Another night has come, and it’s filled with turning and tossing with you not being able to get comfortable at all and certainly not able to fall asleep. It may be because of the day’s stress that keeps repeatedly playing on your mind. You may be in a state where you simply cannot settle down at all.
If you are looking for a solution to all this, try the therapeutic blanket, also known as the weighted blanket. These weighted blankets have gained popularity lately, as they can help people with sleep-related problems, including new parents who may be trying to catch up on their sleep.
Weighted blankets were originally developed to help individuals suffering from sensory processing disorders, such as those on the autism spectrum. They were used as a non-medicated and more natural form of therapy that helped them ease their anxieties and calm them down when they are under stress.
These weighted blankets create a sense of being swaddled or being hugged warmly. This kind of physical connection that you feel provides security and warmth, which helps the body relax.
Weighted blankets are used to manage and reduce the symptoms of:
- General stress
- Pain, fibromyalgia, and arthritis
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression
- Nervous disorders
- Sleep disorders
Studies have shown that a weighted blanket therapy can create a type of physical connection that has plenty of positive effects on hormones that govern the nervous system, affecting the stress levels as well as the moods.
There are several ways that weighted blankets help you sleep better, and below, we will take a closer look at some of them.
The pressure exerted on an individual from a weighted blanket feels just like a hug since it gives one a sense of security and warmth. Studies indicate that getting a hug enhances the release of a body hormone known as oxytocin, which helps the body to relax. The release of this hormone reduces the heart rate and lowers blood pressure, thus prompting the body to relax. All this results in one getting a much better and improved quality of sleep.
Enables the release of Serotonin and Dopamine
A weighted blanket gives you a gentle and deep pressure that goes deep within the body. Studies have shown that deep touch pressure stimulation or proprioceptive pressure stimulates the release of two brain chemicals, which are serotonin and dopamine that have a calming effect that reduces depression, stress, and anxiety.
Helps in the reduction of Cortisol
A weighted blanket helps ground your body as you sleep, and this enables you to calm down. Research shows that grounding assists you in reducing nighttime levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that has a negative implication on your digestion, blood sugar, and immunity.
Since the weighted blanket stimulates serotonin, the melatonin hormone is also released, and its role is to promote better sleep as well as regulate your general sleep cycle. This just goes to show how effective weighted blankets can be. In general, they provide a calming and soothing environment to a person; hence falling asleep becomes so much easier. Therefore, an individual who is restless, anxious, or tense will be able to relax when sleeping under the weighted blankets.
They help in putting insomnia to rest
Insomnia is a common condition among many people today and comes in a variety of patterns. Some individuals have trouble getting to sleep, others cannot stay asleep, while some may constantly be waking up too early. A weighted blanket can help you try to manage such a condition.
The weighted material helps reduce the severity of this condition because it generates a light touch sensation whenever one moves under the blanket. It’s a feeling like you are being caressed. This sensation effectively stimulates the release of hormones and brain chemicals that soothe the nervous system to reduce your levels of anxiety.
This shows that a weighted blanket can help in reducing insomnia, which makes it an effective non-drug approach that helps people improve the quality of their sleep.
Reduces anxiety and restlessness
For one to fall asleep, a sense of calm is necessary. The weighted blanket helps you achieve that sense of calm easily and effectively. The pressure simulation and touch produced by the weighted blanket have shown to give an effect of calmness and soothing, which can help one to fall asleep. This blanket also helps in reducing the symptoms of conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The deep pressure stimulation a person gets from using the weighted blanket helps one with restlessness, which assists both children and adults with this most common ADHD symptom. Using a weighted blanket will help an individual suffering from an ADHD condition to fall asleep more quickly and reduce the instances of waking up during the night.
Using a weighted blanket will help in easing RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome)
Nighttime can be challenging for an individual who suffers from restless legs syndrome condition. Such individuals will move their legs continuously, especially during the night, and that will impair their sleep. One can even have great difficulties traveling because of the urge to constantly move their legs.
Though compressing socks have proved to be helpful, they may feel too tight and uncomfortable during the night. In the case where a person is suffering from arthritis, putting the socks on could be a major problem. The weighted blanket will give such an individual relaxing pressure without constraining the legs at all.
It Relieves Painful Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition that mainly affects women and is a painful one. This condition can cause pains in the tendon, muscle pains, and cause fatigue. The experience of aching muscles and chronic fatigue associated with fibromyalgia can make your daily life miserable, especially if the right medication has not been administered.
A weighted blanket comes in handy for an individual suffering from this condition. It helps to reduce the severity of the symptoms due to the blanket's firm and gentle pressure. This mild pressure also effectively reduces depression and anxiety, thus allowing one to sleep well and experience a quality of life.
The weighted blankets help in easing pain
Many people have confirmed that weighted blankets help relieve pain, assisting individuals to do away with pain killers. This applies even to those who are suffering from dental pain. The weighted blanket helps ground the body while one is sleeping by exerting its weight downwards. The grounding effect can create a deeply calming effect that helps in reducing pain levels.
The blanket's deep pressure touch also reduces anxiety and stress levels. Studies indicate that grounding the human body while asleep can help improve cortisol levels, especially in women. It helps them get better sleep, relieves pains they may be having, and many other beneficial traits.
The weighted blankets also help one improve their sleep quality
The feeling of fatigue during the day is usually the result of poor sleep quality. Even though you may believe you are getting decent sleep each night, you may not be getting what is known as restorative sleep. This is evident as one may wake up feeling tired simply because they have not had the proper quality of sleep.
A weighted blanket will help one improve the quality of sleep one gets. The touch this blanket gives, as well as the pressure, stimulates the production of a relaxation hormone known as serotonin. This helps one fall asleep faster, sleep for more hours, and feel refreshed in the morning.
A weighted blanket promotes a happier mood
For those individuals who feel depressed and irritable most of the time, they may not be getting sufficient mood-lifting brain chemicals. Serotonin is a hormone that has a very positive effect on the status of an individual’s mood.
Deep pressure stimulation, which one gets from using a weighted blanket, can boost serotonin levels. The same hormone will reduce the production of stress-related hormones that will help your body to relax. A weighted blanket can act like a hug that will help improve your mood during the day.
A weighted blanket can help relieve PSTD symptoms
For individuals who have suffered from traumas in the past, a weighted blanket can provide them with a therapeutic touch. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) is a serious condition that affects many individuals who have experienced a traumatic event in their lives. War veterans are often affected by this condition. Individuals who have survived physical assaults in the past may suffer from this condition. A weighted blanket can help such individuals relax as well as help improve their pulse rate and blood pressure.
A weighted blanket can help elderly people fall asleep
Senior citizens usually transition into some unconventional sleep patterns. You will find that they are taking more naps during the day and staying up during the night for a more extended period. A weighted blanket can help these elderly people relax during the night and fall asleep much quicker. This can lead to improved sleep patterns, which in turn can help them to wake up refreshed in the morning.
There you have it - weighted blankets can certainly help you sleep better and help improve your quality of sleep. If you are having sleep-related problems, head out or jump online and get yourself a weighted blanket. You should soon start seeing improvements in your sleeping patterns in a short amount of time.