It is generally believed that Fibromyalgia symptoms can be worsened by stress, so it’s no wonder why more people have been suffering since the pandemic began.
For nearly two million Brits who live with the condition, lowering their stress may be their best chance at managing symptoms like aches, pains, insomnia, and low mood.
Luckily, word has been rapidly spreading about an affordable and accessible tool for relieving some of these symptoms.
People all over the UK are talking about how weighted blankets have helped them achieve a better quality of life.
Keep reading to learn more about the science behind weighted blankets and how one might help to reduce your symptoms so you can get back to feeling like yourself again.
If this is the first time you’ve heard of weighted blankets, they’re basically blankets that are weighed down by glass or plastic beads sewn into tiny pockets throughout. Back in the day weighted blankets were used by therapists to help their patients who may have had anxiety, or sensory issues. Over time, however, weighted blankets have become more popular in the mainstream and people have been using them to reduce their insomnia and stress.
Now in terms of using a weighted blanket for Fibromyalgia, it’s quite simple. Just cuddle up under it when you’re heading to sleep, or even when you’re chilling on the couch during the day and you’ll feel a whole lot better.
Weighted blankets are designed to provide firm, deep pressure stimulation otherwise known as Deep Touch Pressure Therapy. Essentially, it’s the same kind of feeling you’d get from a massage, releasing hormones and chemicals¹ in the body that helps to alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
1) Improve Mood
Weighted blankets are designed to give you a boost in the happy hormone. Naturally, this hormone can produce when you exercise or move around, but obviously with the kind of pain that comes from having fibromyalgia, forcing yourself to go on a run just might not be possible. Alas, this is where the weighted blanket comes in.
2) Hugs Can Help
Hugs just feel good, and your body automatically releases the happy hormone when it’s hugged, making you feel relaxed and more at ease. Weighted blankets are designed to mimic a hug.
3) Reduce Tiredness and Fatigue
As you must know, one of the most annoying symptoms of fibromyalgia is chronic fatigue. A weighted blanket will help with this problem. It helps you fall asleep faster and helps you have more quality sleep. This is because the weighted blanket helps to significantly reduce the stress hormone during the night, making it easier for you to improve your sleep and reduce your pain.
4) Ease Anxiety and Stress
Many who suffer from fibromyalgia experience depression, stress, and anxiety everyday. And the more one experiences those symptoms throughout the day, the harder it’ll be to overcome those feelings at night.
A weighted blanket is a tool for breaking symptoms of anxiety and stress. Its ability to mimic a hug will help calm and relax you during sleep.
5) Help Manage Pain
Obviously this is the worst part of having fibromyalgia. While in pain, you’re unable to focus and function. Understandably, many will reach for pain killers, but medications may have side effects. Plus, they run out. In comparison, a weighted blanket is a one-time-purchase that helps reduce pain with deep pressure stimulation.
6) Reduce Depression Symptoms
Those suffering from fibromyalgia have low serotonin (happy hormone). That hormone is very important because it’s a natural mood stabilizer.
As such, your new best friend—the weighted blanket—is a producer of that happy hormone.
Not all weighted blankets are made equal. And when you look to purchase one you will find that they come in many different weights ranging from 5 to 25. According to Psychology Today, the perfect weight is around 5kg.
“In our research, we determined that 12 pounds (5kg) of evenly distributed weighted was the ideal weight for sleep and relaxation—without excessive pressure…” Michael J. Breus Ph.D.
Of course the fabric is important too—especially if you have sensory issues. And finding one that is machine washable doesn’t hurt either.
Keeping all those factors in mind, here are our top 5 weighted blankets for those suffering from fibromyalgia.