Hot sheep

In the past year or so, it seems that my body has been altering its long-standing thermostat settings.   For the first time in as long as I can remember (although admittedly, my memory is not quite the razor-sharp entity it once was), I sometimes find myself cold.  This is both disconcerting and inconvenient.

Also, I deal with cold feet at night.  Actually, only at the beginning of the night.  I simply cannot fall asleep when my feet are cold, and since our electric blanket died a while back, I have utilized what we refer to as my “doggie donut.”  My friend, Pat, when she heard that it’s hard to get my feet warm, told me about the Snuggle Safe that her dog (or was it cat?) uses.  When I expressed interest in such an item, she ordered one for me and had it shipped to my house, inside with a soft, dalmatian-spotted cover!  So, forthe past two winters I’ve been microwaving my doggie donut and tossing it into bed to warm a ten-inch circle before I jump in.  It does stay warm all night, but it’s hard to get my entire half of the bed warm with it.

I’ve been looking into other options.  Of course, the obvious one would be to turn the thermostat up, but that does involve propane, which is not cheap.  Besides, when you live in a 96-year-old house that has 29 windows and not one stitch of insulation in the walls, there is a point at which you can turn the thermostat as high as you want, and it just ain’t gonna’ get much warmer – while it burns away propane by the tank (think:  feeding dollar bills into a furnace).

I decided against an electric blanket, mainly because with it being pulled up and down and taken on and off the bed each time the sheets are changed, the wires break and it stops working.  It occurred to me that if you could put an electric blanket under you instead of over you, it wouldn’t be subjected to such stress, so on a lark, I googled “heated mattress pad, and, lo and behold, such animals do exist!

I was pleased as punch and looked for king-sized versions with dual controls.  Those also exist, and I thought the problem was solved, until I considered the shape of our mattress.  It’s old, and although we do flip it from time to time, it has definite areas of sag.  Because of those, a few years ago we figured out that the only comfortable way to sleep on it was to turn it sideways.  Picture it thusly:  a king bed is essentially two twins beds side by side, but we have turned ours on its ear, such that the two twins run crossways.  As in, one goes from side to side under our shoulders, and the other goes from side to side under our toes.

King beds are almost, but (and this is critical to the story) not quite square.  They are literally just a few inches longer one direction than the other, and ours is now very slightly wider than long.  The reason I am telling you so is that while I want my side of the bed warm before I dive into it, Scott does not.  He is not cold at night and he does not want any artificial heat added to his side of the bed.

I thought that a king sized heated mattress pad with dual controls would be ideal, but then I remembered that since our mattress is sideways, instead of my side being hot and his side being cold, both of our shoulders would be hot and both of our feet would be cold, or vice versa!  (Heated mattress pads are all fitted and so will only go on the bed one – and in our case, the wrong – direction.)

This was an exceedingly depressing realization.  In fact, I almost cried, assuming that it would be the doggie donut forever.  But as I continued searching for heated mattress pads, an item called an “Earthlite Basics Fleece Massage Table Warmer” appeared.  It’s a flat (not fitted) pad that is designed to be used on a massage table.  It’s 30″ x 73″ and covered with lusciously soft fleeciness.   I bought one and have been using it for a couple of wonderfully warm weeks.

The pad goes under the regular mattress pad and it has two settings.  On low, it doesn’t do much at all, but if you set it on high fifteen minutes before going to bed, it gets both the bottom and top sheets nice and toasty.  I usually read in bed for a little while, and when I get drowsy, I turn it off and I’m warm all night.  The first night I left it on high on all night and woke up drenched with sweat, a la hot flash.  My pillow is against a window, so if it gets bitterly cold, I may try shifting it from high to low once it’s fully warmed up.

In any case, I am very thankful for and thoroughly enjoying sleeping on my hot sheep!


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