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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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