Reusing Your Body's Heat:
One problem facing people with spinal cord injury (SCI) is the inability to regulate body temperature. In explaining this situation Nurse Nancy from the Christopher Reeve Website states:
“One of the phenomena of SCI is a decrease in the internal ability to adjust your body temperature. This is because messages from the body to enlarge blood vessels to cool you or constrict blood vessels to keep warm cannot get back and forth to the brain. The brain being the control center of the body, directs changes to automatically adjust ourselves for different temperatures. When we become too hot, the brain will direct our bodies to sweat, which puts fluid on the skin to cool the surface of the body. When we become too cold, the brain will direct our body to shiver which will create heat. It is a marvelous system, but SCI can interrupt the process because these messages cannot get to the body, lower than the level of injury in the spinal cord. However, individuals can protect themselves from over cooling or overheating in cold weather.”
Much advancement in technology has developed during the space program.
One of the changes that is now available to the consumer is a special material developed by NASA which reflects 80% of the individual’s body heat back to them-self. The common name for this material is space blanket. Many space blankets are inexpensive and extremely thin and usually ripped easily, so they're limited to a single time. You will often see people at the end of a marathon wrapped in them protecting from hypothermia.
I had often thought about getting and using a well-made space blanket as a sheet on my bed, but never got to it. Make Life Easier stole my idea. The product is called the Dual Sided Heat Blanket. Being cold the majority of the day and night is no fun. Electric blankets seem to develop problems from having the wires bent when the bed is made. It is also dicey leaving it on all night. This clever design lets you become your own heat-generating furnace. One side is a foam-lined, NASA-inspired metallic material (space blanket) that reflects your body heat. The other is a plush, thick poly/acrylic blend that’s soft to the touch and holds warmth as well. Place underneath your fitted sheet or on top of your flat sheet as you sleep in cold weather. I am using one and it is INCREDIBLE how warm it keeps me. The blanket is approximately 35.5” by 57” and cost $22 at Make Life Easier.
Columbia Omni Heat takes this same space age technology one step further applying it to clothing. This thermal reflective technology keeps you warm by reflecting back the heat your body generates. It also regulates body temperature allowing excess heat and moisture too escape. This breathable warming technology helps regulate your temperature with little silver dots that reflect and retain the warmth your body generates.
Looking at the picture below you can see the silver heat reflective layer and the black mesh area that wicks moisture away from your body.
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