Struggle with getting a good night’s sleep? You might have been recommended by a friend or family member that you should try out a weighted blanket. But what exactly are they, and how do they work wonders at bedtime? Here are all the major benefits you need to know about them.
How do weighted blankets work?
The advantages related to weighted blankets are all to do with the way in which it is designed. Weighted blankets evenly distribute pressure (known as deep pressure stimulation) that triggers a response in the body that feels like the equivalent of a hug. It is this soothing feeling (the proprioceptive input) that can help people with disrupted sleep.
Helping with insomnia
A weighted blanket could potentially help with a range of destructive sleeping patterns that are often associated with insomnia. Thanks to the proprioceptive input response that the weighted blankets stimulate, this is known to lead to better sleep (and increase the overall amount of it) meaning that troublesome sleep problems caused by conditions like insomnia are tackled head-on, without the need of medical intervention.
Reduction in anxiety levels
Disordered sleep patterns can be attributed to feelings of anxiety (we’ve all heard of the term being kept all night with worry, right?). Weighted blankets can help to reduce this through the deep pressure stimulation it helps trigger, which in turn encourages the production of serotonin (often considered as being the happiness hormone) in the body. In the evening hours, serotonin works its magic and converts to melatonin through metabolic changes. Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone, therefore, the weighted blanket helps to regulate our sleep cycles for consistently better sleep over time.
You reach REM sleep faster
Weighted blankets are a fantastic option for people not only struggling with a sleep disorder . The main reason for this, is that it can help you reach REM sleep faster. REM is the deepest kind of sleep we can have. Feeling fully rested once you wake up in the morning has a number of key benefits, including increased productivity and better overall mental health.
Reducing stress levels
A number of studies on the efficacy of weighted blankets indicated that those using one had lower levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol, if you didn’t know already, is the body’s stress hormone. Stress is known to have a huge impact on our health mentally and even physically, having a harmful effect on our digestion and blood sugar but also our immune systems, making us more prone to catching illnesses.
Reducing our stress levels also helps to improve our overall mood too, making day-to-day life easier to deal with.
Helping children with autism
Studies have also shown that weighted blankets can help children with autism, providing comfort and a soothing sensation that can help with calming down restless children and helping them sleep.
It can alleviate restless leg syndrome
For those who suffer from the pain and irritating nature of restless leg syndrome (which can often be at its worst at nighttime) then weighted blankets provide welcome relief. This is because the comforting blankets provide a relaxing pressure on your body, without completely restricting the legs, which for those who suffer from this syndrome, it is a sensation that can be highly uncomfortable and even painful.