Thick blankets have an effect similar to a cocoon and a parent's hug, which may improve your sleep quality and relieve anxiety disorders, shows a new study from MIT.
The studies have reached the conclusion that thick blankets are beneficial not only for those suffering from insomnia but also for certain psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and autism.
Researchers have proven that the heavier the blanket the better the quality of sleep. Tests were conducted on people suffering from insomnia, with various methods used to try to improve their condition.
Thick blankets turned out to provide the most convincing results, as they decreased physical discomfort, facilitated falling asleep and stabilized the mental state.
They were also proven to lower anxiety by 63%, in turn making it easier for the person to drift off into sleep.
From a neurological standpoint, the pressure from the blankets lowers cortisol levels and increases serotonin and melatonin in the brain. This slows heart rate and lowers blood pressure, allowing one to fall asleep faster.
Cortisol is the hormone released in situations of stress. High levels of it in the body cause insomnia, anxiety and depression.
Serotonin, on the other hand, helps regulate our inner clock and contributes to natural relaxation and calming. Which is why it's been nicknamed the hormone of happiness.
Melatonin is the hormone responsible for putting you to sleep. People who have problems falling asleep often take melatonin supplements in order to fall asleep easier.