People suffering from insomnia, anxiety, and even depression are experiencing significant challenges. Tools and medication are becoming necessary to be able to have a good sleep and, this leads to the question: how do weighted blankets help you sleep better?
Heavy blankets can contribute to great sleep therapy, therefore, reduce stress in the process.
To give you an insight,
The idea is to help you sleep better so you can improve your quality of life. Many of you are tossing and turning at night due to high levels of stress, afflictions, or some other reasons. Indeed, looking at some statistics, 50 to 70 million adults in the US have a sleep disorder.
And, you would agree with me, it isn’t fun at all when you are not able to rest well at night, especially if your days are packed with lots of things to do.
But, before going deep into how this awesome tool can help sleep better, let’s explain the fundamentals.
WHAT IS A WEIGHTED BLANKET IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Weighted blankets have been used for many years by physicians to help people with anxiety, traumatic stress, and sleep disorders.
It is a kind of at-home therapy crafted to provide multiple health benefits that can help you achieve calmness at night and deeper, more restful sleep.
How they differ from a normal blanket? The weighted blankets differ from traditional blankets by exerting pressure on the body, a sense of being weighed down. It works by using plastic pellets or glass beads inside the blanket which create this heavy effect.
Blankets made with plastic pellets are generally cheaper and thicker since the plastic pellets are bigger. The weighted blankets that contain glass beads are usually heavier, a bit thinner, but pricier.
Generally, weighted blankets are more expensive than traditional blankets and you can get them to be up to 35 pounds. Now, for whom are weighted blankets better?
WHO CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A WEIGHTED BLANKET?
To respond to your question, in the beginning, weighted blankets were created as a natural form of therapy to help people with severe anxiety associated with autism. However, heavy blankets are gaining popularity at home, as a natural method to help with different common issues like:
- Insomnia and other Sleep Disorder
- Stress and Anxiety
- Symptoms Associated with ADD and ADHD.
Finally to the big question,
HOW DO WEIGHTED BLANKETS HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER?
Weighted blankets help you sleep by increasing the hormone Oxytocin which has the power to regulate emotions. It also helps release positive neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin to promote a natural restful night. The feeling of having a heavy blanket on top of your body regulates the production of cortisol, the stress hormone.
How do these hormones and neurotransmitters relate to my body?
Simple, when using a heavy blanket, the pressure you feel is similar to a hug. This feeling and sense of protection are what lead you to the release of different hormones and neurotransmitters. The effect of these hormones creates a feeling of calmness and as a result, you are blessed with a fantastic sleep.
Now, by having a positive impact on the hormones of the nervous system you may experience the following benefits:
*Reduce Insomnia and Bipolar Disorder:
We all know the negative effects of prolonged bad sleep, a situation that leads to stress, depression, and anxiety. But, the good news is there are ways to help you get out of this harmful lifestyle.
To be more clear, the positive neurotransmitters boosted by a weighted blanket can help you:
- Regulate your mood
- Body temperature and appetite
- By releasing dopamine and serotonin, a weighted blanket helps you with insomnia and even depressive disorder.
This tool can help you fall asleep faster and for longer and will give you an invigorated and rested feeling you need and deserve.
But, What needs to be done on your side?
You just need to sleep under a weighted blanket for that relaxed feeling. In my opinion, why not giving a try! it is an effective, safe, and natural intervention you can do for insomnia and to improve your quality of life.
By promoting Dopamine and serotonin, a weighted blanket can create a similar effect of spending the day at a spa.
In fact, a 2020 study by the Journal Clinical Sleep of medicine, found a significant change in sleeping quality and patterns on its test subjects. A group of 120 patients during a 12-month period who were using weight chain blankets showed a reduction of insomnia leading to an improvement in sleep, calmness, and less daytime sleepiness.
But keep reading because there is even more,
*Lower Anxiety in Adults By the effect of Pressure Stimulation |
For many, it is hard to stop worrying about things at the end of the day; numerous thoughts can disturb you at night. I know because I have been there. A weighted blanket could help you by bringing your thoughts to the present and allowing you the needed relaxing sleep.
How does it work? well to fall asleep, calmness is always essential, but to get there, your mind needs to come back to the present moment.
Deep pressure stimulation has been shown to calm your body and mind. Feeling wrapped in a comfortable swaddle creates this perfect environment to regulate your hormones.
Professional therapists have been using pressure touch for years to calm anxiety and stress. It works by having your mind focus on the feeling of heavy pressure bringing your attention to the moment.
- A 2015 study with 30 adults hospitalized for a mental health crisis showed that 60% of them experienced a significant reduction of anxiety after using a 30-pound blanket.
- Other studies also found that weighted blankets can be used as a therapeutic tool in reducing anxiety.
*Regulate The Production of Stress Hormone, Cortisol
A therapeutic weighted blanket helps regulate the production of cortisol at night. Cortisol is a hormone that helps us during stressful moments by reducing non-essential functions.
Uncontrolled levels of cortisol cause sleep deprivation. If your body thinks it is in danger, it will not let you rest. In this state, it could be almost impossible to coordinate your sleep cycles normally. Before you go to sleep your body needs to feel safe and calm.
Cortisol also suppresses the reproductive system and libido in women for the same reasons stated above. With a stressed mind, your body is ready to react against danger, complicating your interactions and intimate moments with your significant other.
In today’s world, it is common that by the time we go to bed our body is loaded with a lot of stress, meaning high levels of cortisol. With weighted blankets, your body can feel grounded, reducing cortisol levels in the body and improving sleep.
Even with all of the above, you still seed to get into a good sleeping habit.
OTHER PROVEN TIPS TO PROMOTE GOOD SLEEP HABITS
- Regular Exercise can improve drastically the quality of your sleep.
- Comfortable room temperature including warm feet in bed
- Avoid being in front of a TV or Screen for at least 1 hour before sleeping time.
- Have a good sleeping ambient, dark and quiet bedroom, avoid blue light.
- Go to sleep at the same time and avoid caffeine at night time.
- Do not eat late at night.
OTHER BENEFITS THAT WEIGHTED BLANKETS OFFER AGAINST STRESS
It is becoming normal to feel a lot of stress. Therefore, anything that helps you decrease its level is essential for your well-being.
So, for those of us fighting stress, here are some helpful benefits to start using a weighted blanket.
–Promote the feeling of Cuddling which Reduce Depression
By nature, we love to feel cuddled, and a weighted blanket makes you feel that way. That’s when the body starts producing oxytocin in response to the activation of sensory nerves. In other words, the pressure you feel is similar to a warm physical interaction, like a nice hug.
You will agree this feeling of protection is what often people need to reduce depression.
What is oxytocin? You ask, according to a study published in the NCBI, oxytocin is a key hormone in social behavior and the formation of pair bonds.
–Ease of Pain
It is important to note that stress often can cause muscle inflammation. As a result, it can lead to pain and soreness and the continued pain can later become in sleeping disorders.
Numerous people will turn to painkillers to help with falling asleep.
However, a weighted blanket can offer a suitable alternative as it naturally fights stress and eases such sufferings. Reduced stress, and therefore pain, will lead to a better night’s sleep.
– Better Manage PTSD Symptoms
With a More relaxed mind, you are in more control. After a trauma, victims always find it difficult to fall asleep because of post-traumatic stress disorder.
These symptoms are usually manifested in war veterans, trauma survivors from events such as accidents, and assaults. To manage this, a weighted blanket is recommended as it is a natural way of reducing anxiety.
The Advantages of Weighted Blankets go Even Further,
If you have kids,
–The Sensory Feedback from a Weighted Blanket Modify Sleep Patterns in children with or without Attention Deficit
A weighted blanket has a deep touch sensation which introduces a soothing feeling. This reduces anxiety in kids with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This natural therapy can help kids get longer and deeper sleep.
In 2010, a study conducted by Disease in Childhood showed improvements in sleeping at a faster rate and a reduced number of night awakenings for kids who used weighted blankets.
With all the benefits discussed here, you may be wondering about the best Weighted blanket brands in the market. Here is a list that can save you some time.
POPULAR WEIGHTED BLANKET BRANDS
- Luna Blanket
- Layla Weighted Blanket
- BlanQuil Cooling
HOW MUCH WILL A WEIGHTED BLANKET COST?
Weighted blanket pricing varies depending on the brand, weight, and sizes. The heavier the blanket and what material was used will determine the price. You can find 10 – 30 lb. weighted blankets in a range between $60 and $300. You can find Amazon Best Seller Blankets HERE…
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A WEIGHTED BLANKET
- The ideal weight for your blanket should be around 10 percent of one’s body weight. But it doesn’t have to be that exact number as ultimately the weight will be your personal preference.
- Adults under 150 pounds can comfortably choose a weighted blanket that is 15 pounds. So, if you weigh around 250 pounds, a 25 pounds blanket is probably an excellent fit.
- For side sleeper adults, it is recommended to go with a blanket that weighs less than 10% of the weight for a more pleasant experience.
- If you live in warm or hot weather areas, weighted blankets can make you feel extra hot or even claustrophobic. Therefore, It is advisable to choose a weighted blanket that stays cool. A smart option is one with cotton fabric.
- Some weighted blankets are machine-washable but please know that a 20-pound blanket may require a commercial washer.
- Pastel colors like beige, white or soft blue, or green are excellent for weighted blankets.
- Always choose quality over quantity since these blankets can last you many years.
Weighted blankets are excellent tools to help you sleep better. The pressure stimulation it puts in your body causes a calming effect creating a suitable atmosphere for sleep.
It is advisable to get into a good sleep habit, exercising and going to bed without a phone or tablet may help you achieve a good sleep. If you suffer from anxiety or sleep disorder, it is always good practice to consult with your doctor.