Weighted blankets have been around for quite a while; they have exploded on the scene due to the many health benefits they offer for combating issues with sleep.
Unfortunately, 70% of adults report they get insufficient sleep at least once per month and 11% note they get poor quality and insufficient sleep every single night . This can be attributed to leading an increasingly digital, stressful, and busy lifestyle. Because an estimated 31.1% of adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, anxiety has become a major issue that is negatively impacting the health and wellness of a lot of the population . Anxiety can lead to getting poor quality sleep and even insomnia in severe cases. This has led people to search for answers which have turned many to weighted blankets as a sleep solution.
Perhaps, the most significant benefit that can be gained from using a weighted blanket at night is its ability to help minimize the onset of anxiety. A study conducted on 32 adults found that 63% reported lower anxiety and 78% of the participating group preferred the weighted blanket as a way to calm themselves . This is a major benefit considering how widespread different anxiety disorders are among the population. Anxiety has been shown to lead to several sleeping disorders including but not limited to sleep apnea and insomnia . It is believed that weighted blankets are able to reduce anxiety because they simulate deep-touch pressure, which helps calm the arousal level within the system which can naturally help one regulate themselves much better. It really takes the mind off thoughts that might otherwise be running through one’s head by redirecting the focus to the physical sensation they are experiencing.
Helps with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
RLS is a disorder that can cause those who have it to experience very uncomfortable and distracting sensations in their legs. This can lead to an inability to fall asleep or the inability to cycle through the various stages to get optimal sleep. Needless to say, it can negatively impact one’s ability to get the proper rest they need to boost their overall health and wellness. By using a weighted blanket, it can help to reduce the onset of RLS by decreasing anxiety levels and by giving it an external sensation to focus on instead. It can even help to improve your body’s blood circulation which can further decrease instances of an RLS flare-up.
Weighted blankets have the ability to offer not only warmth but comfort as well. Likewise, they can offer deep touch pressure which has been shown to be effective at promoting serotonin release. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that is involved in the regulation of sleep which can have a significant calming effect on the body . This alone will help you minimize the instances where you are unable to fall asleep due to having stimulation right before bed or as a result of your natural circadian rhythm being disrupted by the use of devices that emit blue light at night. It is also known that hugging can help the body produce oxytocin which is known to relieve stress and help you sleep. This is exactly the kind of stimulation that a weighted blanket can mimic without the downsides of negatively impacting your internal body temperature.
There are just so many benefits that a weighted blanket can have on your sleep cycle. Not only can it help those that have an inability to fall asleep due to consistent worrying and due to experiencing anxiety, but it can effectively improve serotonin and oxytocin chemical release in your brain which can have a direct impact on your ability to fall asleep. Weighted blankets have been proven to be a safe option for those who are really looking to improve the quality of their sleep. If you are one of the millions of Americans who have seen their sleep quality reduce in recent years due to lifestyle, dietary factors, or anything else; you owe it to yourself to try one.