I am a furnace when I sleep. As my brain drifts off into dreamworld, my body apparently thinks it needs to ramp up into hyperdrive. I’ll be wearing a Zorro cape, standing on top of my new patio cover and trying to shoot a 30-foot tall robotic iguana with a shotgun (you know, normal dream stuff) allthewhile my real body is undergoing a feverish, sweaty, flailing-about experience. I have been known to wake up with the corner of the fitted sheet up over my head, my covers halfway across the room, and my underwear twisted nearly 180 degrees around the backside of my body.
In one of those fast-motion / time elapse sleep studies, where they video your sleep posture and then play it back in fast motion, I picture me dancing across the bed like Michael Jackson’s Thriller, kicking any cats and/or girlfriends trying to sleep near me.
For some reason, naps are even worse. If I wake up from a good two hour nap on the couch, even in a cool room, I will wake up looking like the winning coach of the Superbowl, doused with water on my chest and neck. Things are stuck to weird places, I’ll have drool in my hair somehow, and any pets who started the nap curled up with me are now moved to the other couch, having grown tired of my backflips or whatever.
There are all kinds of sleeping positions. Some people hug their pillow like they’re hoping to successfully choke it into submission. Some people spread out like a stranded starfish. Others will curl into a little ball, bury their head under a pile of three pillows, and wear over-the-knee socks. I had a friend-of-a-friend who couldn’t sleep unless she had a hairdryer on, all night. That seems dangerous.
Sleeping combinations are even worse when you add more people to the bed. See the following chart of baby sleeping positions from www.howtobeadad.com
(You might need to click on the picture to see the full thing).
When my daughter Jules was a baby, she’d do some combination of the “H is for Hell” and simply crawling up and kicking me in the nose from time to time.
I find that my heat regulation is the toughest part of getting comfortable. There’s about a three-degree temperature range where I’m not sweating or freezing. So I invented the perfect sleeping maneuver.
It’s called Radiator Leg.
Here’s how Radiator Leg works. You get under your covers, and you get yourself all snuggly awesome. You build whatever fort of pillows that you need, and get your perfect little cocoon all set. But then, you hang one leg out. Just one leg. The other one stays in your cocoon of badass snuggly comfort. That one leg will act as a radiator, drawing all the heat away from your body with evaporative cooling.
So following my invention of the Counterblink Maneuver (where you fake a right blinker when you want to get in the left lane), Radiator Leg is my second significant contribution to mankind. Trust me, you’ll be thanking me the next time you’re trying to get comfortable and you employ the new maneuver. Then you can go back to sleep and think about battling giant robot lizards.