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August 13, 2009

Sleeping Weather

Look who's in the Times today!

And now our regularly scheduled blog:

Sleeping Weather

by Nancy                     Go to fullsize image

With August comes what my family calls "good sleeping weather" here in Pennsylvania.  The days are hot, but the nights get chilly, and if you open the windows you can snuggle under the covers and get a great night's sleep while the cool night breeze whispers through the curtains.

Recently, my mother called to say she'd read an article that said the best bedroom temperature for a good night's sleep is somewhere between 60 and 65 degrees.  She was delighted.

"I love a cold bedroom!"

She cranks her AC down past 65 every night.

Do you like it cold?  Or toasty warm?

When I was a kid, the first couple of weeks of August meant we packed up and traveled to the family's summer cottage in Canada. Up on a lake, a couple hours north of Toronto in Ontario, we spent our days swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking or--if you were a slug--reading in the sunshine, then ate dinner like farm hands and roasted marshmallows in the fireplace before crashing into bed about nine o'clock when the fire started to flicker out and the mosquito population bolted to get out of the cold.  All the cousins wrapped up in sleeping bags in the attic "dorm" and slept with the windows wide open.  You might have been awakened during the night by the call of loons on the lake---or maybe a mouse running over your foot---but otherwise, you slept like the dead in the cold air.

I know a lot of woman of a certain age have trouble sleeping.  Maybe we should do a study here at TLC among menopausal women and turning down the thermostat. Of course, not everybody finds a cold bedroom the answer to sleep problems. 

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One wonders if somebody's doctor might have done better to skip the propofol and just install another air conditioner. 

My grandfather came along on the Canada vacation.  One summer he insisted on sleeping on the "sleeping porch" on a lumpy mattress because he was sure he'd sleep like a baby.  The sleeping porch was screened in, although not terribly tightly.  He came in for breakfast the first morning with his face swollen and bitten up by bugs. My mother daubed him with Calomine lotion, and the cousins thought the pink "war paint" was hilarious.

The only sleep disruption I remember was the year the bears discovered our garbage cans.  Black bears roamed around the cottage all night, rattling the screen doors to get into the kitchen for more goodies.  Seemed like a big adventure when I was a kid (safe in the attic!) but now I imagine my mother--who slept in the downstairs bedroom--must have felt otherwise.

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For various sleep-related questions, here's a website you might like.  They recommend your bedroom thermostat be set between 68 and 72 degrees.  Don't tell my mother.


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Congratulations on the NYT story!

And I like cold(er) for sleeping, except don't like high A/C bills.

Yay, Sarah, getting good ink!

Oddly enough, I'm reading this at 4:42 AM, and have not yet been able to fall asleep, for the third time this week. Ugh.

We keep our bedroom cool in the winter, in fact, we close the heat vent altogether. It's harder in the summer to keep the bedroom cool since it's on the second floor and this is an old house with an antiquated duct system.

Congrats Sarah on getting some great PR!

I like to sleep under a ceiling fan on high, even in the winter. I LOVE a cold room. However, sometimes I have cold feet. I read somewhere that cold feet can keep you from falling asleep, so keep a pair of socks handy to slip on.

I was awakened at 4am today by the newspaper delivery man, who was listening to talk radio on HIGH VOLUME. Scared the heck out of me to hear voices in my driveway at that hour!

I love a cold room, snuggling under covers. We haven't been able to have window open at night lately, it's been way too humid, when it's not actually raining. I get very warm when I sleep, so it's a treat when the room is cool enough to have covers on. I think 68-72 degrees sounds too warm.

SARAH! That is terrific!

Sleep and I are nodding acquaintances, at best, so I'm probably not going to have much to offer on this one....

I'm always relieved when the night air begins to have a bite to it, I sleep so much better. In the summer, I have three fans going upstairs, trying to get some flow of air to act like a chimney and push all the hot air out.

I keep the house as cold as possible, considering the time of year and how much it costs. 72 degrees? NFW. I prefer a setting that leads people to describe the house in terms like 'meat locker'.

Sarah - that is so cool! The New York Times! Plus, I think you look great, although for some reason, the photo made me feel like I wanted to either bake bread or drink a Pepsi.

Your summer vacations sound heavenly. Although I wouldn't care much for the bears. I love to pile on blankets and sleep in a cool room in the winter. I grew up in a house with a wood stove, and the hardest part was getting up and getting dressed in a chilly room!

Meredith, my mind is boggled by the idea of you growing up in a house with a wood stove.

I love sleeping in a cold room. Love it! The problem, of course, is having to get out of bed at some point. I had an apartment once that had a separate baseboard heater in the bathroom. I used to turn that on at night, and, in the morning, I knew that a little slice of warmth awaited me in the tiny bathroom. It was the perfect solution.

Ah, but your mother might be a "sleep connoisseur."

Slate published an article about sleep tourism not long ago, and apparently some aim for more slow-wave sleep, called "the mythical supersleep," instead of REM. One of the requirements is cold. It was an interesting article: http://www.slate.com/id/2220293

In the winter, I sleep in an unheated bedroom--here in NH--and I am with others: 68 to 72 is way too warm!

Soooo....box fan. When you live next to the Miami International Airport you need white noise to sleep. And since it is getting rarer and rarer that it is at all cold the breeze keeps you going.
Wait a minute (blink) was that a cold front?
I did summer stock for St. Cloud University one summer and froze my fanny off! Those folk really are vikings! I gave the spotlight kid an A for setting a fire in the lodge for my morning dance class. We did our flex points with our feet next to the fireplace.
Your summers sound wonderful Nancy. We had a sleeping porch on my grandparent's farm...with a box fan to keep the skeeters off. I can still smell the ficus leaves rotting on the coral rock. It's a smell you never forget and I associate with the farm to this day.
I do crank it down to sleep when I'm in a hotel and it's on their nickle. At least it's cold white noise especially if it's a Motel 6 and they are doing the horizontal folk dance in the next room.
Best place to sleep? The Weston Peach Tree Plaza in Atlanta. The beds are supper fluffy and you really do feel like you are in the clouds! Most of the time if you're on the top floors you are!
Just saying.
Great article and sweet picture of Sarah!

Xena, I am thinking of you and your Vikings with a smile.

Put me in the cold bedroom column. At least 65 and lower if possible. Ceiling fans help, too. Hotels are a problem cuz they usually have a regulator on their thermostats which will only let the temperature go so low. Kathy, I'll visit you anytime and loooove the cold house.

Sarah in the NEW YORK TIMES! Got to love it. What a fantastic article! I opened my paper this AM, and burst into smiling.

Oh, cold bedroom, Any day. With big puffy comforter.

Boutique hotels now have Pillow Consultants to make sure you have a good nights sleep. No, I have never stayed in one, I have a friend who works at one.

I love me some blankies. Skip the duvet, I love 5 or 6 blankets. I am almost at winter blankets level right now, brrr, rainy and chilly here. No AC where I live but way too much AC where I work.

Good article Sarah, was I ever supposed to have napkin rings? Am I missing something?

Congrats on the NYt article, Sarah! Way cool.

I like it cool, but not cold, when I'm falling asleep. Love having the windows open. Then, of course, at some point, I have to fling all the covers off . . . only to need them back a little bit later.

And i wonder why I'm so damn tired.

Sarah, amazing press!!!!!! And the photo! I just happened to be reading the style section and I saw it. I'm so happy for you.

Wow, Sarah!!! Congratulations on the NYT article!!! Gotta spread that around, don't we?

I loved sleeping last night. I was actually able to have the window open a bit, even with the rain, and what a nice, cool breeze came in. Even the dog slept. Finally. To the point where I was almost an hour late to work! LOL!!!

My problem is that no matter what, I have to have covers on. So it is definitely nicer to have it cooler in the bedroom.

Nice job, Sarah......there's seems to be a message there about the value of a good white shirt!

In my youth I slept with open window in August, at the foot of the bed and awakened at 3 AM to the sounds of the humgry lions at the zoo who were fed at 3:30 AM......those were the days.

Now, I live in the eternal summer......never turn on heat.....a fan over my hot bod in our bedroom. Only 2 yrs and 9 mos more of anti-cancer drug and then they say I might be able to waer a sweater.

Keep cool..........

Cool is better than warm for sleep, but Chuck is one of those "crank the AC down to 62F" guys. Me? Not so much. 67-68F at night is fine, and on some nights I can make do with a fan and an open window. Think it makes any difference that I grew up without AC and he grew up with it? I love a cool room in the winter though, as much as Chuck loves it warm...we compromise. He gets extra blankets :o)

Oh to be able to sleep with a window open all night once again. Allergies and asthma forced us to get window air conditioners in the bedroom. I really miss laying in bed late at night with the window open and listening to the trains coming towards my little town.

On a humid evening you could hear the train blowing it's whistle at every crossing from at least five miles away. Slowly you begin to hear the sound of the engines pulling on the grade and then at last the sound of rail car wheels as they roll over the welds in the tracks. With loud blasts on the whistle, the engine reaches the crossing in our town and passes by. The sounds of the train quickly fade away and you await the coming of another train until you fall asleep.

Apparently there is a movement afoot to prevent trains from blowing their whistles at railroad crossings. They don't like their sleep disturbed at night. So I suppose I might be in the minority with my nostalgia for the sounds of trains at night.

I absolutely love this blog -- it's been keeping me sane! I've been trying to read at least one book (if not the entire collection) of each author. Can't pick a favorite since they are all great in neat and different ways.

Xena -- it's 89 degrees in Mpls/St Paul and the humidity is about 80% today! Complaining about the weather and road construction are some of the favorite topics of conversation. Don't forget, we're the folks who sell ice cream at a hockey rink with 40 below temps, so I guess it's okay to say we are a special type of people.

I like blankets -- hubby doesn't until about 3:00 am and the 70 lb lap dog (black lab mix) sneaks in between us, so there's always something warm to tuck cold feet under.

DebbaSue, we love you!

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