Most of us have different bedtime rituals; however, we have this one thing in common, and that is, we often cover our head with a blanket when we are asleep.
For others, covering one's head with a blanket while sleeping may find it odd, but for most people, they love sleeping with a blanket over their head. However, what does it mean to sleep with a blanket overhead?
Sleeping with blanket overhead can mean a few things. First is that you may be cold, and covering your head with a blanket will keep you warm. Another thing is that you find the room bright, and you want to block the light by covering your head, and lastly, you just want the feeling of safe and secured by cocooning yourself with a blanket.
Even though this habit makes you feel comfortable and makes you fall asleep faster, it cannot deny the fact that it is dangerous for your health.
That is why you must know the health hazards it can cause you so that you can break this bad habit right away. Hence, listed below are the dangers of sleeping with a blanket overhead.
Dangers Of Sleeping Undercover With A Blanket
Blankets are used for protecting your body against the cold weather and sometimes, for insect bites when you are camping.
However, people find tucking their whole body from head to toes under a warm and cozy blanket give them the therapeutic vibe they need since it can help them manage their stress and anxiety.
Nonetheless, according to some experts, you should avoid covering your head with a blanket since it brings danger to your health, such as the following:
This can damage your brain
According to some studies, covering your head while sleeping can contribute to the causes of brain damage, and one of the well-known neurodegenerative disorders is so-called dementia.
Dementia, when it became progressive, may lead to another disorder called Alzheimer's disease. The reason why covering one's head may cause brain damage is that you have a restricted airflow to your brain since your nose and mouth cannot get enough oxygen.
Therefore, your brain does not get enough oxygen to function properly. When this happens for a longer period of time, the tissues and vessels in your brain will become damaged, which can lead to unwanted consequences, and worst it may cause death.
You may breathe in unclean air
Even though you are asleep, your body, especially your heart and brain, still need fresh air to function properly.
However, since your body is cocooned in a thick blanket, you cannot assure that the air you are breathing in is still clean since you created a tiny space wherein the air that circulates is fresh.
Therefore, there is a possibility that the air you are breathing in has dust particles, dirt, and bacteria, especially if your blanket is not clean. That is why some people trigger their allergies because of this bad habit since they breathe a dust-filled air particle confined only in that tiny space they created.
The risk for insomnia and other sleeping problems
Covering your head while sleeping can reduce the quality of your sleep, especially if you are a hot sleeper, yet you still love covering your head with a blanket.
You may find sweating or warm, and this can keep you awake throughout the night. Hence, if this habit continues over time, you may develop sleeping disorders such as insomnia, which is the leading sleeping disorder among Americans.
In addition to this, covering your head while asleep can also impair your breathing pattern since you have limited access to air, which can add up to the reason why you cannot sleep properly.
Greater risk for suffocation
Even though you find covering your head with a blanket at night comfortable, there is a specific risk this habit may bring, most notably to your respiratory system.
If you have underlying respiratory conditions such as asthma, heart problems, and sleep apnea, you may be at higher risk for suffocation since you have a limited supply of air inside your blanket.
That is why it is better you break off this bad habit, as this can lead to a greater risk of suffocation, especially for those people with lung disease when they cover their heads with a blanket while asleep.
Development of sleep apnea
What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder wherein there is a problem in the breathing pattern that can make you snore while you are asleep and give you the feeling of restlessness, even though you had a full night sleep.
The primary cause of sleep apnea is a narrowed airway circulation, which you can experience if you are sleeping while your head is covered with a blanket, as this can affect the quantity of air that can circulate on your airways.
It can lower your alertness during emergency situations
One major reason why you prefer sleeping with a covered head is to make it look dimmer and to lessen the noise or any kind of distraction that can hinder your sleep.
However, in return, you will be able to hear and smell right away if there is something that is happening around you, such as emergencies like fire or a thief trying to break in.
Therefore, to avoid such unfortunate events from happening, avoid this habit of covering your head while sleeping so that your senses are still alert, or you can be easily awakened when such things happen.
Instead of hiding your head to catch some good night's sleep, consider having a humidifier in your room to freshen the air and make the room set a vibe for sleeping.
Hence, you already know the hazards it can bring to your health if you continue sleeping with a covered head. However, on the other hand, there is one benefit this habit can do. You may continue reading it below to know more about it.
The Benefit Of Sleeping With A Blanket Overhead
While you may find this odd, there is actually one benefit this bad habit can bring. However, it does not outweigh the risks over this one benefit.
That is why it is better recommended to discontinue doing this if you have made this habit for so long.
The ability to breathe in warmer air
You might be wondering what benefit could breathe in a warmer air bring? Well, according to some people, breathing in a warmer air reduces the risk of catching a cold, and this is how it works:
When you catch a cold or flu, your body will start showing signs and symptoms such as having a sore throat, congested nose, and sometimes your ear might be a bit stuffy as well.
Since these body parts might become colder first before your other body parts, this means that a colder body implies a weaker immune system, which is the likelihood of getting sick.
Simply breathing in warmer air can help prevent illnesses and can keep your body temperature warmer. Moreover, breathing in cold air has always been linked to respiratory issues that cause diseases.
Therefore, you must break this old sleeping habit and just do these simple sleeping tips instead, so that you can still have that good night's sleep you get from that old habit. You can read more below to know these sleeping tips for a healthier and safer sleep.
Healthy sleeping habits for adults
Your habits during the daytime, and most especially before bedtime can affect the quality of your sleep since it can lead to a relaxing and healthy sleep, or a restless night.
That is why following a daily routine such as the food and drink that you eat, your schedule for the day, and lastly, the way you will spend your time before hitting the hay can greatly impact your sleep. In fact, just a few adjustments of time can make a difference in the quality of your sleep.
That is why some experts recommend completing this two-week sleep diary to understand further how your daily routine can affect the quality of your sleep.
If you have bad sleeping habits and you think that breaking of that habit can make your sleep uncomfortable, you should try these healthy sleeping habits to replace your bad habit and make your everyday sleep better and healthier.
Try to follow these simple sleeping tips so that you can establish healthy sleeping habits.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
If you have established a sleep schedule wherein you must go to bed before 10'o clock in the evening and wake up at 6'o clock in the morning, you must strictly follow this schedule every day, even on weekends, or during your vacation.
In this way, your body already has its own body clock wherein you will automatically wake up on your own without setting the alarm.
In my case, since I go to work at 8'o clock in the morning, I wake up at five in the morning so that I can still have time to meditate before preparing myself to get to work. I need to go to bed around 9'o clock in the evening so that I can still an 8-hour full sleep since this is the recommended hours of sleep for adults.
Do a relaxing bedtime routine
Practicing a relaxing routine activity before bedtime, such as reading books or listening to classical music, can promote a healthy good night's sleep.
Moreover, these activities can help you set your mood from activities that can cause your excitement or anxiety juices to go up. Hence, catching asleep is more likely difficult since your mind and body are still active.
Avoid taking afternoon naps
Indeed, taking power naps for at least 10 to 15 minutes can get you throughout the day. However, if you have trouble catching sleep during the night, it is best if you eliminate taking naps at any time of the day.
Look for comfortable mattress and pillows
As we have been discussed on previous blog post that sleeping on a soft and comfortable pillow is the key to a good night's sleep; therefore, look for a pillow and mattress that will suit your sleeping position whether you are a side sleeper, back sleeper, or a sleeper who loves to lie on stomach.
Another thing to consider is by making your room attractive for sleep, it must be free from dirt, dust mites, and other allergens that can affect the quality of your sleep.
Exercise regularly and eat healthy meals
Doing vigorous exercise helps your body to keep in good shape and is beneficial for your overall health. In addition to this, it can help you in getting good quality at night.
Always remember that mild and light exercise is better than no doing exercise at all. Do morning stretches and exercise or in the afternoon, but do not do a strenuous activity before you go to bed as this can make your body active and alert.
Evaluate your bedroom
Aside from doing physical exercise and nighttime rituals, it also important to consider designing your bedroom and establish a room condition that is engaging in sleeping.
It must be cool around 20-25 degrees, as this is to avoid covering your whole body with a blanket. Your room must also be soundproof to avoid any distractions that can wake you up in the middle of the night.
Lastly, you must also consider the lighting since most of us cannot sleep with lights widely open while others cannot sleep in a room fully blackout; therefore, it is your choice how can you make your room comfortable to sleep.
It is also advisable to use eye masks, earplugs, fans, humidifiers, and blackout curtains if you are very sensitive even to the slightest distractions.
Avoid using electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime
Since lights from your mobile devices may be too bright and can make your body active.
Moreover, using electronic devices such as laptops, TV, tablets, and others can affect your internal body clock known as the circadian rhythm by delaying and suppressing the release of melatonin, which is a type of sleep-inducing hormone so, as a result, it will make you more difficult to fall asleep at night.
Therefore, as much as possible, minimize the use of these devices before bedtime, preferably 30 to 60 minutes.
Do not eat heavy meals before bedtime
Eating large meals or spicy-flavored meals can cause problems in your digestion, which can later on making it hard for you to fall asleep.
If possible, avoid eating heavy meals for two to three hours before bedtime; however, if you still feel hungry before bedtime, you can try eating light snacks such as yogurt, trail mix, or hot cereals 45 minutes before going to bed.
In addition to this, you should also avoid taking caffeinated drinks such as coffee and avoid drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes as this can also disrupt your sleep cycle. Instead, you should drink chamomile tea as this can help you relax and calm down before going to bed.
Also read: How Big Is 50 X 60 Blanket?
Get out of bed if you don't fall asleep within 20 minutes
If you fail to fall asleep within 20 to 30 minutes, you should get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing until you feel tired and sleepy.
It is advisable if you take out from your room your working materials such as laptop, computer, and television.
However, if you are anxious about a particular activity or things, and it is associated with your sleep, it is best to avoid or omit that certain activity in your nighttime routine.
Take a hot shower before going to bed
Once your body is heated in a warm shower, it can trigger the innate thermoregulation process of your body. In simple terms, after a warm shower, the water droplets evaporate that leaves your skin cool and set your mind and body ready for bed.
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Sleeping with a blanket overhead is a habit that we must discontinue on doing even though this habit can make you fall asleep faster.
However, considering all the dangers, it can bring to your health, such as the risk for brain damage and suffocation, inhaling unclean air, the risk for insomnia and sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea.
Lastly, it can affect your alertness during emergencies. That is why instead of making this bad habit, why don't you just start doing the sleeping routines listed above on which it can also help you fall asleep better and healthier.
Thus, if you still have sleeping difficulties, you can seek the help of your doctor or look for sleep experts so that they can treat and do something about your sleeping concerns.
Moreover, you may also find the benefit of writing down on your Sleep Diary to help you and your doctor evaluate better your common sleep patterns or issues that may arise with your sleeping habits.
Learn more: What Is A Cooling Blanket? Do You Need One? [FIND OUT HERE]
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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