Should I Sleep with a Blanket if I Have a Fever? What Do Scientists Say?
Fever is the reaction of the human body to detect viruses and bacteria. When someone has a fever he feels cold and shivers. Most people believe that sleeping with a blanket if you have a fever raises your temperature and makes you feel sicker. On the one hand, you should not overdo it and put too many blankets above you. On the other hand, it is important when you have a fever to stay warm. There is a question that arises finally.
Should you sleep with a Blanket if you have a fever? According to scientists the answer is yes but in moderation. You should maintain the average temperature stable (around 21-22°C). Keep yourself warm without overloading with blankets is very important. You should avoid sharp changes in temperature and always keep the balance.
Scientific Facts About Using a Blanket During the Night
According to Dr. Alice Hoagland from the Unity Sleep Disorder in Rochester, New York when we are slipping our body loses the ability to regulate its internal temperature level and the circadian rhythm. Using a blanket during the night will help you regulate better the temperature of your body. This fact is more important in case you have a fever. During your REM sleep, you have a decrease in your body’s production of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. Having this in mind using blankets during the night can improve the quality of your sleep.
Michael Grandner, Ph.D., director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson claims that “A blanket creates a ‘microclimate’ around the skin that is usually warmer than the surrounding environment”.“It traps heat that escapes from the body at night, keeping the body warm.
When we go to bed our body begins to have a lower temperature (1 to 2 degrees). This is happening because it helps us falling asleep according to information from the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School. Through a process known as thermoregulation, the temperature of our body is controlled by mechanisms such as shivering, sweating, and changing blood flow to the skin, so that body temperature fluctuates minimally around a set level during wakefulness.
Can Too Many Blankets Raise Your Body’s Temperature?
Generally speaking warm clothing and too many blankets during sleeping time can increase your body’s temperature. When you are trying to feel warmer by overdressing yourself your body is beginning to be overheated and the result is sweating. In addition, many people are sleeping with a blanket because they are used to it. The problem arises when the fever fell and you get rid of the layers of blankets above you. The abrupt cooling of your body and its exposure to a different temperature can be more harmful than you could think. There is a possibility of getting a new cold since your immune system is very weak. The secret is to adapt your clothing and the number of blankets that you are using during the night.
There’s no evidence that layering on blankets “and trying to sweat out the fever” has any benefit, Dr. Ferrer says. Instead, you’ll probably feel better if you stay cool, he says. One way to beat the heat is to take a lukewarm or cool shower or bath at a temperature that’s comfortable to you.
Fever, Hyperthermia, and Body Temperature While Sleeping
According to scientists we have more white blood cells when we are sleeping. Consequently, your body fights the infection and symptoms like fever appear during the night. This is the reason why fever is always getting worse when you go to bed and most people very often have night sweats. What scientists have also found very interesting about the interaction of the human body during the night is heat exhaustion, certain inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, medicines, such as antibiotics, an immunization, or a tumor.
Hyperthermia, on the other side, refers to a group of heat-related conditions characterized by an abnormally high body temperature according to scientists. The most common symptoms are excessive sweating, exhaustion, and headache. Hypothermia occurs rarely in adults and is not related to fever. However, it is advisable to call your doctor if this is happening very often.
During the night your body temperature falls. This prepares your body for relaxing and fall asleep. The temperature of your body starts to rise again very early in the morning, preparing your body to wake up.
What About Weighted Blankets
What do scientists say about weighted blankets? Weighted blankets keep a stable temperature of your body while at the same time they keep you warm and dry. In fact, it is difficult for many people to get rid of an electric blanket when they are used to it. In the case you have a fever it is not good to change abruptly temperature, by getting off your warm weighted blanket to the cold air of your room.
According to scientists, big temperature changes are not good for your body especially if you have a fever. Keeping your weighted blanket at a low and stable temperature is the best thing you can do. It will keep you warm and at the same time, you will avoid sudden temperature changes. It has been proven in several studies that people that were using weighted blankets at night noticed a decrease in levels of anxiety and insomnia.
Researchers suggest that weighted blankets may be beneficial for people who are ill as the heat flows from the blanket into your body in an endothermic procedure.
Good Quality of Blankets is a Must
During the night you should be pleasant and comfortable. The material of the blanket you choose is very important as it has to be of good quality. “The perfect blanket is one that’s warm enough to keep you comfortable, but breathable enough to not accumulate moisture and sweat,” says Dr. Grander. “It should be soft enough to get out of your way, but substantial enough that you feel it.” This is considered very important in case you have a fever. There are many types of blankets that are considered the best for you to choose from.
- Cotton Blankets: they are very soft, warm, and comfortable. They are ideal for people with sensitive skin as cotton blankets are characterized by hypo-allergic. They are also perfect if you want to use them during the summer because they can easily regulate your temperature. Click here to see the pricing on Amazon.
- Cashmere Blankets: they represent a fabric of high quality. Cashmere Blankets are not so affordable as other types of blankets but they are warmer than wool blankets and at the same time lighter. Click here to see the pricing on Amazon
- Acrylic Blankets: another type of fabric that is hypo-allergic. Acrylic Blankets are an alternative option for those who love wool and cashmere blankets. Furthermore, they are lightweight and warm. They are very durable when they are washed at high temperature and their colors remain the same for a long time.
- Polyester Blankets: they are soft and smooth. Polyester blankets are not so expensive if you don’t want to spend a lot of money or if you want to have many in different colors. Polyester blankets are durable as years passing and they are stand up to washing.
- Wool Blankets: They are considered the best blanket material if the weather is too cold. Wool blankets keep you very warm and dry since they absorb humidity and sweet. Moreover, if you have a fireplace a wool blanket is the best choice for you as it is naturally fire-resistant. Click here to see the product on Amazon
- Fleece Blankets: they are considered by many as an alternative to wool blankets. Fleece blankets are very warm and soft. They are very affordable since they are made of synthetic materials.
Things to Do Before Going to Bed When You Have a Fever
Firstly, a warm bath will help you relax and feel pleasant. Secondly, going to bed as early as possible is a top secret when you are ill. Your body needs to rest. Healthy food is also important. Soups, fresh juices, vegetables, and fruits should be at the top of your list. The next very useful piece of advice by scientists is to drink water. Finally wearing a comfortable and warm pair of pajamas is a great option.
Keeping a mid-level of your temperature during the night is very important as it will help you in confronting fever. If you find yourself comfortable under your blankets this is ok. Using a nice and warm blanket during your sleep has many benefits for your body especially if you have a fever. It regulates your body temperature and raises serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain. The video below describes perfectly how sleeping with blankets benefits our body.