The Sleep-Enhancing Benefits of a Weighted Blanket, Explained
Do you have a hard time falling asleep at night? Do you always wake up feeling exhausted? If so, a weighted blanket may be the solution for you.
Weighted blankets are a great way to improve your sleep quality and duration. The pressure of the blanket helps your body relax, which makes it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
After a good night’s sleep with a weighted blanket, you'll feel more refreshed and energized. It’s like getting all the benefits of a massage without ever having to leave your bed!
What Is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is filled with material that makes it heavier than a regular blanket. Weighted blankets are used for deep pressure therapy, relaxation, and sensory tools.
Some people find weighted blankets calming, while others find them too heavy or constricting. Try out a weighted blanket before purchasing one to ensure it is the right fit for you.
Weighted blankets can reduce anxiety and stress, promote relaxation, and improve sleep quality.
Sleeping With a Weighted Blanket
There's nothing quite like snuggling up under a weighted blanket. The pressure of the blanket is very comforting for many people. It feels like you're wrapped in a hug all night long.
Weighted blankets are also great for helping you feel calm and relaxed. The extra weight helps stimulate your release of serotonin, a natural calming hormone. A weighted blanket could be a game-changer for those with anxiety or insomnia.
How Do Weighted Blankets Work
Weighted blankets help because they provide deep pressure input, calming the nervous system. This pressure is calming and soothing to some people. This is the same type of stimulation supplied by being hugged, cuddled, or swaddled.
Our sympathetic nervous system activates when we are under stress. The automatic biological response prepares us for "fight or flight."
When activated, it causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Our body sends emergency fuel to important "fight or flight" organs. Many people stay in this stress response state. This is a big reason why many have insomnia or have troubled sleep.
The parasympathetic system handles the body's "rest and digest" response. This is the type of input that our bodies crave when trying to relax. Deep pressure input helps the body move from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system.
Evidence suggests that weighted blankets may help activate some people's parasympathetic nervous system. The deep pressure helps our nervous system calm down so that we can fall asleep and stay asleep for longer.
Benefits of a Weighted Blanket
One of the main reasons people use weighted blankets is to help reduce anxiety. The pressure provided by a weighted blanket can help release serotonin in the brain. This has excellent calming and relaxing effects.
Weighted blankets can also be used to promote relaxation in general. The pressure provided by the weight of the blanket can even help reduce cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a hormone released during stress. This stress hormone can have adverse effects on our health if released too often.
Weighted blankets may also help to improve the quality of our sleep. They can help us to fall asleep faster and to stay asleep longer. They may also help to reduce the number of nighttime awakenings.
Research suggests that they may also help people with anxiety disorders. Because they help activate the parasympathetic system, they can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
Weighted blankets are not a cure-all. But for some people, they can be a beneficial tool for improving sleep quality and duration.
How to Choose a Weighted Blanket
A common misconception is that they're only for people with sensory processing disorders. But the truth is, anyone can enjoy using a weighted blanket! They're a great way to reduce anxiety and relax.
We suspect that friends and colleagues will tell you that they love theirs if you ask around! If you want to try one for yourself, do your research and find one that is the right size and weight for you.
Choosing a weight that will suit you best can be confusing. A good rule of thumb is to choose a weight that's about 10% of your body weight.
So if you weigh 150 pounds, you'd want a weighted blanket that's around 15 pounds. A 20-pound weighted blanket is also suitable for people 160 pounds and below. A 30-pound weighted blanket is best for people over 160 pounds.
Once you've decided on the weight, you'll need to think about the size of the blanket. It should be big enough to cover your entire body.
And finally, you'll need to decide on the type of fabric and construction. You'll want a blanket made with soft, high-quality, durable materials.
Many people like to nap or sleep with their weighted blankets. But you can also use it during relaxation or meditation practices. And it is lovely to snuggle under for about an hour before going to bed at night.
When you feel overwhelmed or anxious, wrap yourself in the blanket and take deep breaths. Doing this will send a biological message to your nervous system that danger has passed. It's not going to cure an anxiety disorder, but it does provide some relief.
Wrap Up in a Weighted Blanket
So if you want a way to improve your quality of sleep, reduce anxiety, and relax, a weighted blanket may be the answer. It will enhance the quality of your sleep, but it may also help relieve some of your stress levels.
The benefits of a weighted blanket make it well worth the investment. It will soon be one of your favorite tools for a more comfortable and restful life. They can be a great addition to any bedroom, and they are fantastic gifts! Give one a try today!