Getting a Good Night’s Rest in the Public Shelter

During early 1941 Britain was still in the midst of the Blitz, with no idea how long it was going to last.  The Ministry of Home Security issue a number of adverts in local and national newspapers to help prepare people, and provide useful advice like how to get a “Good Night’s rest in a Public Shelter” during an air raid.

Before, During and After the Raid

A Good Night’s Rest in the Public Shelter

– and the help that is ready for you if your home is hit

In public shelters some people spend the night far more comfortable than others.  What is the secret of getting a good night’s sleep?  Here are some useful things to remember.  These hints are taken from leaflets which are being issued to all shelters.


Bedding should be aired daily so that it keeps sweet and fresh.  This daily airing will help to get rid of dampness.  Put more blankets underneath you than on top of you.  This is the best way to keep warm, an of course it is more comfortable.

Getting to Sleep

Try not to sleep on your back.  You are less likely to snore if you lie on your side or front.  You will rest better if you remove any heavy outer clothing before lying down.  The shelter will get warmer as the night goes on, and you will need your warm outer garments when you go out into the early morning air.


Before going to the shelter, dress children in night-wear under their outer clothing.  Then, when bed-time comes, you can simply take off the outer garments.  They will not sleep well if they are too warm.

In the Night

If you cannot sleep, or if you wake up, a warm drink will help. Hot drinks keep fairly war, when wrapped in a blanket, though a hay-bottle is better. (See how to make a hay-bottle in the leaflet.)  Keep something to eat beside you, in case you get peckish in the night.

Try not to make a noise late at night.  You may keep others awake.

After the Raid

Have your plans made
Make plans now to go and stay with friends living near, but not too near, in case your house is destroyed.  They should also arrange ___ to come to you if their house is knocked out.  It’s comforting to feel that everything is fixed up, just in case.

Help is ready
If you house is damaged, there is a great deal of help ready for you.  Full arrangements have been made to give you food and shelter, clothes and money if necessary, and to find you somewhere to love  If you have not been able to make arrangements with friends, go straight to the emergency Rest Centre.  The wardens and police know where it is.  Ask them

Bromley & District Times, 3rd January 1941, page 2

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