Gratituesday: Grandma's Blankets

A few hours ago, millions of people went to sleep without a blanket. Some of them chose to. Many didn’t. And in less than a day, the whole cycle will repeat again.

It’s such a stupid little thing, isn’t it? A piece of cheap cloth to cover you while you sleep. And yet, if you didn’t have one, it wouldn’t be a small thing at all.

All the way until the 18th century, beds were the most expensive item in any European household. Imagine your bed made up 30% of everything you own - both in size and in price.

The most common way to receive a blanket was to inherit one. That’s right. People handed these down over generations. I am Nik, wearer of the blanket of Knut.

The funny thing is it’s still true. I have a set of sheets from my grandma in my apartment. They’re made of terrycloth, the stuff fancy hotel robes are made of. They feel like heaven in the winter.

Heaven is why hotel beds are white, by the way. And winter is one of the reasons we want blankets. Our bodies cool down at night, and, right when sleep is most restorative, they can’t regulate our temperature. So the extra warmth helps.

It also feels good to be under the covers. Safe. Like a baby. Which, of course, we used to be as babies. And that’s why we still like it today.

The weight of the sheet even boosts serotonin production. Light, physical pressure on our skin does that. Think of a hug or a handshake. Blankets literally make us happier.

When you slip under yours tonight, remember: They may be a small item, but one with a big story. Make sure it’s a story you appreciate.


About Gratituesday: By Tuesday, we're deep into thinking about what we seek. That's why it's a great day to remember what we already found. Gratitude has many benefits, but, mostly, it's an exercise in shifting our perspective. Instead of focusing on what's missing, we can focus on what we have.

And we'll be much calmer for it.

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