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Why Do We Feel Safe Under Blankets?

Blankets make us feel safe because their weight eases the release of uplifting hormones like serotonin. They also lower cortisol levels and help reduce stress. Throw a little warmth into the mix, and the result is a feeling of safety and relief as we curl up under our favorite blanket

Why Do We Feel Safe Under Blankets?


The weight of your blanket increases melatonin levels, helping you get a little better shut-eye.

Deep Touch Pressure has been recommended by occupational therapists for decades and helps to calm patients prone to anxiety.

A study from 2017 showed that weighted blankets help promote happiness in young people with autism.


Did you know?
Weighted blankets have been used on patients at a dentist’s office to ease their anxiety about being in the chair.

You know that warm, cozy feeling you get when a big blanket drapes over your body? Like arriving home at the end of a stressful day – a feeling you could stay in forever, or at least until the next morning?

Well, that feeling ain’t no fluke! It turns out that when cotton weighs us down, there are all kinds of happy results that science can help explain. So, why do we feel safe under blankets?

The Evolutionary Answer To Why Blankets Feel Safe

As warm-blooded mammals who shed most of their hair long ago, humans have always reached for furs or blankets at night.

There are many reasons for that, as we’ll see in this article - the most obvious being their effects on temperature regulation and sleep. Let’s have a look at that first one.

Blankets For Warmth

As you head to bed for the night, your core temperature starts to drop. Don’t worry, it’s nothing to be alarmed by. This drop in temperature goes hand in hand with your transition to non-REM sleep.

However, while it’s important for your core temperature to drop, there’s a point where it becomes too much. That’s when it’s time to snuggle up under a blanket.

Toeing the line between optimally cold and hypothermic requires us to reach for blankets, and research shows that they’re crucial for a good night’s sleep.

Blankets For Sleep

Speaking of sleep, blankets also help us catch zzz’s by boosting melatonin, the sleep hormone. Our bodies release it as day turns to night, making it nature’s way of helping us get a little shut-eye.

That might not be news to you, but did you know that the weight of your blanket also draws out this hormone? That extra bit of melatonin from your weighted blanket can lead to a much higher quality of sleep, and it’s yet another reason why it’s so easy to relax under them.

why do we feel safe under blankets

Why The Blanket’s Weight Makes A Difference

Warmth and sleep quality are only a small part of why we feel safe under blankets. It turns out that the weight leads to even more benefits.

For decades, occupational therapists have applied a phenomenon called Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) to calm patients prone to anxiety. It works by simulating a hug, bringing out the warm fuzzy feeling of love.

There are many ways to reproduce the effects of DTP, including things like a good old-fashioned hug, gentle massages, and blankets!

While blankets found around the house may give you comfort, they won’t normally be heavy enough to provide therapeutic benefits.

Weighted blankets are the perfect solution for you to achieve the beneficial effects of DTP. While looking like a normal blanket or a cute knitted blanket, they serve as a therapeutic blanket for both adults and kids.

To achieve that, you need to get the weight right. The recommended weight is around 10% of a person’s body mass. But what does that look like for you? You could take a look at our weighted blanket weight chart or try out our quiz to get a recommendation tailored to your needs.

Since we all come in different shapes and sizes, Bearaby’s weighted blankets like The Napper come in 10, 15, 20, and 25 lbs. This allows you to choose the right size, maximizing the effects of DTP. If you use one, you may find yourself feeling safer and less anxious.

Cotton Napper

  2149 Reviews
Cotton Napper cta

Dreamy, buttery softness

Calms body & mind for deeper sleep

Hand-knitted huggable comfort

It's Napper Time
Cotton Napper cta

Weighted Blankets And Serotonin

It’s hard to talk about DTP without mentioning the neurotransmitter it helps release in our bodies.

The feel-good hormone. The mood maker. Serotonin has many nicknames, but they’re all hinting at the same thing: it can lift our spirits.

Your body produces serotonin in two places. The gut is responsible for around 90%, while the rest is in the brain. Both areas release it into the bloodstream, where it regulates everything from hunger to happiness.

Experts believe that this wonderful hormone plays a crucial role in managing mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD, all things that affect our sense of security. They’re also conditions that occupational therapists treat with weighted blankets.

The weight on our bodies cues the release of serotonin, reducing our stress and improving our mood.

More recently, weighted blankets have gone mainstream as people in all situations realize that they could benefit from them. And it turns out that a boost in serotonin isn’t the only benefit.

Weighted Blankets And Serotonin

Weighted Blankets Help Lower Cortisol

If there’s one thing associated with lack of safety, it’s stress. And these days, stress can be found around every corner, whether at work or at home. All of that anxiety means more cortisol in the body – the stress hormone.

Raised cortisol levels can lead to things like high blood pressure, fatigue, and weight gain. Weighted blankets combat this by reducing those levels in our bodies.

One study from 2011 even found that weighted blankets used on patients at a dentist’s office helped ease patients’ anxiety. If they make you feel safe in that environment, they must make you feel safe just about anywhere!

Even in places where you can’t hear dental drills whirring and scraping, our weighted blankets like The Napper still help lower cortisol and raise serotonin. The Napper, made of organic cotton, is our most popular knitted weighted blanket to help you sleep better and feel calmer.

Cotton Napper

  2149 Reviews
Cotton Napper cta

Dreamy, buttery softness

Calms body & mind for deeper sleep

Hand-knitted huggable comfort

It's Napper Time
Cotton Napper cta

Weighted Blankets Help With Autism

While people have different sources of stress, the cortisol reaction behind it is similar. That’s why occupational therapists started using weighted blankets as a tool to help with anxiety experienced in those with autism.

They were able to help those with autism by aiding sleep, easing anxiety, and improving attention spans. A 2017 study also showed that they help promote happiness in young people with the condition.

If you’re looking to promote a sense of security in your kiddo, weighted blankets for kids like the Nappling may help. Just be sure to ease them into it, gently introducing the blanket from the feet up.


Weighted blankets like the The Napper and The Nappling use Deep Touch Pressure to help our bodies regulate hormones such as serotonin, cortisol, and melatonin. This means they can be a great tool for people dealing with stress or simply wanting better sleep.

We feel safe under blankets because of that release of hormones, combined with the warmth and comfort they give.