As Valentine’s Day approaches and attention (inevitably) turns to romance, Sammy Margo, author of The Good Sleep Guide and The Good Sleep Guide For Kids and sleep expert for SlumberSlumber, warns that turning up the heat in the bedroom can be a passion killer.
She says that bedroom temperature is one of the most frequent causes of bed-time friction, often ruining the chances of getting a good night’s sleep …. as well as cooling thoughts of romance.
“The idea that some like it hot and some don’t is pretty well guaranteed to raise a smile,” she says, “but this is a serious issue. Sleep-related problems can often be the cause of relationship breakdown. Tackling temperature issues could help keep a couple together.
“Men and women often have quite different bedroom needs with men generally preferring a cooler bedroom. Typically women start off feeling cold when they get into bed but rapidly get too hot. The professional advice is that the bedroom should ideally be between 16˚ and 18˚ Centigrade. That temperature will probably be a little cooler than your living room, but it’s ideally suited to induce a good night’s sleep. It’s a little appreciated fact that our bodies need to cool down in order to let us fall asleep easily.
“All too often the bedroom turns into a battleground with one shivering partner clutching a hot water bottle while the other throws open the windows. The recent spate of near-Arctic conditions has highlighted the problem in many homes!
“Happily there are simple ways to take the heat out of the situation. The first step towards restoring bedroom harmony is to recognize that temperature could be a problem, then discuss your preferences so that you can arrive at a solution that suits you both.”
It could be that simply turning down the radiator by a few degrees will save money as well as the relationship, but Sammy believes that what goes on the bed may be just as important. She says, “Most of us welcomed the arrival of the duvet with open arms. It was a release from old fashioned bed-making and a delightfully comfy alternative to old fashioned sheets, blankets and eiderdowns. Maybe we have all got just a little too lazy and complacent however, for we often expect one weight of duvet to suit whatever the weather. We also tend to think that the duvet we bought many years ago will last for ever! Everyone ought to change duvet weights in tune with the changing seasons and renew their bedding periodically.”
Grandmother’s advice on counting sheep as a way of inducing sleep may be out of date but, according to Sammy, you can still count on sheep’s wool.
She says, “While technological advances in fabric and filling have made the duvet ever more versatile, light and comfortable to use, I would put in a word for good, old fashioned wool, increasingly used as the natural filling for duvets. Wool duvets were once very much a luxury item but they are now very affordable.
“Wool is an excellent fabric and particularly suitable for bedding. It is lightweight but because of its heat-regulating qualities will keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather – factors which should resolve the temperature control problems on both parties! Research has also demonstrated that wool duvets can actually reduce your heart rate, leading to more restful sleep. Wool is also water repellent, useful for spills and also for wicking moisture away from your body, which helps keep the body at a more even temperature. It is a natural flame retardant, having a low burning rate so it doesn’t need to be treated with chemicals, and it doesn’t get dirty easily. Washable wool fabric makes it easier to care for too.”