Weighted Blankets: Do They Work?
By Sara Butler
Many people struggle with issues that cause anxiety and insomnia. Loss of sleep due to issues such as these can create big problems since the lack of sleep is associated with loss of productivity in daily life and chronic health problems. Recently, weighted blankets have become a natural in-home treatment for issues that make it difficult to sleep. They can help to relax the body and help people feel secure and guarded so they can rest. But do they actually work? Here are some of the possible benefits of weighted blankets.
How Blankets Are Weighted
A weighted blanket is much like a regular blanket. They’re usually made of fleece or cotton and quilted to hold the plastic pellets used to add weight. These blankets range in weight and should be about 10 percent of the user's total body weight, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
They Promote Sleep
Insomnia is a condition that causes habitual sleeplessness. The sleep deprivation leads to exhaustion, impacting the health and well-being of the sufferer. If a person can’t function well due to lack of sleep, then it can lead to much more serious consequences socially, emotionally, and physically. Weighted blankets help to promote sleep because it gives the user the sense of being swaddled. This can help to ease their mind and relax, providing a state of tranquility that helps them to fall asleep and stay that way. Researchers published findings in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders that weighted blankets have been found to improve the sleep quality of those who suffer from insomnia.
They Imitate a Hug
Hugs can make a person feel more at ease, so what can possibly be more relaxing and reassuring than a blanket that imitates a hug? Hugging has been proven to release oxytocin into the blood, which then works to reduce blood pressure and provide an overall sense of relaxation. This blanket may not provide the human connection aspect of hugging, but it does apply the firm and gentle pressure that goes along with a hug.
They Increase Serotonin Production
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that the brain produces to help boost mood and happiness, which is why it’s often called the “happiness hormone.” If a person doesn’t have enough serotonin it can lead to problems such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Weighted blankets help to provide the sensory stimulation the body needs to increase production of this hormone, allowing the body to relax and induce sleep.
Weighted blankets can help anyone to sleep better at night. If you struggle with issues related to sleep, it may be worth giving them a try.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.