A cosy night spent watching telly in bed could be the answer to plummeting temperatures and soaring fuel bills.

According to The Sleep Council, beds are the perfect retreat on cold winter nights: and with more and more homes sporting a bedroom TV, an increasing number of us are cutting central heating costs by tucking up early in front of the telly.

Said Sleep Council spokeswoman Jessica Alexander: “An awful lot of people are looking at ways to reduce their fuel bills this winter. Switching the central heating off a couple of hours earlier than normal could, by our rough calculations, save up to £150 a year* on gas bills.”

Once it’s time for lights out, however, The Sleep Council emphasises the importance of turning off the television and any other distractions that can get in the way of a good night’s sleep.

And to stay warm as toast all night long, it offers the following tips:

• Wear night clothes such as pyjamas or a large T-shirt to keep you warm. Natural fibres such as wool, cotton or silk will keep you warmer than synthetic materials.

• Have a warm bath just before you go to bed. This will warm you up and will also help to make you sleepy.

• Have a warming milky drink.

• Try to take some exercise during the day which will get the circulation going and help to keep the body warm.

It is also worth looking at the bedroom, the bed and the bedding, all of which play a part in keeping you insulated in the cold night air.

• Keep the bedroom warm, but not too hot, and free from draughts.

• Avoid a saggy bed. It may be nice to cuddle up for warmth but it can be very uncomfortable and clammy when you are thrown together by a bed that isn’t giving you the correct support.

• Look out for mattresses which have a warmer side for use during the winter. Use a fleecy underblanket to retain the heat.

• Wear bed socks – keeping your feet warm will help keep all of you warm.

• Choose a duvet with a high tog rating or use several layers of bedding rather than one single layer. Layers will trap warm air and are easily removed if you get too hot.

• A hot water bottle is an ideal way to keep warm once in bed. Make sure it has a cover on it to avoid scalding and also so that it won’t feel cold in the middle of the night.

• Electric blankets are ideal. Underblankets will warm the bed up before you retire for the night, while overblankets maintain a constant temperature throughout the night.

*£150 a year is based on Ofgem’s 18/1/2011 typical annual gas consumption figure of 16,500 kWh. The Sleep Council is assuming:
– a cost of 3.77 per kWh
– central heating usage from September to May each year
– an average of eight hours a day usage.

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