Luxury Blanket | 2019

3rd year at Design Academy Eindhoven
Activity Department
Semester 2 (Feb 2019-July 2019)

As described by the Oxford Dictionary
‘middle-aged’ is...
1 (of a person) aged about 45 to 65.
‘the crowd was predominantly middle-aged’
‘the last-gasp ambitions of the middle-aged’

The human body changes a lot over time, and the middle age is no exception. In your middle age the body may slow down and might become more sensitive to diet, substance abuse, stress, and rest. Chronic health problems become more of an issue along with disability or disease. Roughly one centimetre of a man’s height may be lost per decade. Emotional responses and re-examination vary from person to person. Experiencing a sense of mortality, sadness, or loss is common at this age.

The blanket I will create for middle aged men is to be used in their most vulnerable moments. The moments when you have nothing to distract you, when you are alone with your thoughts, this blanket brings comfort and security in those most vulnerable of times.

In day to day life there are many distractions from the thoughts we need to address or things that we need to process before they consume us and middle aged men are more vulnerable to the effects of negative thoughts and struggle much more than women  to address them.
When alone this blanket enables you to enclose yourself in a safe space.
This blanket, coupled with being used in a man’s most vulnerable times when he is alone is to be used WHERE he is most alone, usually at home, without the distractions of day to day life, work, sports, meeting friends or doing jobs. The time when we settle down for a moment and have the space to think.
Allowing men to be actively mindful. Middle age is a tricky time for both of the sexes but men tend to suffer more than women do. It is a huge transition part of their lives.

Studies have shown that middle age is the time in life when a man has his lowest level of happiness and satisfaction , and middle aged men have the highest rates of suicide of any age and gender. They have huge amounts of isolation and loneliness.

Weighted blankets help ground your body during sleep by pushing it downwards. This process, known as “earthing” or “grounding,” may have a deeply calming effect. The blankets also simulate deep pressure touch, a type of therapy that uses firm, hands-on pressure to reduce chronic stress and high levels of anxiety.

Studies show that grounding may help reduce night-time levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol is produced when your brain thinks you’re under attack, eliciting the fight or flight response. Stress can escalate cortisol levels. This can have a negative impact upon the immune system. It can also increase blood sugar levels and adversely affect the digestive tract.

Elevated cortisol levels, especially those that don’t drop back down to normal levels naturally, can cause multiple complications. These include:

weight gain

By providing deep pressure touch, weighted blankets can promote relaxation and help break this cycle. This may trigger the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are feel-good hormones produced in the brain. These hormones help combat stress, anxiety, and depression.

A study reported in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine indicated that grounding the human body while sleeping is an effective way to synchronize cortisol secretion with its natural, 24-hour circadian rhythms. Grounding helped reduce cortisol production in the participants during sleep. This improved their sleep and alleviated stress, insomnia, and pain.