Stress throughout the day, worries about the future, some mediciations, anxiety and depression can all impact on our ability to fall, or stay, asleep.
Research has demonstrated that the soothing pressure from weighted blankets can reduce nervous system overactivity, increase serotonin production and result in a fulfilling night sleep.
Can’t sleep? You are not alone
What are weighed blankets? Weighted blankets are lined with evenly distributed weight. The weight of the blanket (light or heavy) depends on the reason for its use and is usually 10% of the persons body weight.
They can be filled with rice, beans, wheat, microbeads or other inserts.
How can weighted blankets help These special blankets are designed to provide gentle pressure to a person. It uses “deep touch pressure” stimulation while mimicking being held.
This improves mood and relaxation by naturally promoting the release of endorphins - the body's happy hormones - while also decreasing stress and anxiety.
Who can weighted blankets help Weighted blankets are designed to help people suffering from:
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
sensory processing disorders
autism spectrum disorders.
The sensation may have a positive effect on people's moods. As a result, weighted blankets are gaining in popularity as an alternative means of combating anxiety and other sensory disorders.
Benefits The deep and even pressure has been shown to have a calming, soothing effect on people's moods and have several effects on the body that are positive, including:
Mimics a hug The weighted blanket imitates the warmth and security that a hug provides. Both the blanket and hug use a gentle, firm pressure that goes deep that allows the body to relax and reduces cortisol levels.
Hugs increase endorphins, our happy hormones
Increases oxytocin When people use a weighted blanket or hug the body releases the hormone oxytocin. This hormone helps reduce blood pressure, slows the heart and provides a feeling of relaxation.
Increases serotonin The pressure put on the body triggers the release serotonin, the hormone which triggers a reduction in stress while improving mood.
Increases melatonin Melatonin is also produced, promoting sleep and helping to regulate the sleep cycle. This hormone is also linked with the production of serotonin, so the pressure that triggers this chemical will also lead to melatonin production.
Improves sleep The pressure of the weighted blanket may provide a comfortable environment for a person to fall asleep in.
The blanket creates a sense of being swaddled and gives the person a sense of warmth and safety. As a result, the mind eases and the body can relax.
Have you ever used a weighted blanket?
There are many brands, sizes and colours available. Search “weighted blanket” for the closest option to you