Winter weather has definitely arrived to Irish shores. So, chances are, you’ve got the rads maxed out and the central heating on full blast.
But what about bedtime? Having spent the evening wrapped up in your cosiest loungewear, the thought of stripping down and climbing between icy cold sheets is sure to send shivers down the spine – even if you’ve grabbed your onesie from the bottom drawer.
Some of us might keep the heating on all through the night, but that’s an added expense, and practically guarantees waking up with a stuffy head and dry throat. Why not try some of these good old fashioned, warming measures instead?
1. Invest in an electric blanket
Electric blankets have gone high tech – manufacturers need to meet strict safety standards to avoid them overheating – and come with timer programmes, automatic switch-off after a pre-set time, temperature sensors and dual controls (just in case your partner is oblivious to the cold). And we’re talking wowza warmth when you snuggle down for the night.
2. Have a warm bath before bed
We all look forward to a long soak after a hard day, but time it nearer bedtime to get the most from your tub. OK, the bathroom may be chilly, but once you step into that lovely warm water, all the stress and anxiety will float away. Along with helping to soothe muscle pain, it will also make you feel sleepy. Experts suggest it’s not the rise in body temperature, but the actual cooling down after your bath that makes the body think you’ve gone from daytime to night-time, and brings on the Zzzs.
3. Enjoy a hot toddy – it’s the perfect nightcap*
It’s been around since day dot, and for good reason. A hot toddy is thought to possess medicinal properties (as long as you don’t knock back too many), especially if you’re suffering from a cold or chill. A shot of whisky, a teaspoon of honey, a squirt of fresh lemon, topped with boiling water (cinnamon stick, optional), will not only bring a warming glow to the cheeks, but can also relieve congestion and help you sleep better.
4. Pull on a pair of bed socks
Anyone who suffers from poor circulation will know that dreadful feeling; to lie in bed and not be able to get to sleep because your toes are like icicles. Snugging up in a pair of luxuriously soft bed socks (loosely fitted around the ankle) will keep your tootsies warm as toast, and they look cute too.
5. Make a point to choose flannelette sheets
Flannel sheets may not sound sexy, but we’re trying to get our beauty sleep, right? Typically made from 100% cotton, they have a brushed nap on both sides which makes them feel extra soft and cosy against the skin, and here’s the genius bit: The brushed surface helps trap air and body heat, but allows the skin to breathe, so you don’t have to worry about overheating in the middle of the night. And because the fabric’s absorbent, it has the ability to wick moisture away from the body.
6. Wear ear plugs to block out the arctic wind
With freezing cold nights often comes a howling wind, which can be extremely disruptive to sleep; especially if you’re on high ground, or near a river or canal. Ear plugs should do the trick.
7. Style and layer the bed like a boutique hotel
Now it may sound silly, but making the effort to make your bunk look like the type you’d find in a luxe five-star hotel can help you sleep like a princess. Soft throws, down pillows, layering with thin and thicker blankets to create insulation, and topping it off with a lighted scented candle (think warm, woody notes) will create the right warming vibe and feelings of total wellbeing.