I'm an engineer and biology is my weakest point, so please forgive if this question is dumb.

My wife always complains that I set the air temperature too cold at night. She's exothermic in a number of good ways, but she also radiates too many literal Watts. It's like sleeping with a space heater. She wants to get a pet and has been asking me what kind of dog I want, and that got me thinking...

What if a pet could solve our sleep problems?

Sure, they might strangle you in your sleep and then eat you, so this probably isn't the most practical solution. But snakes and other reptiles might make the perfect heat absorbent bedding!

All kidding aside, I'm truly curious. My incredibly shallow bio class gave me the idea that warm blooded animals are exothermic and cold blooded animals are endothermic. But is that right? And if so, does it follow that sleeping with reptiles would cool your bed down to some temperature more hospitable than Mordor?


1 Answer 1


Reptiles are generally ectothermic or "cold-blooded", not to be confused with exothermic. This means they largely use environmental heat sources to get their heat, rather than generating it themselves

The same limits apply here as you might find in any other system - once they reach your body heat, they won't get any warmer and will not appreciably draw any additional heat. They will likely also get more active with the additional heat, which I suspect is not exactly what you want in the middle of the night. This might depend on whether you have a nocturnal species or not.

you'd also need to consider the mass of reptile you might need in the bed to provide any substantial cooling - a wee gecko ain't gonna to do much, but you also probably don't want a Komodo dragon hogging the bed covers for a variety of reasons.

I'd suggest you get one of those bed-covers (duvet/comforter/quilt/doona) that is capable of holding two different insulating thicknesses, or simply have a lighter cover for both with an additional blanket for your wife. You can also put a standard two-person insulating duvet and a single inside the one cover.

On second-thoughts, perhaps you are on to something here. Get the all new RepiCoolTM It's 100 finest quality Tokay geckos in one easy to use system of convenient mesh pockets. Too Hot??? simply add an extra gecko or two for that great cooling effect; too cold? simply take geckos out as you need and allow the fantastic warming effect of the bags to keep you "just right" all night long!!! But that's not all!! Also included at no extra charge; fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the gecko and you'll never have problems sleeping again! geckos not included, get geckos for a one-off additional payment of only $99.99, each sold separately

  • $\begingroup$ 100 geckos making that sound at night (lol) would also affect (soothe?) the sleep of the neighbors. I am always curious why people don't use the blankets with different levels of warmth on either side, or just use an extra blanket on one side. $\endgroup$ Jun 14, 2023 at 9:12
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    $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse Deliberately chose that species for that feature; most aren't quite as noisy, but plenty do make similar noises and are nocturnal. I'm glad it amused someone. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Jun 14, 2023 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ It sure amused me! I'm certain it has amused/will amuse others who haven't/won't post a comment. I'm a bit chatty. :) $\endgroup$ Jun 14, 2023 at 10:31

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