Menopausal night sweats? Are you in the dreaded thermostat wars? The Chilipad could be the answer....
Are you hot at night? In a Fahrenheit/Centigrade sort of way, I mean! Menopausal and struggling with hot flushes and night sweats? Do you spend half the time throwing off your duvet, and then drowsily tugging it back on a few minutes later, chilled to the bone? And then repeat the process endlessly through the night and wake up feeling like you haven’t had an ounce of that deep REM sleep everyone is always banging on about? And it may not even be the menopause! Could just as much be a room temperature issue. He - or she - who controls the heat at night, wins the sleep prize. Hands down, no doubt about it.
We are each of us different, but an American survey of sleep habits recently found that nearly half of us are kept awake purely by tossing and turning (though it doesn’t specify if that’s our own tossing and turning or that of our partners) and that 60% of women in particular can’t sleep properly because of the temperature in the bedroom - an even higher statistic than the often quoted 42% that get no sleep because of their partner’s snoring.
My husband and I battle it out silently, and somewhat sneakily - or at least I attempt to do the sneaky thing and he continually outwits me. And although separate, differently togged duvets is one answer, it seems a bit sad, so we take it in turns, more or less... I’m too hot one night, the next he’s too cold, neither of us getting optimal amounts of deep rest at night.
Recognise yourself in the above? Well, despair no more, for overly hot or far too cold, it seems to me that I may have found a possible solution to all our woes.
The answer to menopausal night sweats?
The Chilipad is another star from from my CES trip to Las Vegas. It’s a thin, pure cotton pad, just like a mattress cover, that sits underneath the sheets of your bed. So far so normal, but what makes it different from its ‘bed accessory’ friends is that unlike an electric blanket (and we hopefully all know by now how bad electric blankets are for your health, emitting damaging electromagnetic fields from the coils inside the blanket) it has tiny silicone tubes threaded throughout it, that fill up with water and can be adjusted so that one side is cool, and the other hot.
Its temperature range stretches from 55 degrees F right up to a toasty 110 degrees F, and you can either run the same temperature across the whole pad or cleverly divide it in two, customising different heats in each section. So now you can perfectly manage the comfort of two differently temperatured people and optimise your rest, making that tossing and turning fade into the distant mists of memory and allowing you, finally, full access to a deep, untroubled and re-invigorating sleep. Bye bye insomnia..
How does the Chilipad work?
My initial question was to query the levels of electricity used by the ChiliPad to heat or chill the water. Electro-magnetic fields affect your head whilst you sleep, disturbing both your rest and your brain in the process. Had the developers considered that? But remarkably, they had. The generator, which is a sturdy cube that attaches to the main water feed tube, sits at least two meters from your head in a sealed box.
On paper the concept is brilliant - but does it actually work in practice? I definitely needed to spend a night or two trying it out. They are not cheap - the single pad retails at around £375 - but then these are not your average electric blanket but fall instead into the category of health aids. Sleep well and much in your life improves for the better.
Is Chilipad worth the money?
Possibly worth the investment, but buying all sorts of products to try them out gets horribly expensive - especially when they don’t come up to scratch. I have a cupboard full of rejects - at least four or five for every one that I write about. So I asked if I could borrow one for a few nights - and remarkably generously, they agreed.
My ChiliPad arrived in a giant box, two days later, carefully packaged. So, first impressions - beautiful quality, and far less bulky than I had expected. Sitting on it before I put it under my bedsheet, I could hardly feel the tiny silicone tubing system at all. A thicker white tube runs from the head of the mat directly into the cube shaped generator. You fill it with water when you first use it, then switch to your chosen heat and sit back and wait. It takes about 20 minutes for the water in the tubes to either heat up or cool down, and the oddest thing about it is that once you are in bed, you distinctly feel either hotter or cooler, but touch the pad itself when you are standing next to it, and it feels as if it’s not switched on at all. Very clever. There’s a remote control to change temperature should you want to and it turns itself off automatically after 10 hours.
Does the Chilipad work?
I slept far better on the cool version than I ever normally do, and on top heat the duvet was cosy inside - a different somehow softer sort of heat than that of an electric blanket. My single reservation about the product would be the air flow noise from the ‘Cube’ generator. It emits a low constant hum throughout the night. In one way this acts as an excellent ‘white noise’ to drown out external sounds that might disturb your rest under normal circumstances. Perfect for London, large cities or noisy neighbours. But if you value total silence at night, then you may struggle. Either way, they offer a 90 day satisfaction guarantee, so no risk in just experimenting...
So, will I be buying one for myself? The answer is yes... I am saving up for the single. As the Americans so succinctly describe it, the ChiliPad is the ultimate ‘personalised sleep environment’. For me, simply ‘Magic Blanket’ will do.
Want more of my personal recommendations? Browse through my Reboot Recommends posts:
Written by health advocate Sara Davenport, founder of one of the UK's leading breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Haven. With over twenty years' experience in holistic health, Sara's digital dose of wellness teaches you to listen to your body, tweak your lifestyle and improve your health.
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