Sleep is one of the best things we can do for our bodies. This is the time when our minds reset and our systems get to relax and ready themselves for the coming day.
For many people, though, sleep is a luxury that isn’t easily obtained. In fact, studies show that one in four Americans develop acute insomnia each year. This makes it difficult (if not impossible) for a quarter of the country to get the peaceful, restful sleep they need.
Thankfully, some innovating folks have discovered the beauty of weighted blankets. Let’s get to know what they are all about.
What is the Purpose of a Weighted Blanket?
Many people ask, “What is a weighted blanket?” In short, these are blankets that look and feel just like any other blanket, but they’re stuffed with discs, poly pellets, glass, polypropylene plastic beads, or other materials to make them heavier than a normal blanket.
Weighted blankets provide firm-but-gentle pressure, sort of like a nice hug, so you can feel relaxed and at ease. They work in a way that’s similar to deep pressure therapy (DTP). That is, they use gentle pressure to subtly release serotonin—the feel-good chemical in the brain—in a way that creates a sense of calmness and well-being.
Why Do Weighted Blankets Help with Anxiety?
When DTP increases serotonin in the brain, the body reacts with other hormones that decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety while releasing mood-regulating chemicals that help keep a person calm. DTP has also been shown to reduce cortisol—the body’s stress hormone that’s often responsible for anxiety and other nerve-wracking feelings.
One of the main benefits of weighted blankets is the effect they have on the central nervous system. People who use weighted blankets have been shown to have decreased activity in their nervous systems, meaning their bodies had physiological changes when the blanket was put on them. In other words, they calmed down simply because they were wearing a weighted blanket.
Can You Sleep with a Weighted Blanket?
You can absolutely sleep with a weighted blanket. In fact, some people, especially those who suffer from insomnia, often find weighted blankets are the only way they can get a good night’s rest. They apply light, even pressure across the entire body, providing a gentle feeling as though you’re being held or hugged.
Eventually, this sensation can lead to a deep sense of relaxation. It’s important to look for a weighted blanket that’s made for cooling, as heat can actually interfere with sleep and negate the calming effects of the blanket.
What are the Benefits of Sleeping with a Weighted Blanket?
As with anything that causes better sleep, weighted blankets offer a bounty of benefits, including:
- Increased focus. A night of unrest can make it hard to focus and concentrate the following day. When you’ve had a good night’s sleep, it’s easier to get through the day ahead.
- Minimized stress. Whether your stress causes insomnia or simply makes it harder for you to fall asleep, you’ll rest well knowing your body will relax beneath the cover of a weighted blanket.
- Longer sleep. Waking up in the middle of the night can be damaging to the body’s clock. With a weighted blanket, your body will achieve improved serotonin and melanin levels—both of which will aid in a full night’s sleep.
How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be?
Many experts recommend using a weighted blanket that’s about 10% of your body weight is a good standard. Of course, you could go slightly higher so long as you’re comfortable with it. For kids, the standard is about 10% of a child’s body weight plus an additional pound. So for a 30-pound child, you would look for a four-pound weighted blanket.
Your Place for Weighted Blankets and Peaceful Nights’ Sleep
An Eco-Friendly Blanket
Baloo Living’s weighted blanket is snuggly soft and ready to use on the couch, bed, or favorite chair. Snuggle up with a book and a cup of hot cocoa and get ready to get whisked away into dreamland. It’s made eco-friendly glass beads and comes in three different sizes depending on your needs.
As Cool as the Other Side of the Blanket
The Hush Iced Blanket from Hush Blankets feature a cooling bamboo cover, so it’s perfect for hot sleepers. Choose from twin, queen, and king sizes and wake up feeling rested and ready for the day.
If you’re looking for a great night’s sleep, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for a gift to give someone who could use a snuggly blanket or you’re shopping for yourself, you’ll find something that will ease stress and whisk you off to sounder sleep.
Looking for other ways to improve your sleeping habits? Learn how to rest easier with natural sleep aids.
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