How to get to sleep: Woman's 'insane' sleep hack using very unusual method goes viral

Screengrabs of Callie Galey's viral TikTok with the sweatshirt around her head
Photo credit: @calliegaley / TikTok

Kiwis have collectively been uttering, "It's pretty muggy, aye" for the past few weeks amid record temperatures and sweltering heat, leading to restless nights for many - but fear not, as one woman claims she has uncovered the secret to "the best sleep of your life".

Callie Galey, a content creator from the US, took to TikTok earlier this week to share her slightly unusual hack for the sweetest of slumbers: a sweatshirt.

"I've been getting the best sleep of my life for the past four nights now - I'm going to show you how I've hacked this system," she said in the clip, which has amassed more than 12 million views and 1.4 million likes at the time of writing.

"Get the sweatshirt, fold it in half - the sleeves hang down," she said. To illustrate, Galey sat on her bed and folded the sweatshirt as she'd described before throwing it over her face - but bear with us.

"Sweatshirt, over the top half of your head," she continued. "Leave your nose and your mouth [out] - like this."

Galey proceeded to lie down with the sweatshirt wrapped around her head and continued to fiddle with the placement, making sure her nose and mouth were free, but her eyes and upper head were completely covered by the clothing.

"Then, once you're on your pillow, grab your arm sleeves and wrap them around your face," she instructed, pulling the sleeves under her chin and behind her head.  

"I've been getting the best sleep of my life. Ever," she told the camera. "It's so comfortable, I don't know how to explain it, but it works wonders."  

While it would be understandable to write this off as a niche trick that works for perhaps a handful of individuals, that doesn't seem to be the case - with a number of viewers claiming they too must sleep with their head covered.

"I HAVE TO SLEEP WITH MY HEAD COVERED," one declared, while another added: "I literally sleep like this every night LMAO what! I thought I was crazy."  

"I sleep with a sleep mask, a pillow on my face, a pillow on my side and one on my waist. Blanket up to the mouth, only my nose is out," a third shared, with a fourth weighing in: "My best friend growing up used to sleep with her blanket wrapped around like that."

"I thought I was the only one who did this - I use fuzzy pants and tie the legs around my head," a fifth said, with another commenting: "That is almost exactly how I sleep." 

However, others weren't so enthused by the technique, with several noting the wrap-around sweatshirt would spark their "sensory issues" or even a panic attack.  

"HARD NO this would cause me to have a major panic attack," one declared, while a second agreed: "My sensory issues would skyrocket." 

"I'd wake up thinking I'm being held hostage," another pitched in, with a fourth joking: "I sleep like I'm in a tornado so I would probably suffocate." 

Several were simply bemused by how Galey had even devised such a method.

Studies have shown higher temperatures at night can increase wakefulness and reduce slow-wave sleep (also known as deep sleep) and REM (rapid eye movement), both of which are critical to how well the body repairs and refreshes itself at night.  

Last year, a team of experts from the European Insomnia Network shared their tips for sustaining good-quality sleep during a heatwave, including sufficient hydration, dressing and eating lightly, avoiding alcohol, and showering in tepid water. The experts suggested keeping the bedroom cooler than 25C if possible, which can be achieved by using a fan or air conditioning.

"To keep the house and bedroom as cool and dark as possible", the experts also suggested closing the blinds or drawing the curtains to keep out the heat during the day.