In the past, weighted blankets have helped people with ADD, ADHD and sensory processing disorders, among other disorders and ailments. But now, weighted blankets have caught the attention of many individuals over their sleep aid powers and anxiety-reducing functions.
Anxiety and stress are the main issues that trigger sleeping problems. Those who suffer from anxiety tend to have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Stress plays a huge part in this. As the mind races and the body is unable to relax, sleep becomes very hard to achieve. That said, anxiety and stress can hit at any time, triggering sleeping problems at any age.
Over the past few years, research has shown that weighted blankets help out with combating stress, anxiety, and poor sleep tremendously and users swear by it.
Most people will agree that a weighted blanket feels like a warm cosy hug. This is due to their ability to apply light, even pressure over the entire body, otherwise known as deep pressure touch. The weight of the blanket helps to keep you still while laying in bed, and the way it mimics the feeling of a warm hug, helps create a sense of deep relaxation. This helps you calm down much faster and fall asleep more easily. It may even help you wake up less often throughout the night.
The feeling of being hugged by a loved one, or a close friend, sparks joy, paired with a comforting and relaxing feeling.
Ever think about why we swaddle babies? Well, the feeling of being swaddled for them, mimics the feeling of a nice cosy hug or mimics the feeling of being in the womb all nice and snuggled up. With the help of a weighted blanket, you can feel the same cosy, comforting feeling a baby would swaddled.
That said, deep pressure touch is the true magic of the weighted blanket. You can experience this feeling in many other areas of your life; during a massage, a nice hug, and wrapping yourself in a blanket, these are all variations of deep pressure stimulation.
Deep pressure touch is what lowers arousal, calming both the mind and the body, allowing you to completely relax. Your fight or flight response zone, located in the body’s sympathetic nervous system, decreases during this time of deep relaxation. That calm and restful feeling you get from your weighted blanket or a hug comes from the body’s parasympathetic nervous system when this is activated, causing your heart rate to lower, triggering a sense of calmness.
The deep pressure stimulation you receive from a weighted blanket is shown to reduce stress and increase feelings of relaxation and calmness in many users. 78% of users say that the blanket makes them feel more calm and secure.
For those who suffer from anxiety and depression, caused by anxiety symptoms, found their feelings of panic, heart pounding, sweating reduced when using their weighted blanket during times of stress and during specific episodes.
Well, it’s quite simple actually. You would use it just as you would any other type of blanket.
When thinking about purchasing a weighted blanket, you will want to choose one that is about 7-13% of your body weight, which will give you just enough weight and pressure to trigger deep pressure stimulation.
If you’re a hot sleeper, try sleeping with fewer clothes on so you can still sleep comfortably while using your blanket. If you’re a cold sleeper, no problem, you can pair your weighted blanket with a light duvet to keep you warm at night. Most users, however, find it comfortable and more useful on its own.
Using a weighted blanket is a great way to aid in any therapy, exercises, and work you are currently doing to help yourself sleep better and feel better.
It is shown to have positive effects when paired with other types of activity like journaling, yoga, or therapy.
It is important to remember to set yourself a nice sleep schedule and stick to it. Using the weighted blanket with a perfect sleep schedule will boost your chances of falling asleep and staying asleep by much more than the weighted blanket already does on its own.