14 Health Benefits of a Weighted Blanket
- There are over 40 million Americans today or almost 18% of the population that suffer from varying levels of anxiety. People with anxiety disorders are 3 times more likely to go to the doctor and 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder.
- A weighted blanket has become best known for it's ability to provide a calming and comforting effect to those that use it. Weighted blankets accomplish this by creating a deep pressure touch that stimulates these feelings of calm and can reduce mental chatter and noise that drives up our anxiety levels.
- Our mood is tied to a multitude of factors. A recent article by the Mayo Clinic noted the secondary impact of reducing anxiety and its impact on our mood. Constant stress and worry is a drain on us every day, and developing research behind weighted blankets is showing the positive impact a weighted blanket can have on our mood.
- A brief excerpt from the Mayo Clinc Article linked above discusses this impact: Dr. Perlman says small clinical trials "have shown that people who use weighted blankets do report better sleep. They report less stress and anxiety, and there's even one small study where they reported less pain." Weighted blankets may cause the same responses in your body that happen when you get a hug. You get a surge of feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin. "A decrease of cortisol, which is sort of our stress hormone, and an increase of serotonin and dopamine — two neurotransmitters that really affect our mood," Dr. Perlman says.
- Weighted blankets have been shown to improve sleep cycles and provide a deeper more fulfilling sleep. The elderly need great sleep just like everyone else, but unfortunately do not get as much sleep as your typical adolescent or adult. Many people assume the elderly need less sleep than a younger age demographic. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the sleep needs of the elderly are very similar to those younger in age. Today's recommendation calls for the elderly to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, far less than they are actually getting. A weighted blanket has a variety of small studies that have shown the calming and sleep inducing benefits of a weighted blanket. With nearly 40% of the elderly population suffering from sleep deprivation finding a natural solution to better sleep could be life changing.
- Nearly 2.5% of the population in the United States deals with OCD, which is characterized by obsessive and persistent thoughts and behaviors. The symptoms and impact of OCD are broad ranging and diverse, with the disorder manifesting itself in a variety of ways.
- OCD has been linked to chronically low levels of serotonin levels. Using deep pressure touch a weighted blanket has been shown to increase serotonin levels and could further help relax the mind and decrease mental noise.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by an inability to pay attention and/or control impulsive behaviors. Weighted blankets were recently shown to help those with ADHD with both their school performance and time it takes to fall asleep at night. In addition teachers reported an improvement in the activity levels and attention span of children with ADHD after using a weighted blanket. Beyond this compelling research more anecdotal evidence stems from the variety of additional research showing benefits for improved sleep, reduction in anxiety, improvement in serotonin levels, and feelings of calming comfort. Children and adults with either ADD or ADHD can most likely benefit from a weighted blanket.
6. Encourages Regular Sleep Cycles
The consistent use of weighted blankets have been shown to have a variety of impacts on psychological and behavioral measures as it relates to your quality of sleep. These benefits included deeper sleep, less tossing and turning along with subjective feelings of improved mood and acuity during the daytime. This study provides specific measures and methodologies that were used to ensure the data was reliable. While a weighted blanket can be used for travel, relaxation or meditation it seems it's greatest benefit may be while you are asleep.
7. Eases Insomnia
Insomnia is a sometimes debilitating disorder that can directly or indirectly impact nearly every aspect of your life. In addition to the nighttime impact associated with lack of sleep, insufficient sleep can cause drowsiness during the day, lack of focus, brain fog among many other secondary symptoms. In a recent study weighted blankets were shown to be effective at improving sleep quality in recognized insomniacs. Beyond the objective improvement in an the patients time it took to fall asleep and average nighttime sleep cycle quality, patients also reported subjective improvements in mood, acuity during the day, and mental focus.
8. Provides "Deep Touch Pressure"
Over time when deep touch pressure is continuously applied it can lead to a variety of benefits including: Increased Happiness * Better Sleep * Improved Ability to Deal with Stressful Environments * Increased Focus * Sense of Calm * Decreased Stress * Reduced Anxiety * Lower chance of Seizures. Here is some information on the impact of deep touch pressure and integration of this technique through weighted blankets.
9. Helps with Restless Leg Syndrome
- Restless Leg Syndrome is characterized by the sometimes uncontrollable desire to move your legs, especially when asleep or trying to fall asleep. It typically happens in the evening when you are relaxing or lying down for bed. A weighted blanket can provide improved feelings of calming comfort that can soothe away tension. In addition, the natural weight of the blanket helps make it more difficult to move your legs and serves as a natural antagonist to this issue.
10. Simulates a Warm Embrace
One of the simplest aspects of the weighted blanket is the simulation of a warm and gentle hug that it provides. A hug has been shown to release endorphins and increase serotonin levels. In addition, the feeling of security and safety associated with the blankets embrace is often reported by its users.
11. Reduces Stress
- The cousin to anxiety is stress. We all experience stress in some form or fashion, and to some degree stress is a natural and normal response to difficult situations. Excessive stress however can lead to chronic anxiety, sleep deprivation, high blood pressure, chronically high cortisol levels, among many other issues.
12. Helps with Travel Anxiety
By its nature travel is a difficult and stressful process that can lead to a high degree of anxiety. Finding a way to calm your mind and enjoy the process can be a liberating experience. A variety of weighted blankets are designed specifically for this purpose.
13. Natural Solution
- With all of the side effects of modern medicine it is great when you can find a natural solution to a problem you have been experiencing. As research continues to emerge detailing the impact that a weighted blanket can provide, we may find that it's impact is even greater than we now know.
14. Additional Benefits
People with depression, mania, trauma, paranoia, suffering from PTSD, sensory disorders, and Parkinson's disease have all reported benefits from using weighted blankets. While the science behind the efficacy of weighted blankets is still emerging, there potential benefits along with the low risk of use make for a compelling purchase.
We have received incredible feedback from our consumers, and encourage the purchase of a weighted blanket to assist with a wide range of symptoms.
If you have respiratory issues or heart related problems we do not recommend use of this product. We always recommend consulting a physician for advice if you have any questions around your specific health situation. Our blog should never substitute for the health advice of a medical professional.
We started Sleep Galleria to make it easy for anyone to experience exceptional sleep. All of our relaxation and sleep related products are designed to help you be your best self. Learn more at SLEEPGALLERIA.COM