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Bedding

If you have lost your heating or air-conditioning, or if you are sleeping people on the floor or the ground, you need to give special attention to bedding. A little planning can make sleeping a lot easier.

In Heat

Everyone knows that it is hard to sleep if you are hot. In a two-story house, it may be easier for everyone to camp out on the first floor than to try to cool the second floor. Whatever level of the building you are on, it is likely to be cooler near the floor. If you have a tent or safe area, sleeping on the ground outside may be cooler than sleeping inside. Sleep in as little clothing as possible, and keep it light and loose. However hot it may be, you will probably want a sheet over you. Most of us have sleep rituals that involve pulling up some cover. If you don't do this, it may be hard to convince yourself to go to sleep. Also, the sheet will keep moving air from being an uncomfortable draft and it may actually make you cooler by absorbing and evaporating sweat.

In Cold

It is also uncomfortable to sleep when you are too cool. In cold weather, the best thing is to have a sleeping bag that is rated to fairly low temperatures for each person. If you don't have enough sleeping bags, learn to make them from blankets and sheets. Fold the blankets over and over to form a tube so there is no open side to let in the cold. Fold and pin the bottom so it is sealed too. When it is time for bed, wriggle in from the top.

Make sure that you have plenty of insulation from the cold bed, floor, or ground. If you are on a mattress or couch, you need as much cover under you as over you. If you are on the floor, you should have an extra blanket folded under you for extra insulation. If you are on the ground, you need a water barrier like a shower curtain or trash bags under the insulation as well. If you have a waterbed, don't sleep on it if it is cold. It is hard to have enough insulation to keep the water from sucking the heat out of you.

When it is cold, the best way to warm a bed is to put another person in it. You insulate each other and there are two bodies generating warmth. This is particularly good for children. If you have a king-sized bed, don't put two adults in it. Put four or five children, or a whole family in it. Everyone stays warmer and the kids feel safer. Most sleeping bags can be zipped together for two people, and it is easy enough to fold your homemade sleeping bags for two.

Wear plenty of clothing to bed, but make sure it is dry. If your clothes are wet, you are better off in nothing than climbing into your bed and making it wet too. Remember your hands and feet and ears. Wear socks on your feet and gloves or socks on your hands to keep them warm. If it is really cold, make sure your ears are covered. However, if it is that cold where you are sleeping, it is time to evacuate if you can.

Donít get in bed
if you are wet