Curling up under a blanket can be a safe heaven for many of us. Especially in the sofa watching a scary movie. The feeling of being safe under a blanket maybe get you thinking. Where is this urge coming from? Are there any science behind our feelings?
Why do we feel safe under a blanket? Blankets offer our bodies the necessary sense of security to sleep without worry. As humans, we know how defenseless we become when fully asleep. Therefore, we’re able to sleep better when we feel safe and blankets provide our minds just that.
Blankets have been around since the 14th century and their popularity has been growing ever since. Sure, technology has continued to refine the concept with different kinds of covers over the years. But blankets are here to stay and they don’t seem like going anywhere anytime soon.
10 Reasons Why We Feel Safe Under Blankets
It is no coincidence that the majority of us sleep under one type of blanket or the other. Here are some of the reasons why we’d rather drape them over our bodies even under insane heat.
1. Childhood Safety
More often than not, the love affair with blankets begins in our childhoods. Kids feel safer in the smallest spaces and this is why the majority of them choose small corners, under-bed spaces, and other obvious areas to conceal themselves during games such as Hide and Seek.
This association between small areas and safety naturally transmits to the use of blankets in bed. Many kids develop the understanding that covering up their bodies with blankets keeps the monsters away. This notion becomes engraved in our subconscious minds so we grow up associating blankets with security.
2. Calms You Down
Do you remember jumping into bed and immediately covering yourself with blankets whenever you were angry with your siblings or parents? The truth is, blankets can have a calming effect on children’s minds.
Draping thick blankets on your body can provide an escape from your current environment. By the time you get out of the bed, you’ll be in a better mood to talk and play.
Besides, many adults report achieving the same calming effects from blankets. That is one of the reasons why the majority of us wake up in a better mood even after going to bed angry or sad.
3. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep
There are two main classes of sleep i.e. REM and non-REM sleep. REM is the most satisfying type of sleep which makes you feel relaxed in the morning.
Naturally, the body is unable to regulate its temperature during the Rapid Eye Movement sleep stage. Since this deep sleep usually occurs around dawn when room temperatures plummet, blankets can be priceless.
Blankets simply allow the sleeper to achieve better REM sleep by providing warmth during that period. This can help you stay asleep and minimize the risk of waking up just when you’re getting the most satisfying type of sleep.
Lying down under heavy blankets after a hard day can make you feel invincible. We all know that we’re most vulnerable when asleep. Thus, blankets ease the mind and provide a feeling that nobody or nothing can touch you while you’re asleep.
This allows you to calm down and let go of your defenses which can boost sleep and energize you in the morning.
Have you ever tried to sleep in an unknown or unsafe environment? Chances are, you won’t get a good sleep if any at all. This is because of the low sense of security in that environment which can force your brain to be on the defensive throughout the night.
Have you ever come across homeless people fast asleep under a bridge or on a bench in a public park during winter? They almost always have thick blankets covering their bodies.
This is because blankets provide a different kind of warmth when compared to other forms of bedding.
Even during those freezing temperatures in unforgivable winters, a good blanket can still deliver some degree of comfort. Can you imagine how thousands of homeless people in some of the largest cities in the world would be able to cope in winter without blankets?
Additionally, blankets can offer you warmth even in non-bed settings. Whether you’re watching TV in the lounge or catching up on some work during colder periods of the year, the protection provided by blankets can be priceless.
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Have you heard of weighted blankets? These are special extra heavy blankets that provide a hugging-like feeling while you sleep. They’ve become very popular in the last couple of years due to their amazing impact on your sleep.
Weighted blankets are effective, thanks to their ability to stimulate the release of chemicals such as Dopamine and Serotonin. These neurotransmitters allow you to relax which reignites the body’s ability to sleep tight and wake up rejuvenated.
While regular blankets may not be as heavy as the weighted types, they still induce relaxation albeit on a smaller scale. This is one of the reasons why we feel less restless when snoozing under our blankets.
Good Shelter is one of the most basic needs of humans. Blankets do not only make you warm, but they also give you a sense of peace and shelter. Whether you’re living at home, in a camper van, or under some abandoned bridge in the middle of nowhere, you need all the shelter you can get.
Many people agree that sleeping without blankets gives a feeling of being exposed even when in the comfort of their bedrooms.
There are a few things that come close to the feeling of snuggling up under a blanket after a long stressful day. Hate them or love them, you cannot deny the fact that blankets can feel very cozy.
They can give you a similar feeling of cuddling up with your partner on a cold night. This coziness can be addictive because it feels really good.
Why do you think many of us instinctively reach for our thick blankets immediately after waking up in the middle of the night?
9. Way of Life
The majority of us love our blankets and cannot live without them because it has become a way of life. From parents tucking their kids in bed to hitting the sack as adults, many of us have become used to this warm bedding.
Since old habits die hard, going to bed without blankets can be uncomfortable because our minds have been programmed to do just that.
If you’ve been sleeping under a blanket all your life, finding yourself in a setting without one can be a nightmare. You can kiss your chances of blissful nights goodbye for at least a few weeks even if all the other conditions for satisfying sleep are present.
Do you live in a warm region with lots of insects? Going to bed with a blanket can save you a great deal of trouble. Unfortunately, many regions around the world have problems with mosquitoes and other potentially harmful insects.
These organisms feed on your skin while you’re fast asleep. The result is pink lumps and other rashes by the time you wake up in the morning.
Thankfully, hiding under a blanket can repel many of these insects successfully. This is due to the typically thick texture of these blankets which makes them impenetrable for mosquitoes and the other insects.
11. Noise and Sunlight Control
Do you live in a city center apartment with lots of noise at night? Or stuck with loud neighbors who seem not to have a care in the world about disturbing others? If yes, did you know that your blanket can help you sleep much better by blocking out loud noises?
Well, covering your head with a blanket is one of the best ways to quieten your room. Since noise makes sleep more difficult, this tactic has been used over the years to achieve a good night of rest.
Also, your blanket can help block out direct sunlight from your eyes and enable you to sleep in during the weekend after a grinding workweek. They can also serve as an extra pair of window blinds to darken your room which can trick your brain into believing that it is still night time.
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Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re looking for the reasons why we feel so safe under blankets then it is only natural that you may have a few questions on your mind. Check out our answers to the most common queries people ask about blankets.
Is it harmful to sleep without blankets?
The answer is no. If you live in a region with year-round sun and mild night temperatures, you can sleep without any form of covers without any problems. On the other, the right blankets can keep you warm and protect you from colds during winter and other cold periods.
Can you suffocate under a blanket?
Yes, you can. Draping a thick blanket over your head can lead to suffocation. This is especially common in children and those who may be mentally or physically incapacitated.
At what age can a child sleep with a blanket?
The minimum age for a child to sleep with a blanket is 1 year. But the older the child, the better so why not wait until your bundle of joy grows a bit older?
Can a toddler suffocate under a blanket?
The answer is yes. Toddler blankets mustn’t be excessively thick for your child’s age. Also, teach him or her to only cover the body from the shoulders downwards.
How do you keep your baby warm at night?
Making the sleeping environment as warm as possible is the key. A one-piece sleeper can also protect your baby from the cold.
Here are the top reasons why we feel safe under blankets even during hot times of the year. They provide warmth, security, and shelter in our most vulnerable moments. If you’ve been sleeping bare and rough, maybe you need a pair of blankets.