Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 13 Aug 2019 Here’s why you nee ...

Here’s why you need your blanket even if it’s too hot

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 13, 2019, 4:04 pm IST
Updated Aug 13, 2019, 4:04 pm IST
Apparently, your blanket is more than a sleep accessory.
A blanket helps in adjusting your body to sleep better. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)
 A blanket helps in adjusting your body to sleep better. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

It’s 40 degrees outside and you settle in your bed to go to sleep. Suddenly, you realise that you’re forgetting something, and pull out a blanket from your cupboard. If you’re someone who can’t sleep without a blanket even on extremely hot nights, then you’re not alone!

A shower can help you feel relaxed before dozing off. You can also create an atmosphere conducive to sleep. And, you can also spend some time fixing a comfortable sleeping position. But nothing quite comes close to a sheet or blanket to help you finally fall into slumber. So, how is sleeping with a blanket on associated with a good night’s sleep? Here’s how it works:

 

All about the temperature

Ellen Wermter, a representative from the Better Sleep Council, Virginia, says, “Our circadian rhythm is tied to temperature, and a drop in core body temperature happens right before sleep.”

Your body conserves energy so that it can be channelised to perform other functions like digestion. This is why your temperature tends to drop consistently throughout the night. A blanket or a sheet prevents it from going too low, so that you don’t wake up.

But, when it’s hot outside...

It also gets hot inside. In that case, wearing a blanket can be tricky because everything works in reverse, and the blanket traps heat against your body. “When you’re already warm, it drives the temperature up further and creates an under-the-covers steam oven,” Wermter said.

Our body is used to taking low temperatures as an indication that it’s time to sleep. So, despite your core temperature dropping, the warmth outside tricks you into thinking it’s time to be up. Even if you fall asleep, chances are that it’ll be fragmented.

Time to cover it up

When your body temperature drops, your brain automatically signals you to pull up the sheets. “It’s part of your routine, and without it, your brain feels that something is missing and may find it difficult to relax,” Wermter said. As you start feeling that the temperature is now balanced, you tend to fall asleep and experience a better quality of sleep.

So, having the blanket on feels too hot, while not having it on feels like your sleep regime is incomplete. But there are other things you can consider. Here are a few tips on how you can sleep well:

Keep your feet cool

Dip your feet in a tub of cool water before going to sleep. Cold feet can actually lower the temperature of your entire body and can therefore, induce sleep.

Take a soothing shower

A hot shower about 90 minutes before you hit the bed can help you sleep peacefully. As water from your skin evaporates, your core temperature drops, which cues your body to sleep.

Go for a comfortable mattress

Your bed quality can significantly impact your sleep. Poor quality bedding could lead to back pain, in addition to a disturbed sleep.

Wear comfortable clothes

Go for loose clothes like pyjamas or shorts. Wearing tight clothes traps the heat and leaves you feeling irritated.

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