Benefits of Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets, also called gravity blankets, are a type of blanket filled with weights, usually made from glass beads, pellets and several other materials popular today. Weighted blankets can benefit people who have trouble sleeping and suffer from anxiety, insomnia and other sleep disorders. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of using a weighted blanket and provide tips on choosing the right one for you!
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
A weighted blanket works by applying deep pressure stimulation (DPS). This type of therapy uses firm pressure on the body to help relax the nervous system. It is similar to weighted vests, which apply deep pressure to the user's joints and muscles. It's also like receiving a hug known to bring a calming effect to people. The therapeutic benefits of weighted blankets have been experienced over time by thousands of users, growing their popularity and giving people more confidence to buy them. If there's a simpler way to promote sleep and relaxation other than using sleep medicine, why not try it right?
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Benefits Of Weighted Blankets
There are many benefits of using a weighted blanket, including the following.
Reduce anxiety symptoms and stress
Weighted blankets can help to reduce anxiety and stress by providing a sense of security and comfort. They can also help increase serotonin levels, a chemical that plays a role in mood regulation.
Improving sleep quality
If you have insomnia or other sleep disorders, a weighted blanket may help you to get a better night's sleep. A weighted blanket's deep pressure touch stimulation can help relax the body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Relieving restless leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes an irresistible urge to move your legs. This can often be accompanied by uncomfortable sensations, such as tingling, burning, or itching. Weighted blankets have been shown to provide relief from these symptoms and help people with restless leg syndrome get a better night's sleep.
You can also use weighted blankets to relieve pain. The deep pressure touch stimulation can help to reduce inflammation and provide relief from conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, and migraines.
Stimulating the release of serotonin (the happy hormone)
A weighted blanket can also help to stimulate the release of serotonin, which is often referred to as the "happy hormone." Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation. When levels are low, it can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. By increasing serotonin levels, weighted blankets can help improve your mood and overall sense of well-being.
Calming the nervous system
The deep pressure stimulation of a weighted blanket can help to calm the nervous system. This can be beneficial for people who suffer from conditions that make them scared, anxious or uneasy. The calming effect of a weighted blanket can also help to improve focus, concentration and improve sleep too.
Possible Cons of a Weighted Blanket
While there are many benefits to using a weighted blanket, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. These include:
- The weight of the blanket can make it difficult to move around in the bed
- If the blanket is too heavy, it can cause major discomfort
- The cost of a weighted blanket can be higher than that of a regular blanket
Luckily, the above cons have solutions to them, as you'll see later in this post.
Who Can Benefit From Using Weighted Blankets?
Anyone can benefit from using a weighted blanket, but mostly, those who require some assistance to sleep such as people in need of pain reduction among others discussed below.
If for whatever reason you can't sleep, for example, due to anxiety or stress, instead of taking sleeping pills, try out a weighted blanket. The deep pressure therapy will help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the mental health disorders that affect very young children and also adults. The patient gets into a state of restlessness and lack of concentration, among other things. Weighted blankets help their nerves and minds to relax. If they can have restful sleep, then they won't worry about restlessness. ADHD patients can also use weighted blankets when trying to read a book, watch tv and when resting.
Autism spectrum disorder is a mental health disorder that is marked by repetitive behaviors, problems with social skills, and communication difficulties. The main aim of people with autism is to try and reduce their anxiety levels. Research has shown that weighted blankets help in reducing the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder and also help improve sleep quality for these patients.
Weighted blankets help people with post-traumatic stress disorder to feel more secure and relaxed. PTSD is a mental health disorder that is caused by a traumatic event. The event could be something like rape, natural disasters, car accidents, or military combat. People who suffer from PTSD often have nightmares, and flashbacks, and feel very anxious. Weighted blankets help to reduce these symptoms by giving them that warm cuddly feeling.
Anxiety is characterized by feelings of worry, anxiousness, and fear. These feelings can be so severe that they interfere with your daily life and sleep cycle. Many people who suffer from anxiety use weighted blankets to help them feel more secure and relaxed.
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Who Shouldn't Use a Weighted Blanket
While a weighted blanket is a therapeutic blanket, it is not safe for everyone to use. Very young children shouldn't be allowed to use gravity blankets. This is because they may not know how to use it properly and because they're usually big and heavy, a kid might accidentally strangle or suffocate themselves in the process of tossing in their sleep.
Additionally, very old people (seniors) should not be allowed to use weighted blankets. While they can safely use them, some may cover their heads too much, blocking any air space. If a senior must use a weighted blanket then it should be a very light one.
Finally, people with respiratory issues should avoid using weighted blankets. One of those conditions is obstructive sleep apnea. Patients will find themselves losing breath during their sleep and the weight of a gravity blanket may worsen the situation.
How to Choose the Right Weighted Blanket
When choosing a weighted blanket, it is important to consider the following factors:
Your body type and size
The weight of the blanket should be around 10% of your body weight. Going above this can potentially cause discomfort or worse, suffocation if you cover yourself to the head.
The size of your weighted blanket should be big enough to cover your entire body. If you are taller or have a larger frame, you may need to purchase a bigger size like a queen or king size. This also applies if you're purchasing for yourself and your partner.
Your sleep habits
If you tend to move around a lot in your sleep, you will want to choose a lighter weighted blanket. If you are a light sleeper, you may want to choose a heavier weighted blanket to also keep you warm through the night.
Some people prefer a softer and more plush weighted blanket while others prefer a thinner and more breathable one. Consider what will work best for you and your needs.
Weighted blankets can range in price from $50 and above depending on the size, weight, and material. If you are on a budget, you may want to consider a cheaper option like cotton weighted blankets. If you have a higher budget, you may want to consider a more expensive option like bamboo weighted blankets.
If you live in a hot climate or if you're a hot sleeper, you will want to choose a lighter weighted blanket and more breathable material like cotton or linen. If you live in a cold area, choose a thicker and heavier weighted blanket made of wool or cashmere.
Your medical condition
If you suffer from any medical conditions that could be aggravated by using a weighted blanket, please consult your doctor before purchasing one. Conditions like claustrophobia, asthma, and heart conditions could potentially be made worse by the use of a weighted blanket.
The material of the weighted blanket
The material of the weighted blanket is also important to consider. Some materials like linen are more breathable and therefore cooler, while others like wool are thicker and warmer.
On the same note, try and get a weighted blanket that's hypoallergenic if you're an allergy sufferer or if you have asthma. Hypoallergenic weighted blankets will keep dust off their surface and allergens too. If you're pro-green, there are several organic options to choose from as well.
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If you are considering purchasing a weighted blanket, be sure to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first. They can help you determine if a weighted blanket is right for you and give you guidance on how to choose the right for your condition.
Gabe is the newest member of The Sleep Shop team. If you like the design of The Sleep Shop, give Gabe a thumbs up. He’s a digital marketing and design guru and the brains behind the design and SEO of The Sleep Shop. He also won’t say no to testing a ton of mattresses either, and helps on almost every mattress review.