Advertising
Advertising

Science Explains Why People Love Heavy Blanket With Air-Con In Summer For Sleep

Science Explains Why People Love Heavy Blanket With Air-Con In Summer For Sleep

Blasting the air conditioner (AC) in the summer while sleeping cozily beneath a plush, heavy blanket or two may seem crazy to some; but, for others…it’s just what the doctor ordered for a good night’s rest. Many people love sleeping under heavy blankets while running the AC in the heart of summer. They’re often criticized for wasting energy, but scientific evidence endorses this paradoxical trend.

Studies highlight four reasons why some individuals dare to sleep under a heavy blanket in the summer with the air conditioner on. This rationale will help the guilty indulgers as well as the bemused pessimists. Who knows, by the end of this article you may be wondering if you should invest in a heavy / weighted blanket, too.

1. Sleep aid and relaxation purposes

Sleeping under a heavy blanket with the AC going strong has a calmative effect. The added weight signals the brain to release chemicals like serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. They operate as neurotransmitters regulating mood, sleep and sensory perception. These calming substances have sedative, comforting properties that incite relaxation throughout the body and resolve insomnia discomforts.

Heavy blankets supply natural, safe and effective therapy for remarkable slumbering in very cool environments. The core body temperature decreases and summons the sandman with unrestrained yawns.

Advertising

“This decline in body temperature helps you fall asleep, stay asleep, and cycle appropriately through the nightly sleep stages,” explains Dr. Alice Hoagland, Director of Insomnia Services at the Unity Sleep Disorders Center in Rochester, N.Y.

The heavy blanket becomes an all-natural sleep aid as it evenly distributes pressure throughout your body. It feels like a firm hug making you feel secure, protected, tranquil and grounded.

Psychology Today remarks, “This is the reason many people like to sleep under a comforter even in the summer. Better sleep improves concentration, productivity, relationships, job performance and health.”

Weighted blankets replicate deep pressure touch stimulation (DPTS). Their delicate touches excite the nervous system; the firm but gentle touches calm it down. DPTS loosens your muscles and nerves, getting rid of your stress. This is the same effect as when your mom took you in her arms, hugged you snugly, and patted you on your back creating a soothing, sheltered, serene peacefulness.

Advertising

2. Help to overcome or better manage known health concerns

Whether using them in the summer with air conditioning or in the fall, winter or spring, weighted blankets bring much needed relief. Many health issues are positively contained by their usage. For both children and adults, heavy blankets help improve sensory disorders, nervousness, stress, awareness and focus. They also supply relief for military men and women in War Zones, as well as those who have returned home apprehensive, wounded, and demented.

Heavy blankets are reported to significantly assist with memory maintenance, detoxification processes, treatments for various illnesses, the alleviation of anxiety (validated by several studies), depression, PTSD trauma, aggression, chronic pain, paranoia and bi-polar neurological problems.

Employees dealing with work related stress and shift work changes, people battling night terrors, and mania have reported relief from symptoms as a direct result of sleeping under heavy blankets. Other health concerns that are being overcome or better managed via the usage of heavy blankets include:

  • ADD/ADHD Spectrum Disorder
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP)
  • Dementia
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, (FASD)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Jet Lag
  • Narcolepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Peri-menopause and Menopausal Symptoms
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD, PDD-NOS)
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis joint pain
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

3. Peace and comfort when sleeping in the room with someone who prefers cold temperatures

Spouses, roommates and even siblings have different predispositions when it comes to body temperatures. The plot thickens when a wife is cold-natured and her husband prefers only a thin sheet in a 65 degree room. One roommate likes the room frigid; the other one likes it roasting. It’s of dire necessity to quickly find a joint resolution for these conflicts in order to preserve good relationships.

Advertising

Body temperature is regulated by an internal thermostat located in the brain – the hypothalamus. Various dynamics govern whether that thermostat will go up or go down, i.e., the use of kidney, blood-thinning, diabetes and cancer medication, low blood pressure; poor blood circulation. The amount of muscle mass is a factor. Nearly one third of your body heat is generated by muscle. Women tend to have less muscle mass than men.

Age makes a difference, too. Women are affected by hot flashes resulting from menopause. Men tend to incur circulation maladies sooner than women.

Per Don Young of the International Facility Management Association, “Women tend to have more constricted blood vessels, which places blood closer to the surface of the skin, which means you’d be cooler and men would be just the opposite.”

So gender, age, physical condition, and personal preferences influence how the hypothalamus operates. The best solution is to learn to cope in a way that serves the greatest good for all concerned. Because of the numerous benefits, sleeping under a heavy blanket even in the summer with the air conditioner running is an awesome resolution. A weighted blanket chases the chill, fretfulness and tension away.

Advertising

4. Weight loss and weight management

Is sleeping in a cold bedroom really better for you? Indeed it is based upon recent innovative research. Certain scientists have discovered that sleeping in colder temperatures raises your metabolic rate and improves your overall health. Experts believe “brown fat” increases in colder bodies. Brown fat (often called “good fat) produces 300 times more heat than any other organ in the body which in turn causes calories to burn off rapidly, and dispose of excess blood sugar.

Scientific findings by the National Institutes of Health, based upon a test done under controlled temperature conditions support the theory that sleeping in a cold room has weight loss and weight management rewards.

Dr. Francesco S. Celi, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Chairman, reported that “These were all healthy young men to start with, but just by sleeping in a colder room, they gained metabolic advantages that could, over time, lessen their risk for diabetes and other metabolic problems.”

No wonder people love sleeping beneath heavy blankets with the air conditioner on in the summer!

Additional Tips

  • A cool room helps you to keep your head nice and cool which is favorable for a good night’s sleep. Research suggests that you reduce your room temperature to 65 degrees and cuddle up under a few layers…or a heavy blanket.
  • Heavy blankets should not be used by persons recuperating from surgery, experiencing cardiovascular problems, temperature control issues or respiratory challenges unless approved by a physician or occupational therapist.
  • The suggested blanket weight for adults is 13 to 33 pounds according to your personal preference and body weight. Studies by scientists in the United States affirm that “the heavier the blanket you use, the easier it is to fall asleep”.

These links will provide supplementary data on this subject

  1. https://www.powerofpositivity.com/heres-how-weighted-blankets-are-helping-people-with-anxiety/
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhochman/2014/04/25/weighted-blanket-can-help-more-than-just-sleep-problems/
  3. http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/weighted-blankets-for-insomnia-and-anxiety/#ixzz3vursfnsx
  4. http://www.davidwolfe.com/weighted-blankets-sleep-and-anxiety/
  5. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/sleeping-temperature

Disclaimer: The text and links to educational content furnished herein is produced for informational purposes only. Dependence upon any facts provided in this article is solely at your discretion. The author is not responsible for claims of external websites.

Featured photo credit: Glamour Magazine via glamour.com

More by this author

This Is What Happens When You Drink Only Water For 30 Days 7 People You Should Talk to When You Feel Lost What Will Happen To Your Body When You Stop Exercising Science Explains Why People Love Heavy Blanket With Air-Con In Summer For Sleep Why You Should Walk, Not Run, For Weight Loss And Better Health

Trending in Health

111 Benefits of Almond Milk You Didn’t Know About 210 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know 3Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning 4Sleeping Too Much but Still Exhausted? Why You Can’t Sleep Well At Night 5Your Body on Caffeine Addiction: 70 Cups of Coffee in 7 Days

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

Advertising

When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

    Advertising

      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

          Advertising

          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

              Advertising

                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

                  Read Next