A weighted blanket will give you the coziest hugs when you’re trying to fall asleep, like a mother tending to her child. This blanket may become your best friend if you suffer from anxiety, stress, PTSD, or ADHD. Weighted blankets exert pressure on the body and release mood-stabilizing and sleep-regulating hormones.
This article will be your guide on how to use a weighted blanket, the benefits of a weighted blanket, and how to sleep with a weighted blanket to get uninterrupted sleep.
Heavy blankets that exert deep pressure on the sleeper are weighted blankets. People who suffer from sleeping issues because of hyperactivity, insomnia, autism, or anxiety can find relief by using weighted blankets. These blankets weigh between 5-30 pounds and mimic the feeling of a cozy hug.
The science behind the effectiveness of a weighted blanket is easy to comprehend.
Sleeping with a weighted blanket exerts controlled pressure which triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. This trigger reduces the heartbeats and helps the body recover from a stressful situation. The sleeper then slides into a deep sleep due to relaxation.
Weighted blankets work on the principles of pressure therapy.
Pressure therapy is a sensory input technique where pressure slows down the high-energy functions of the body. Hugging, cuddling, stroking - are forms of deep physical comfort that relax the body.
Weighted blankets exert pressure that relaxes the sleeper and lowers his heartbeat. The deep pressure releases melatonin and serotonin in the body. These hormones regulate the mood and sleep cycle, respectively. Using a weighted blanket also releases oxytocin that relaxes the body by reducing blood pressure and heart rate.
How you use your weighted blanket depends upon your level of comfort and acquaintance with the blanket. Since the purpose of a weighted blanket is to make you feel at ease, you can snuggle your whole body under this blanket.
Ideally, a weighted blanket works best for the back sleepers since the pressure can get evenly distributed.
Weighted blankets give a snuggly feel and make sleeping enjoyable and comforting. The pressure exerted makes the body feel at ease, leading to a sound sleep.
A weighted blanket in itself is heavy and warm, eliminating the need for a comforter. But you can use a comforter and a weighted blanket to experience the utmost comfort and warmth.
A weighted blanket will help de-stress since the pressure exerted will calm the sleeper down. A weighted blanket can be your go-to option if you want to declutter by having a sound sleep.
Whenever you feel stressed or sluggish, you can grab a weighted blanket and doze off to sleep. When you lie under a weighted blanket, you feel relaxed immediately, enabling you to sleep quickly.
One of the benefits of using a weighted blanket regularly is a quality sleeping cycle. Weighted blankets help you relax, thereby improving the quality and duration of sleep.
Weighted blankets relax the senses and cool the pangs of stress and anxiety. A relaxed mind leads to a clear focus and better concentration.
As per Dr. Perlman, weighted blankets help in releasing anxiety and stress. Their hugging-feeling decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) and increases dopamine and serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitters).
Weighted blankets have many benefits because of the deep pressure they exert on the sleepers. Following are some significant benefits of using weighted blankets-
As per a study, ninety-four adults who had chronic pain used weighted blankets of different weights overnight for one week. Heavy blankets were able to reduce the perceptions of chronic pain at the end of the research. Hence weighted blankets are ideal for those who seek a non-medicated, home-based cure to chronic pain.
Anxiety causes people to remain stressed. Hence the automatic nervous system of the body reacts stressfully every time. The nervous system calms down when the weighted blanket exerts pressure. In this manner, weighted blankets reduce stress.
Some people experience major panic attacks due to rushing or impulsive thoughts. Weighted blankets prove to be a boon for such people because the calming effect of these blankets slows down the hyperactivity. A stable and calm mind leads to fewer panic attacks.
As per Swedish researchers, insomnia patients who used weighted blankets for a month reported better sleeping quality, reduced insomnia, and reduced anxiety. The deep pressure application produces a calming effect leading to better sleep.
The duration of using weighted blankets depends on how comfortable you feel with heavy blankets. Initially, you can use a weighted blanket for around 30 minutes. Once you get used to its weight, you can use the blanket overnight.
But if the question is, “how long do you use a weighted blanket?” then the duration cannot do justice. A daily schedule of using the blankets will show much better health effects.
If you do not choose a weighted blanket as per the health conditions of the sleeper, the blanket can do more harm than good. Following are some categories of people who must avoid using weighted blankets-
Toddlers below the age of 2 years must not use weighted blankets because they may feel suffocated. You must consult your child’s pediatrician before buying one for them.
People who suffer from epilepsy, heart or breathing issues, skin allergies, sleep apnea, asthma, or claustrophobia must refrain from using weighted blankets to avoid any risk.
Weighted blankets in themselves don’t pose a risk to expecting women usually. However, the heavy weight may cause unwanted heat. You must consult your doctor before investing in a weighted blanket.
People face sleeping issues during old age. However, their additional health issues may not go well with weighted blankets. Senior citizens must consult their doctors before using weighted blankets.
Weighted blankets work wonderfully for people with anxiety, sleeping disorders, or hyperactivity. A weighted blanket acts as a source of temporary home remedy for sleeping issues. These blankets are cozy and give a hug-like feeling, triggering neurotransmitters. However, one must consult their doctor before investing in a weighted blanket if suffering from health issues.