#337 Getting buried under piles of heavy blankets on a cold night

Joey doesn’t have heat.

Honestly, when I crashed at his cramped apartment a couple nights ago he welcomed me in wearing three sweaters and a set of chattering teeth while explaining that his apartment has no heat, so while he was glad I came over it was going to be a matter of setting up an army of space heaters to keep warm.

After catching up for a couple hours it was time to hit the hay and since Joey’s a great friend he took care to drag his arm along the spare mattress to wipe the loud clattery pile of extension cords, extra keys, and cell phone batteries onto the rock hard floor before bed. He then apologized for having no blinds in the room, said to watch out for the mouse trap under the bed, and tossed a pin cushion onto the mattress for a pillow.

“Need anything else?”, he asked, while yawning and scratching his armpit.

“Blankets,” I replied, my tired eyes narrowing at the slippery cold mattress and terrible sleepless night before me. I pictured waking up with my eyelids frostbitten shut and my big toes turned blue and dead in the dark. “Blankets Joey … for God’s sakes blankets.”

“Oh … right,” he said. “Hmm, lemme see what I’ve got around here.”

And so began a fast-paced five minute hunt around his apartment for anything resembling a thin bed covering. First a dusty duvet was yanked from the closet, then a few mothball-smelling sheets recovered from under a bed, and then finally we hit a forgotten motherlode stash of blankets piled up behind the couch. Pretty soon we’d built a thick and heavy eight-layer fortress from the cold and I brushed my teeth, stripped right down, and jumped into those frozen sheets.

And let me tell you.

That beautifully thick stack of blankets kept every single ounce of heat in all night and helped me sleep in a heavenly bed of bliss. The heaviness on top of me felt safe and secure and I rested knowing that outside my Fortress of Fire lay an ice-cold deathtrap trying to lure me to the bathroom. Well friends… the good news is my bladder didn’t burst and I managed to spend a beautifully warm and toasty night under a giant thick pile of


Photos from: here, here and here

53 thoughts on “#337 Getting buried under piles of heavy blankets on a cold night

  1. This is fantastic! Not only can I relate, but I was teleported with your story telling.
    My favourite line is “knowing that outside my Fortress of Fire lay an ice-cold deathtrap trying to lure me to the bathroom.”
    Almost wet *myself*.

  2. I dig this. Just moved back to DC from NO and at around 60 deegres, I get almost frostbitten. I don’t know how you guys do it every year.

  3. Chilly ambient temp + lots of heavy blankets = the best way to sleep … EVER! Sans the mouse traps, moth balls, pin cushion pillows, and cell phone batteries, of course.

    I hate trying to sleep when it’s hot. Ew. I have some friends who keep their places at like 80+ degrees (which is ridiculous, by the way, considering where we live — it’s cold here, yes, but we’re by no means living in the tundra), and even a thin sheet is too much cover. No no no. That’s no way to go about sleeping. Granted, some heat is good — I can’t imagine how cold an apartment is with NO heat (although think of the money Joey must save on his utility bill!).

    Well, anyway, I grew up with my parents always kicking the heat down at night. We all always had lots of blankets on our beds. It was wonderful. I love the snuggly weight of all the covers barricading me from the chilliness. The best part was that someone was usually awake to kick the heat back up before I got outta bed. :)

    1. Ugh…I had a friend that I spent the night with back in high school and they kept their house really hot. I hated it. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was being suffocated.

    2. I keep my house at 83 in the summer. Love it! I have no heat though, so winter is torturous for me. The blanket fortress only keeps me warm from the neck down because I can’t sleep with my head under the covers like some can :/

  4. I stayed with my bff for a week in the middle of winter a couple years ago. She had no heat either. She offered me a space heater, but halfway through the first night, I noticed it didn’t work. I piled blankets on that bed and slept like a baby.
    Me and hubby went camping a couple months ago when the temps where just dropping…. warm during the day, cold at night. I loved it. We only took one heavy blanket with us and one light one…yes, we were a bit unprepared, but sleeping under that heavy blanket and cuddling against hubby made for one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time.
    I always sleep better when I’m cold. Every day when I get home, when I start cooking, I turn the heat off. The oven usually warms the place up pretty nice and I can’t breathe. At night when everyone goes to bed, I leave the heat off. I wake up a few hours later to turn the heat on for everyone else cuz about that time is when the heat from the oven and the sun are gone. It is during this time I throw the blankets off me and sleep blanketless.

    1. Oooh, camping when it’s chilly at night is awesome! I hate camping when it’s really hot at night. Sticky heat, bugs all over you/buzzing in your ears … not nearly as much fun as waiting to go camping in October. :D

  5. Love this. I especially love piling on the blankets with a ceiling fan blowing on me. There’s lots of comfort there, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense. :)

    1. ” … even if it doesn’t seem to make sense … ” is the perfect description. Some people are like, “Why would you want it cold only to cover up with all those blankets? Wouldn’t it end up being the same temperature as just having it warm? Maybe even warmer?”

      Yes, probably. But having two blankets and a comforter or a sheet and couple of grandma’s old, handmade quilts on top of you when you’re sleepin’ in the cold are just so much better! Plus, the air isn’t completely stifling like it is when someone super-cranks the heat at night.

      1. You got it, Laura! It’s an amazing feeling and the fan keeps the air circulating so you stay toasty without getting overheated. It’s perfect! Glad I’m not the only one. :)

  6. I grew up in a house with unheated bedrooms. About an hour before bed, my mom would open the doors that led to the bedrooms to let a little bit of the heat in there which was about as effective as trying to heat Antarctica with a space heater. To this day, I can’t sleep in the winter unless I feel the heaviness of the blankets on me.

    1. The bedrooms in my house are pretty much unheated, as well. We love the stack ‘o’ blankets! I also have a cheap fleece throw that I use over the top of my head – short of wearing a toque to bed, it’s the only way to keep my head from freezing.

  7. I love this! My roommate and I purposely keep our room freezing cold at night so we can fall asleep better; and let me tell you, it works! Some people may think we’re crazy for keeping our window cracked just a bit while there’s a blizzard raging outside, but hey, it’s Michigan. It’s what we do.


    1. “but hey, it’s Michigan. It’s what we do.”

      Ah yes, I do this all the time. Maybe it’s a michigan thing?

  8. Awww! Thinking of you and Joey freezing and laughing half way across the world makes me smile! Note to self – never visit Joey. I can’t handle it, it’s hard enough to get up these days!

  9. Heavenly Hilarious! I laughed to the core… relating!
    Joey reminds me of the “flat-mate” on the movie, “Nottinghill!”
    (Watch all those chords though Joey! Seriously dangerous!!)
    I have stayed and lived in many similar spaces; a haunting howl of the wind chill to the bones. Narely 2.3 hours ghostly filled sleep finally arriving, for having creatively visualized that big pile of blankets. Scarey Gothic reflection mirrored in the morning. Thank God my world has the big pile of blankets today, so I can feel the glory of this as well!
    The “pin cushion for a pillow!” my gosh Neil, you stroke magic with word, as the greatest artist’s with brush have ever and will ever, to canvas.
    You are truly amazing and oh ya’ AWESOME!

  10. I feel like this right now too! With the really cold weather we’ve been having recently my house get’s very cold it night.

    At first I was shivering at night…but now I’ve gotten loads of covers and it’s so cozy! I woke up this morning and I nearly didn’t want to get up I was so toasty. :D

  11. This post is brilliant and is something that every northerner can relate to in the wintertime. When I was little my sisters and I used to pile as many blankets as we could onto one bed and then sleep together under that giant wall of quilts and comforters. To anyone who walked in it probably looked like a giggling, moving mass of cotton and wool.

    My only complaint is those snuggly blankets are impossible to get away from in the morning. When my alarm goes off and the heat hasn’t kicked in yet… it’s torture having to leave that security of warm goodness.

  12. I know exactly what you are talking about. even though I am not that far north (Pennsylvania), I sleep over my garage and I sleep with at least three blankets. It is the BEST!!!

  13. Only too familiar with this: as a young woman in PA, my partner and I could not afford to heat our apartment in winter, so we used a single space heater. I could see my breath when I grudgingly stripped down for a shower…owwooooo! The bedroom was freezing, too, but the stacks of blankets kept us cozy!

  14. Your book is so “Awesome.” Ha… My wife just bought it for me for christmas. We have started a blog which was inspired, in a way, by this. Come visit it. It is called “Bystanding 1000 befuddlements.” It is 1000 interesting quirks and oddity’s that we find or have seen throughout our lives. Some are really funny to ponder.

    Come visit our blog too.

  15. YES! I didn’t get the chance to read this yesterday because I was sick in bed…under a heavy pile of blankets.

    I don’t know how people can sleep with nothing but a sheet on them. I feel so exposed! Heavy blankets feel warm, comforting, and secure. :)

  16. My parents don’t have heat either and we live in northern Ontario so when I stay over it’s always a mad race before bed to find me as many blankets as possible so I don’t wake up frozen like an ice cube in the morning.

  17. This is something I can really relate to. I am cold almost at all times and socks are part of my essentials for a nightgown. Once I was visiting a friend in Ireland at winter and their houses aren´t all that warm to begin with. So not only did I bury myself under a pile of duvets I also wore a thermal underwear and a ski hat :)

  18. Similar fantastic feeling… laying on the bed while your mom puts warm laundry on the bed or warm, fresh out of the dryer sheets :)

  19. looking for my husband under Gary or Wally; he did visit sometime early new year and can’t seem to get back on here now!

  20. I?ve learn several excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you place to create this type of fantastic informative website.

  21. i’ve just got myself a beutiful welsh blanket in red, blue and cream plaid. it give my bedroom a wonderful vintage look, and is great for curling up underneath on a cold night. :-)

Comments are closed.