, including the hands, feet, head, and knees.
Hot water bottles gradually decrease in temperature overnight, enhancing their safety. As discussed, forgetting to turn off an electric blanket once you fall asleep can burn the skin.
Firmly screw the lid onto a hot water bottle to avoid leaks, and don’t overfill them with boiling water. Allow the water to drop in temperature before usage, or switch off a kettle before boiling point.
Sleeping under a thicker blanket or one made from different materials can keep you cozy overnight. The material used to make a comforter is also key to managing body temperature.
Cotton is the most common choice, but the qualities of this material are variable.
Wool is a much warmer material for a comforter, so if you struggle to stay warm, wool will help resolve this issue. If you share a bed, a partner may find a wool cover too hot.
Bamboo is becoming increasingly popular as a comforter material, as it maintains body temperature and offers a luxurious feel at an affordable price.
You may need to use additional heat sources alongside a bamboo comforter, like a hot water bottle.
Applying more blankets means additional layers. If you start overheating overnight, you can remove the layers to reduce the temperature to a more comfortable level.
Effectively increasing temperature isn’t as simple as just laying cloth in a pile. Understanding how to layer blankets for maximum warmth will yield results.
Start by assessing the comforter. Does this allow the skin to breathe, or is it made from dense, heavy material like wool? Contrast this with the first layer.
Place a heavy layer on a lightweight comforter or a light blanket on a chunky comforter.
Heavy layers may hold you in place if you’re prone to tossing and turning. For example, if you need to go to the toilet at short notice, keep it light so you can maneuver quickly.
Add as many or as few blankets to a bed as necessary because warmth is about personal preference.
Warmer Bed Clothes
Fleece pajamas are comfortable while maintaining body heat in even the coldest temperatures.
As per The Design Journal, polar fleece is a natural insulator. However, fleece pajamas may generate static electricity against a blanket. If the fleece is too hot, flannel pajamas are an alternative.
Flannel is more breathable while remaining much warmer than traditional cotton or polyester. While flannel pajamas are made from cotton, they’re brushed on both sides to provide additional warmth.
You may be tempted to wear thermals in bed, but approach this cautiously.
Thermals can be skintight and uncomfortable when attempting to sleep. Entrapped warmth can prevent the body from naturally cooling off while sleeping.
This can lead to sweating, overheating, dehydration, and struggling to remain asleep. Even if you get through the night without waking up, you’ll feel uncomfortable in the morning.
Wear bed socks if your feet get colder than other body parts, perhaps due to Raynaud’s disease.
Sharing body heat is the best way to warm up a bed. Not everybody relishes the opportunity to sleep beside a partner, but the warmth can be beneficial, especially during the winter.
You could rely on a stuffed animal for comfort and warmth, but it’s unlikely to be as impactful.
A portable heater produces a small but intense source of warmth. This could be pointed toward the side of the bed that you sleep on. Turn it on for 1-2 hours before bed, and you’ll have a cozy mattress.
Fire Technology explains that poorly maintained portable heaters cause many household fires.
If you use a portable heater, put it on a flat surface where it won’t fall and keep it away from anything flammable. Don’t position a portable heater to blow hot air into your face because this will dry the skin.
In many cases, portable heaters are expensive to run. The reward may not live up to the expenditure, especially compared to other approaches that don’t require energy.
Staying warm in bed is crucial, but electric blankets are non-essential. Consider traditional approaches to increasing body heat that aren’t power-driven for a safe night of sleep.