The Science of a Blanket

The team at Fierce Faith blankets love to talk for hours about the spiritual, encouraging words on their blankets. And why not, every word and message is great !

They’re inspiring, they’re comforting and of course so very, very encouraging.

However, there’s way more to a blanket than the colour and the words.

According to latest findings by sleep and health researchers at the University of Arizona, draping a blanket over your knees can actually trigger a sleep response. This is because the physical sensation of continued, regular snuggling in bed under a blanket becomes consciously and unconsciously associated with sleep. After all, it’s something we humans have been doing since we were babies.

It’s all to do with circadian rhythms. Wikipedia describes a circadian rhythm, or circadian cycle, as “a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. It can refer to any process that originates within an organism and responds to the environment.” So, that nightly routine does more than help you snooze—it’s actually a key part of what regulates the internal “clock” in your body that determines when your body is ready to go to sleep and when it’s ready to wake up.

Once you are in bed and asleep, your body temperature drops, eventually reaching one or two degrees below your average body temperature. As soon as you slip into a level of sleep known as the REM sleep cycle, sleep experts have discovered that your body actually starts losing it’s ability to regulate it’s temperature. Thank goodness your blanket is there to keep you warm—even on a summer night.

Research suggests that blankets may be especially beneficial for people with insomnia and anxiety. Anxiety can cause your heart rate to increase and breathing to get faster as your body prepares for stress. This affects your whole autonomic nervous system which controls breathing, digestion, sweating and shivering. Your body gets stuck in a fight or flight response. However, bring in a cosy, soft blanket and just the weight of it will bring down a quickened heart rate and rapid breathing. This provides a sense of calm.

A study of otherwise healthy people who suffered from chronic insomnia, published in 2015 in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, found that those who slept under a thick blanket reported having a calmer night’s sleep.

Wow, there’s a whole lot more going on with a Fierce Faith blanket than meets the eye. Our team are excited to try out these ideas so we’ll see you in the morning. Night, night.