As the nights draw in and the cold weather encroaches further and further into our sunny lives, the pains of winter are becoming a reality once again.
It happens every year, and every year I feel less and less prepared. Things I promised myself I wouldn’t do next time crop up and get put off once more, like just putting up with the cold weather rather than, I dunno, wearing an extra layer or something.
One of the other harsh realities of the cold weather is – if you’re lucky/unlucky (delete as appropriate) enough to share your bed – having the covers unceremoniously taken away from you in the middle of the night by your partner’s seemingly innocent rolling over.
It’s a wake up call to say the least, and as you desperately try to wrench the covers back to your side, the thought of a single bed suddenly seems like a promising dream.
Well your midnight musings may have just been answered, my shivering friend.
A company, called Cover Clamp, are making these things called Cover Clamps, which clamp the covers down on you bed so there’s no chance of any pesky duvet hogging during the night.
The clever design claims to solve the age-old problem of blanket stealing, by basically gripping one side of the duvet to one side of the bed.
Check it out:
As the video shows, you clamp the blankets in the grip, then whack the other end beneath the mattress, and hey presto, the duvet stays on your side for the night.
However, if you’re still struggling to sleep despite the evenly distributed duvet, here’s some handy advice from none other than the US Navy to help you nod off.
In fact, their scientific method more or less promises sleep in two minutes flat, even under the most stressful of situations.
So what is this magical method and how do we non-Navy Seals draw from it? Well, according to sports performance book Relax and Win: Championship Performance by Lloyd Bud Winter, this tried and tested piece of military wisdom can be broken down into four distinct steps.
Firstly, the sleepy person must relax their facial muscles; including their tongue, jaw and the six muscles surrounding their eye sockets. Squinting and frowning are big no-nos as tension needs to leave your face.
Secondly, the wannabe sleeper should draw their focus to their shoulders; dropping them as far down as they can. They should then relax their upper and lower arms; first on one side, and then on the other.
The third step is to breathe out, relaxing the chest. Finally, the person should relax their legs; beginning with their thighs before moving down to their lower legs.
After completing these four steps, the sleepyhead must then spend a good ten seconds clearing away the clutter of their mind. Bud Winter suggests picturing one of three mental images in particular – lying in a canoe on a calm lake, being cuddled in a black velvet hammock, or repeating ‘don’t think’ over and over for ten seconds.
So there you have it. Clamp in and doze off, sleep-seekers!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.