If you often wake up sweaty, why do you still feel the need to have a blanket on your bed? According to one expert, it’s thanks to your sleep cycle.
Terry Cralle, an RN and educator for the American Sleep Foundation, said regardless of whether you get cold at night or sleep hot, having a blanket is engrained on us from when we were babies.
“From a behavioral standpoint, most of us have associated blankets with comfort, relaxation, bedtime, and sleeping since childhood,” Cralle told Apartment Therapy. “Therefore, they serve as a cue that it is time to sleep.”
But it’s not just the conditioning of being tucked in, either; there’s some science behind it. When we enter REM sleep, our body temperature drops, and we can no longer regulate our temperature. Keeping some sort of cover over our bodies keeps up from becoming too cold as we sleep and, in turn, waking up.
These temperature regulations are all tied to our circadian rhythms—the phases we go through during waking and sleeping. They maintain warmth at our body temperature’s lowest points when we’re asleep.
So whether it’s simply because a blanket comforts you or the purely scientific reason, nightly covers seem to be a must for most folks.
Simply wearing socks to bed might be another way to improve your sleep—check out why one doc recommends it.
[Via Apartment Therapy]