You’ve heard about the cooling trend, right?
Well, I guess it's not that new.
I’m referring to those products like pillows or cooling blankets for people who are always too hot. They are popular with campers.
I know that seems unlikely with the current weather temperatures, but trust me, there are some of us who are always hot.
I refer to those who sleep with the window open all four seasons and a fan blowing.
I am here to tell you cooling beds work — perhaps too well. I offer my latest adventure as a public service announcement.
I was sharing a room with another lady and there was just one bed, so we opted to bring in a blow-up air mattress for the second person.
Now, it has been a long time since I tried to sleep that close to the ground, but I was willing to give it the old college try. So, imagine the air mattress is way down there and I need to get onto it.
Oh, I forgot to mention the room was really hot. It was mid-season, I guess, so there was no air-conditioning and no heat yet. We opened an outside window.
Once I got onto the air mattress, the chances of getting back off were slim to none. There is absolutely no support to brace yourself. It reminded me of water beds back in the day. Those were also not my friend.
Picture a beached turtle on her back. Struggling to get close enough to the edge of the mattress to flop myself onto the floor, crawl to the nearby bed and hoist myself up to get to the bathroom. I was trying to do all that and not wake up my roommate.
I knew I was going to have to do this at least once more before morning. I dragged an office chair over, thinking I could use that for some stability. Nope, it was on wheels.
However, this was not the big issue. I made it back onto the mattress, but I started to shiver. It was that inner chill you get when you are sick. My teeth were chattering and I could not get warm. I certainly couldn’t get up again to find a blanket.
But desperate times call for desperate actions. I could see my friend had a bedspread and blankets. I used my toes to grab the duvet and slowly pull it down to my level, all the while not waking her nor stealing her actual blankets. She tells the story completely different, saying she was stripped bare of all blankets as I chose self-preservation over friendship.
The next morning, I was telling her how freezing I was. It wasn’t that cold in the room. We forgot about it until night came again and we were faced with that same situation. I was paralyzed with fear about the return to turtle-gate, so she offered to take the air mattress.
Same story, though. She started to shiver midway through the night. She literally felt like she was going into hibernation.
Wikipedia defines it like this: “Hibernation is a state of minimal activity and metabolic depression by some animal species. It is characterized by low body temperatures, slow breathing and heart rate.”
Then, it finally dawned on us. It was a cooling mattress! When the cool air from outside hit it, it activated. I can confirm it works ... very well.
On a hot summer night, I would be singing its praises, but in the winter? Not so much.
My advice is if you don’t want to wake up after a long winter’s nap, very grumpy, growling, foraging for berries and honey, may I suggest you steer clear.