The demand for weighted blankets is growing as they are known to improve anxiety and stress. This wellness product is also ideal for getting better sleep and has helped many people who have sleep disorders or insomnia.
A heavy weighted blanket looks like a regular blanket but is heavier and filled with plastic beads or pellets. These blankets usually weigh between 5 and 30 pounds. The extra weight helps reduce the tossing and turning in an anxious person during the night and helps feel better for a relaxed sleep.
If you plan to try using a weighted blanket, here is all you need to know how they can help improve sleep quality.
1. Calming Effect
Anxiety hampers quality sleep because a tired and anxious mind finds it difficult to fall asleep and rest soundly at night. A heavy weighted blanket provides a light, evenly distributed pressure on the body to have the feeling of being held or hugged. This deep pressure simulation creates a feeling of safety and security, which helps in inducing sleep.
2. Increases Serotonin
The deep pressure tends to relax the nervous system promoting the release of a brain chemical called serotonin. Serotonin offers a calming effect to combat anxiety and stress at bedtime. This chemical also helps stabilize mood and regulates sleep-wake cycles.
For a healthy and restful sleep, a heavy weighted blanket can help increase serotonin levels. Many studies show that people with anxiety or insomnia and those who struggle to get good quality sleep have found relief using a weighted blanket as they feel more settled in bed, sleep better through the night and wake up more rested.
3. Enhances Oxytocin
A weighted blanket offers a pressure similar to that of a hug. A comforting hug promotes the release of the hormone oxytocin in the body, helping settle the nervous system and make you feel at ease. This hormone is among the several hormones involved in regulating sleep-wake cycles of the body. Oxytocin is a versatile hormone that reduces the body’s blood pressure to relax, resulting in improved sleep.
4. Decreases Cortisol
Cortisol is an alerting hormone that has an essential role in the body’s stress response. The effects of this stimulating hormone can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. The deep pressure stimulation by the weighted blanket reduces the cortisol levels in the body.
5. Reduces Anxiety and Restlessness
For drifting off to sleep, a tense and restless person needs to feel a sense of calmness. Using a weighted blanket is known to produce a soothing effect that reduces anxiety. Many research studies say that a weighted blanket helps with restlessness, reducing the time to fall asleep and offering better sleep quality throughout the night.
A person with anxiety or insomnia will largely benefit from using a heavy weighted blanket as it promotes the calming hormones creating an environment conducive to sleep. This special type of blanket is an excellent alternative to medications. Using it at night helps people fall asleep faster, longer and wake up better rested in the morning.