The temperature that is.
I know others do the no-heat challenge, but for me, having no heat when it drops below 50 is passing that point where I can not sleep well. And if I can not sleep well, everything else in my life is going to suffer. So, that's why I don't personally do the no-heat challenge. For the rest of you that do, you're better than me!
However, what I do do is the 50 degrees experiment. I don't call it a challenge because, to me, a challenge would basically boil down to sheer willpower. While I could do that, I'd much rather figure out a way to live comfortably while staying at the lower temperature.
50 degrees is kind of pushing it though. You know it's borderline when even your eyeballs are a little bit sore due to cold....
But it's been an interesting experiment nontheless. I bought a sleeping bag from Walmart a while back. It's nothing fancy or expensive, and I use it more like a comforter. Rated for 40 degrees though, this alone has been enough to keep me warm at night!
My face has been a particularly interesting challenge. My nose, eyes, and ears get uncomfortably cold when I am trying sleep. I've tried several different things, but eventually settled on putting a toboggan over my face. Yeah, you know I'm nutty like that. The fabric is quite breathable though, and the toboggan also helps to trap some of the warmth from the breath and spread it around my face.
As for when I am up and about, I double up on the sweat pants and hoodies. The outer layer is extra large so that it can also cover over my hands and feet if necessary.
Overall, I have to say that this is actually... quite workable! There's no way I'm going to impress any woman with this, but nevermind that. Have you seen my gas bills recently? Well, they're still climbing because I still have them on to maintain 50 degrees, but the cost so far seems to be roughly the same as when I was sleeping in the closet. Except this way, I can go all over the house and even go outside!
Another peculiar benefit is that I've actually been sleeping slightly better? Because it's cold to be up and about, I'm not as tempted to stay up late. In fact, I've actually been looking forward to going to bed early just to get warm.
Ah, but even my frugal mother is starting to voice her concerns that I should turn the heat up. I don't know though. I'll bet I can do this the entire winter. I do turn the heat up when the kids are with me though. It's amazing how much of a luxury and joy that something as simple as heat can be when you normally go without it....
Experimenting with 50
The temperature that is.