Winter is almost here and it’s set to be a particularly cold one for much of the US. Brrr! Here in California, we’re used to much warmer winter temps, making it easier to stay cozy in the cooler months. However, you don’t have to live on the West Coast to stay warm! When the weather outside is frightful, it’s all the more reason for your home to be delightfully snug. When the temperature drops, it's time to add comfort, not forgo style. While we all know the obvious practices – from adjusting the thermostat, to making sure our windows are sealed and lighting a fire – there are definitely a few tricks of the trade that will keep you feeling comfortable all year round.
Staying warm is also particularly important for getting a good night’s sleep. As we wind down for the day, our brains signal to our body that it’s time to get sleepy by producing melatonin, which also cues our body temperature to slowly drop. However, if our sleep environment is too cold (or too hot), it can interrupt our sleep cycle and leave us feeling unrested.
Here are my top 10 winter weather tips to keep you toasty, day and night, in the colder weather!
Layer your bedding. It’s always a good idea to change up your bed linen, depending on the season. Different fabrics can make a significant difference to how your body heat is retained, keeping you comfortable in both hot and cool weather. In the winter, consider a change to heavier sheets and a down comforter or duvet. Use extra blankets and add a cozy throw to the foot of your bed, where it’s easy to grab if the mercury drops in the middle of the night and you wake up needing a bit of extra warmth.
Warm the tummy. Stews, roasts, casseroles, and soups are made for the cold weather because they cook at low temperatures for a long period of time and, of course, they warm you up going down. Another bonus is that using your oven can help to heat the whole house!
Let the sunshine in. Sunlight gives the illusion of warmth, even on colder days. During the day, open your curtains and blinds and let that light stream in. (Bonus: your plants will love you!) At night, be sure to close all windows and blinds to keep the heat in. If necessary, replace thin summer curtains with heavier drapes.
Clean the house. A little light exercise can help to keep you warm by getting the blood moving, so not only will your house be cleaner, but you’ll also warm yourself up.
Trick your senses. Warm colors and textures make you feel warmer, so change out your decor by switching up some simple accessories. Try adding a warmly colored throw so you can snuggle under it.
Warm drinks. Wrap your hands around a warm mug of tea, cocoa or coffee. Alcohol isn’t a great alternative, especially if you’re going outdoors, since it can create the illusion of warmth – thanks to expanded blood vessels – but ultimately leave you feeling chillier as it draws heat away from your organs.
Spread comfort around. Add cozy blankets and throws to your sofa and comfy chairs - perfect for a cuddle with a loved one or cracking open a good book. Is there any better way to spend an evening?
Use a humidifier. No tropical vacation in your future? No worries. A humidifier can help to raise temperatures by a couple of degrees as the water vapor slightly increases the air’s ability to hold heat. Or simply open the bathroom door while you're showering and let the humid air warm the room.
Cozy up the floor. Cover up your bare floor with a rug that's soft underfoot. Not only will it feel and look good, it will help to insulate the room.
Do your laundry. The quickest way to get warm is to change your body temperature, and nothing warms you up like clothing straight from the dryer!
Here’s to staying warm and safe this winter!