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Freshly Baked Science

As Snug As A Bug In A Rug

26th October 2018

Admit it. When it comes to sleeping, you’re as guilty as everyone else, no matter how warm it may be you HAVE to have something covering you while you sleep. Even sleeping under the thinnest sheet known to man, with a leg sticking out, is far more appealing than lying out in the open! So why do we do this? The answer is down to three combining factors; physiological, neurological and psychological.

 

Physiological

 

This factor is down to the simple fact that our bodies get colder at night, meaning we need the extra warmth of a blanket. Before we go to bed, our internal body temperature begins to cool down. This continues to happen as we drift off to sleep, often dropping down to uncomfortable temperatures during the night. We also can’t regulate our body temperature while we sleep, so a blanket helps to keep us warm during this time.

 

While this makes a lot of sense, it doesn’t explain why we still sleep with a blanket or duvet on nights where we wake up in the middle of the night, boiling hot! This brings us on to the next factor…

 

Neurological

 

Weighted blankets have been scientifically proven to help relieve anxiety and stress. This is due to the gentle pressure they put on your body, which stimulates the production of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone, which also helps to control sleep regulation, explaining why depression is linked with insomnia (low levels of serotonin in depression leads to a lack of ability to regulate sleep).

 

Psychological

 

Finally, we have the psychological factor. This one may be the reason you have an irrational fear of a monster coming to take you, without the protection of your duvet (a very real threat)! This comes down to the way you were treated as a baby when your parents would cover you up with a blanket before you went to sleep. Throughout this time, you will have been conditioned to associate a blanket with safety and bedtime! So now, you don't feel as safe and secure without one!

 

I hope this article has helped you understand why you are compelled to live the blanket burrito life 24/7! If you have any questions (or confessions) around this topic, we’d love to hear them via social media (@wonkscience) or email (hannah@wonkmagazine.co.uk)!

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