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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 September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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