Weighted blankets are finally getting the attention they deserve and are becoming a trend for a healthy sleeping routine. Weighted blankets should be your go-to if you have trouble finding sleep due to anxiety, insomnia, or other causes.
In addition, weighted blankets not only make you feel calm, but you can use them to relax on the couch as you catch up with your favorite movie. So how do weighted blankets help you sleep, and should you try one? Keep reading to find out!
- What is a Weighted Blanket?
- What are the Benefits of Weighted Blankets?
- Who may Benefit from Using a Weighted Blanket?
- Are Weighted Blankets Safe?
- Tips for Choosing a Weighted Blanket
What is a Weighted Blanket?
Experts define weighted blankets as therapeutic blankets that you may find heavier than regular blankets. The blankets can either be knitted or come as a duvet style that weighs between 5-10 pounds.
Sleeping with a weighted blanket tends to feel like a gentle, soothing hug, and you end up experiencing sound sleep without those episodes of awakening in the middle of the night.
What are the Benefits of Weighted Blankets?
Perhaps you want to try and experience weighted blankets. Well, these blankets give deep pressure therapy, which is a technique that employs pressure to calm your neurological system. This is why many patients with sleep disorders are advised to use weighted blankets.
Below are ways you can benefit by investing in a weighted blanket.
Provides Comfort and Calmness
If you have ever wondered why newborns love a tight swaddle, which gives them a cozy and snug feeling, then you should try sleeping with a weighted blanket. There is just a fantastic feeling that is securing and calm that makes you doze off in a short time.
Relieves Stress and Anxiety
Going through anxiety or episodes of stress makes you restless and messes up your sleeping pattern. In addition, your mind tends to feel like a war zone of emotions, worry, and tension, depriving you of sleep, which is not suitable for you. But, weighted blankets promote better sleep despite anxiety and other stressors.
Improves Sleep Quality
Deep pressure stimulation triggers the release of a mood-enhancing hormone called serotonin, decreases cortisol which is a stress hormone and boosts melatonin levels, which is a hormone that aids sleep.
As a result, you gain sleep quality and experience rest without experiencing turns and twists at night when using a weighted blanket. So perhaps you should try a weighted blanket and let it keep you warm, cozy, and snuggled.
Calms the Nervous System
A calm and healthy nervous system is vital to your overall sleep quality. Conversely, an overactive nervous system brings about anxiety, agitation, a high heart rate, and difficulty breathing, which in return affects your sleep.
Weighted blankets may help to soothe your fight-or-flight reflex and stimulate the resting parasympathetic nervous system through preparation for bed by distributing weight and pressure evenly throughout your body.
However, depending on your sleep disorder, you may want to consult with your doctor for clarity, assessment, and advice if a weighted blanket may be a solution to a holistic therapy strategy.
Who may Benefit from Using a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are beneficial to all types of sleepers and particularly to anyone experiencing a sleep disorder. In addition, the therapeutic benefits of weighted blankets may help people with the below types of conditions.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression symptoms negatively affect your sleep, but the significant stimulation effects of weighted blankets facilitate lowering autonomic arousal, like increasing your heart rate. Therefore, if you are going through anxiety, depression, or both, your doctor may ask you to use a weighted blanket to aid your treatment.
Autism patients like children often find it hard to sleep, but the deep pressure in weighted blankets helps these patients focus, stay calm, and minimize over-stimulation of senses around them.
Insomnia and other Sleep Disorders
Many factors such as a job, death, or a financial crisis, can trigger insomnia, and as a result, you find it hard to fall asleep. But a weighted blanket can help you relax by reducing your cardiovascular and breathing rate, which helps prepare you for an excellent night’s sleep.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Weighted blankets are not an ADHD cure, but with the challenges of ADHD, such as anxiety, weighted blankets may bring that calm and relaxing feeling.
Are Weighted Blankets Safe?
The use of weighted blankets is regarded as safe as long as you can manage the weight and prevent suffocation. However, extra caution should be observed by the following sleepers.
Weighted blankets are not safe for children below two years as there is a high chance of suffocation. For this reason, you should consult with a pediatrician before using a weighted blanket on your child.
Asthma patients may find it hard to breathe at night while using a weighted blanket which may worsen their condition.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Patients with this condition tend to experience disrupted breathing while sleeping. The use of weighted blankets may not be safe for them as it may restrict airflow.
Weighted blankets have a snug feel which can aggravate claustrophobia.
Tips for Choosing a Weighted Blanket
Perhaps you’re considering purchasing a weighted blanket, and you are wondering which one is right for you. The below tips may help you make a perfect choice.
- Always choose a weighted blanket that fits perfectly. It should be 5 -10% of your body weight, depending on your bed size. Different bed sizes go with different weighted blankets.
- Medium-large weighted blankets weighing 12 to 30 pounds are perfect for any adult.
- Small and medium-weighted blankets are suitable for older adults and weigh 5-8 pounds.
- Always choose children-friendly weighted blankets that weigh 5-15 pounds. This depends on their weight.
Weighted blankets give pressure therapy to all sleepers, including those with sleeping disorders. The calmness and relaxing effect of weighted blankets is something you would not want to miss.
Anxiety, depression, or stress should not keep you awake when you can invest in a weighted blanket. All you have to do is ensure you get the right size depending on your body weight and the size of your bed, and you’re good to have that nightly rest.
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