Bed Buddies

Especially this time of year, the worst part of climbing into bed is getting the chill out of the sheets. No matter how tired you are, that bracing first few minutes gets you alert again and makes it all that much harder to drift off. Sure, flannel sheets are a good alternative. Making sure your partner goes to bed 10 minutes before you is another popular solution. And my sister and her husband have recently become fond of fleece sheets, but that may just be a Little Bo Peep fantasy thing gone amok. Yet all are valid ways, to achieve that chill-less immersion into the bed.

But what if you’re traveling? Alone? Stuck with crisp hotel sheets and no one to con into warming them up for you while you brush your teeth? Not to worry, the Holiday Inn has you covered. They are currently running a trial in London and Manchester where a complementary human bed warmer will show up at your door in a one-piece bunny suit and snuggle under your covers for you for five minutes. Problem solved.

That is, unless you spend too much time pondering that these bed hoppers have snuggled under who knows how many others’ sheets before yours. You can bet those bunny suits don’t get changed between rooms, and all those sheets aren’t laundry fresh either. Remember the fat guy two-doors down with the pile of greasy room service trays outside his door? His funk is now on your sheets. Remember all the screaming and thumping from next door last night? Well guess what you’re pulling up under your chin in a few minutes? And what about the bed warmers themselves? Are they all hale and hygienic?

Dr Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said the idea could help people get off to sleep. He said: “There’s plenty of scientific evidence to show that sleep starts at the beginning of the night when body temperature starts to drop. The decline occurs partly because the blood vessels of the hands, face and feet open up and release heat. A warm bed – approximately 20 to 24 degrees Celsius – is a good way to start this process whereas a cold bed would inhibit sleep.”

Cold I can shake off. What’s going to inhibit my sleep is a vision of some big harry guy named Nevile who was lounging on my sheets mere moments ago.

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