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4 clarified a point on moisture in sleep system; added point on elevating head over feet for better blood flow
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  1. Ensure you have the proper gear. Sounds like you already do, but maybe need a more appropriate sleeping pad to insulate you from the ever-cold ground. I usually go with egg-crate style foam pads for their versatility and ruggedness. Also take care in how you setup your gear - make sure you will stay insulated off the ground, and have you head and upper body slightly elevated relative to your feet - more blood pressure on your feet than on your head will be precious for comfort overnight.

  2. Prepare your body to stay warm over night. This means eating fats and warm foods that digest slowly. Meat, butter, oils, nuts all really help. Not only will the full belly of warm, heavy food make you sleepy, but your body will generate heat as it slowly processes the food overnight. This also means being hydrated but not excessively, and relieving yourself before bed. 'Holding it in' requires muscles to work, which draws energy that could otherwise be used keeping your core and distant extremities warm. Lastly, there is a psychological aspect to this: you will rest better if you're mentally prepared to wake up now and then cold, know your sleep system is adequate, and as long as you're dry and not showing any signs of sever health issues (numb toes that could lead to frostbite, uncontrollable shivering which could hint at hypothermia), you roll over, curl up, and do your best to relax and get back to sleep.

  3. Now that your body is prepared to be a heater, and you have the gear to maintain heat, get ready for bed. (This step is important for me as someone fairly lightweight who had the same cold-night problem.) You want to make sure all your clothes are dry, and you want to strip down to the minimum amount of clothing overnight. The latter is for two reasons:

    1. If your sleep system and body are working well, you'll accumulate heat through the night. Too much heat is bad and will make you sweat, and any moisture in your sleep system will in turn make you very cold, whether(whether from sweat, weather, or lack of ventilating your own breath) will in turn make you very cold.
    2. Your body is always trying to stay at a certain temperature. If you go to sleep with all your clothes on and your sleep system, your body will regulate its temperature to its desired state with all aids applied, and when you get up and lose the sleep system but don't add much in the way of clothing, your body's thermostat will be running on the cold side. If you go to sleep with less clothing, your body will be forced to step up its furnace to maintain an acceptable temperature. When you get up and out of the sleep system you'll be glad your body is working harder to keep itself warm (this means burning more energy - all the more reason for the bed-time snack) and that you have more layers to put on.
  1. Ensure you have the proper gear. Sounds like you already do, but maybe need a more appropriate sleeping pad to insulate you from the ever-cold ground. I usually go with egg-crate style foam pads for their versatility and ruggedness.

  2. Prepare your body to stay warm over night. This means eating fats and warm foods that digest slowly. Meat, butter, oils, nuts all really help. Not only will the full belly of warm, heavy food make you sleepy, but your body will generate heat as it slowly processes the food overnight. This also means being hydrated but not excessively, and relieving yourself before bed. 'Holding it in' requires muscles to work, which draws energy that could otherwise be used keeping your core and distant extremities warm. Lastly, there is a psychological aspect to this: you will rest better if you're mentally prepared to wake up now and then cold, know your sleep system is adequate, and as long as you're dry and not showing any signs of sever health issues (numb toes that could lead to frostbite, uncontrollable shivering which could hint at hypothermia), you roll over, curl up, and do your best to relax and get back to sleep.

  3. Now that your body is prepared to be a heater, and you have the gear to maintain heat, get ready for bed. (This step is important for me as someone fairly lightweight who had the same cold-night problem.) You want to make sure all your clothes are dry, and you want to strip down to the minimum amount of clothing overnight. The latter is for two reasons:

    1. If your sleep system and body are working well, you'll accumulate heat through the night. Too much heat is bad and will make you sweat, and any moisture in your sleep system will in turn make you very cold, whether from sweat, weather, or lack of ventilating your own breath.
    2. Your body is always trying to stay at a certain temperature. If you go to sleep with all your clothes on and your sleep system, your body will regulate its temperature to its desired state with all aids applied, and when you get up and lose the sleep system but don't add much in the way of clothing, your body's thermostat will be running on the cold side. If you go to sleep with less clothing, your body will be forced to step up its furnace to maintain an acceptable temperature. When you get up and out of the sleep system you'll be glad your body is working harder to keep itself warm (this means burning more energy - all the more reason for the bed-time snack) and that you have more layers to put on.
  1. Ensure you have the proper gear. Sounds like you already do, but maybe need a more appropriate sleeping pad to insulate you from the ever-cold ground. I usually go with egg-crate style foam pads for their versatility and ruggedness. Also take care in how you setup your gear - make sure you will stay insulated off the ground, and have you head and upper body slightly elevated relative to your feet - more blood pressure on your feet than on your head will be precious for comfort overnight.

  2. Prepare your body to stay warm over night. This means eating fats and warm foods that digest slowly. Meat, butter, oils, nuts all really help. Not only will the full belly of warm, heavy food make you sleepy, but your body will generate heat as it slowly processes the food overnight. This also means being hydrated but not excessively, and relieving yourself before bed. 'Holding it in' requires muscles to work, which draws energy that could otherwise be used keeping your core and distant extremities warm. Lastly, there is a psychological aspect to this: you will rest better if you're mentally prepared to wake up now and then cold, know your sleep system is adequate, and as long as you're dry and not showing any signs of sever health issues (numb toes that could lead to frostbite, uncontrollable shivering which could hint at hypothermia), you roll over, curl up, and do your best to relax and get back to sleep.

  3. Now that your body is prepared to be a heater, and you have the gear to maintain heat, get ready for bed. (This step is important for me as someone fairly lightweight who had the same cold-night problem.) You want to make sure all your clothes are dry, and you want to strip down to the minimum amount of clothing overnight. The latter is for two reasons:

    1. If your sleep system and body are working well, you'll accumulate heat through the night. Too much heat is bad and will make you sweat, and any moisture in your sleep system (whether from sweat, weather, or lack of ventilating your own breath) will in turn make you very cold.
    2. Your body is always trying to stay at a certain temperature. If you go to sleep with all your clothes on and your sleep system, your body will regulate its temperature to its desired state with all aids applied, and when you get up and lose the sleep system but don't add much in the way of clothing, your body's thermostat will be running on the cold side. If you go to sleep with less clothing, your body will be forced to step up its furnace to maintain an acceptable temperature. When you get up and out of the sleep system you'll be glad your body is working harder to keep itself warm (this means burning more energy - all the more reason for the bed-time snack) and that you have more layers to put on.
3 Using degree symbols.
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With all these pointers, I have slept fine many a night in tarp-shelters in the middle of winter (0 dF0ºF give or take) using a 20dF20ºF synthetic bag with a 55dF55ºF synthetic bag in that as a liner, putting on a fresh pair of thermal underwear (top and bottom), thick socks, and a trapper hat as a pillow. That can be rough (an actual pillow would help), but I do sleep and even when I wake up once or twice at night from the cold, I can curl up a little more and get back to sleep - before I know it, I wake up cozy to morning.

With all these pointers, I have slept fine many a night in tarp-shelters in the middle of winter (0 dF give or take) using a 20dF synthetic bag with a 55dF synthetic bag in that as a liner, putting on a fresh pair of thermal underwear (top and bottom), thick socks, and a trapper hat as a pillow. That can be rough (an actual pillow would help), but I do sleep and even when I wake up once or twice at night from the cold, I can curl up a little more and get back to sleep - before I know it, I wake up cozy to morning.

With all these pointers, I have slept fine many a night in tarp-shelters in the middle of winter (0ºF give or take) using a 20ºF synthetic bag with a 55ºF synthetic bag in that as a liner, putting on a fresh pair of thermal underwear (top and bottom), thick socks, and a trapper hat as a pillow. That can be rough (an actual pillow would help), but I do sleep and even when I wake up once or twice at night from the cold, I can curl up a little more and get back to sleep before I know it, I wake up cozy to morning.

2 added 523 characters in body
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With all these pointers, I have slept fine many a night in tarp-shelters in the middle of winter (0 dF give or take) using a 20dF synthetic bag with a 55dF synthetic bag in that as a liner, putting on a fresh pair of thermal underwear (top and bottom), thick socks, and a trapper hat as a pillow. That can be rough (an actual pillow would help), but I do sleep and even when I wake up once or twice at night from the cold, I can curl up a little more and get back to sleep - before I know it, I wake up cozy to morning.

With all these pointers, I have slept fine many a night in tarp-shelters in the middle of winter (0 dF give or take) using a 20dF synthetic bag with a 55dF synthetic bag in that as a liner, putting on a fresh pair of thermal underwear (top and bottom), thick socks, and a trapper hat as a pillow. That can be rough (an actual pillow would help), but I do sleep and even when I wake up once or twice at night from the cold, I can curl up a little more and get back to sleep - before I know it, I wake up cozy to morning.

1
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