A blanket keeps you warm because simply stated, a blanket is an insulator and insulators are poor conductors of heat.
thats also the reason why blanket can also keep a cold drink cool, as it just insulate the temperature of the object it covers.
What Is A Blanket?
A blanket according to Wikipedia is a swath of soft cloth large enough either to cover or to enfold most of the user’s body and thick enough to keep the body warm by trapping radiant body heat that otherwise would be lost through convection (convection is simply the act of conveying).
Why Do We Use A Blanket?
To Regulate Body Temperature During REM Sleep
According to Alice Hoagland from the sleep disorder Center in Rochester New York, even though we are warm blooded, during REM sleep your body completely loses the ability to regulate internal temperature for about four hours a night so if you’re relying only on your external surroundings, you’re going to get cold when you’re in REM sleep, which is why it is important to go to sleep with a blanket. If there is heat and you’re worried about overheating at night, you can cover your whole body with the exception of your feet. The feet are great at regulating your body temperature. So having one or both feets out from under your blanket will go a long way to keeping you cool when you need to be, and the blanket keeps you warm if you get cold.
To Regulate The Level Of Feel Good Hormones
When sleeping, you also experience a decrease in your body’s production of the feel-good hormones, serotonin, and dopamine. Blankets have been proven to raise serotonin and dopamine production levels.
Fear Of The Dark
Fear of the dark is very common among children who often turn to blankets for comfort, which is the whole idea behind companies like glow, which uses a book and blankets to empower kids against the dark. Put it all together and you can see why people love it so much. Not only do they protect your body from the cold, they protect your mind from the dangers of the dark.
Humans are creatures of habit, and from infancy, we’ve been trained to sleep under blankets, so it just feels right to sleep under a blanket, and when you go to bed and cover yourself with a blanket, your body receives a signal that it is time to sleep.
How Does A Blanket Keep You Warm?
Your body generates heat everyday just by the process of living. In some conditions, your body generates more heat, for example while eating or exercising. The heat generated by your body gets constantly dispersed to the surroundings and is carried by the cold air around you. This stops you from heating up and shutting down. Your blanket simply serves as a barrier between you and the surrounding air slowing down the heat exchange. Since most of the heat is not going out, the heat produced by your body helps to keep you warm.
Benefits Of Using Blankets.
- Blankets, especially weighted blankets, may cause the same responses in your body that happen when you get a hug. You get a surge of feel good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine which create a calming effect.
- They help you reduce stress; blankets ground your body. Grounding has been seen to decrease the level of Cortisol which is a stress hormone that has negative effects on blood sugar, digestion and immunity.
- According to healthline.com, weighted blankets can help in some simple ways. The added pressure may help to calm your heart rate and breathing. This may make it easier to relax before you settle in for a good night’s rest and this generally improves the quality of your sleep.
- The comforting surrounding that a blanket provides can help in decreasing anxiety.
How Do Emergency Blankets Keep You Warm?
Emergency blankets are impermeable metalized plastic sheets, but they are very effective in keeping one warm despite being thin. Unlike normal blankets that keep you warm by preventing heat loss from your body, emergency blankets keep you warm by preventing breeze from touching your skin. Wrap the blanket around your skin and you have a wind breaker that prevents breeze from blowing across your skin and taking the heat away.
How Many Blankets Do I Need?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. There are a lot of factors that contribute to determining the ideal number of blankets that you need for having a peaceful sleep. For instance, if you wear warm clothes to bed, you will need only one blanket and vice versa. The second most important factor to consider is the temperature of the room. Additionally, the quality of bedding should also be considered while choosing blankets. Lastly, this is a very personal decision, and mostly it depends upon your personal sleep preferences.
however, due to the isolating function of a blanket, one blanket will usually be enough.
Despite blankets being poor conductors of heat, a thick blanket will allow some of our body heat to escape into the atmosphere. However, when we use two blankets one on top of the other, air gets trapped between them. This air being a bad conductor of heat does not allow our body heat to easily flow into the atmosphere. The air between the blankets makes it almost impossible to lose any heat.
This depends on the material the blanket is made with. Some materials for example fur, wool are very good insulators, thus they tend to prevent heat from escaping your body, unlike other materials like cotton that are not as insulating as fur.
What Did We Learn?
From what we’ve discussed, we now know that blankets are not a source of heat, they do not give heat to your body, they just prevent the heat your body is producing from escaping into the cold air. Aside from keeping warm, using blankets also helps to improve quality of sleep, regulates body temperature for example during REM sleep, to prevent you from getting cold when you’re not in complete control of your body’s temperature.