Anxiety and insomnia have long since troubled many of all generations. People try all sorts of things to help ease it—meditation and yoga to relying on medicine.
Would you believe me if I said your anxiety and insomnia will go away just by sleeping? Probably not, because though enough sleep has tremendous benefits, it is not truly healing and that easy to get.
Not getting enough sleep leads to irritability and change in a person’s demeanor. Prolonged amount of disturbed sleep also leads to a significant drop in immunity and makes a person less productive.
However, weighted blankets are here to save the day, or rather save your sleep and can even make you fall asleep faster!
What is a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets have been traditionally used for relaxing kids with autism. There are regular blankets filled with plastic poly pellets that equally distribute the “weight” of the blanket.
This creates a pressure that envelops the body, similar to the sensation of a hug. Adults describe the sensation of sleeping with one as that of being swaddled as a child. The pressure of the blanket provides proprioceptive input to the brain, which in turn relaxes it and promotes sleep.
Why is a Weighted Blanket effective?
Elongated physical touch has proven to suppress fear and anxiety for a long time. Perhaps this is why a mother’s lap is an endearing place to be in. A hug lasting longer than twenty seconds is proven to build a stronger person between the people who hug.
Weighted blankets use this similar phenomenon of physical touch to de-stress a person. Without using invasive methods, the weighted blankets uses pressure from outside to relax the nervous system of an anxious person.
Psychiatric, trauma, geriatric, and pediatric hospital centers also use this technique to keep patients at ease without having to make their bodies dependent on medicine. The use of weighted blankets ensures the lessening of anxiety and a long rested sleep.
Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation
Weighted blanket uses the technicalities of a type of therapy called Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation. This therapy shows that physical touches like that of a hug or back rub or massage can be deeply relaxing. The weighted blankets copy this physical sensation through their poly pellets ensuring relaxation.
Pressure has proven to be a way to relax the body and mind. It secretes an enzyme called serotonin. Serotonin is mostly known for constricting the muscles and being a transmitter of neural signals. However, scientists have also said that it has a role to play in balancing one’s mood. So when one sleeps or cuddles with the weighted blanket, the pressure produces serotonin that relaxes the muscles and calms your mood.
Thus, it helps in relaxing both the body and mind.
Things a weighted blanket helps to cure
We have already discussed above that using a weighted blanket helps with anxiety and insomnia.
However, further research shows that using a blanket with Poly Pellets helps ease sensory disorders, ADHD, aggressive disorders, agitation, Asperger’s Syndrome and Bi-polar disorder among others. This shows that this one blanket can help all. Patients of all kinds of mental illnesses can use these to their advantage. Thus, the versatile use of a weighted blanket comes in handy especially while treating a person known to be frequently disturbed or stressed on a mental level.
However, as it treats physical pain as a muscle relaxant too, it is truly the best of both worlds.
Things to keep in mind while purchasing a Weighted Blanket
The best part is how weighted blankets are personalized to fit one’s need.
They come in different sizes and weight to suit the need to any age. An adult is recommended to take anything between fifteen to twenty pounds. An ideal ratio is having the blanket be 10% of the person’s body weight. So if your ideal body weight is 20 lbs., your blanket should be between two to four lbs. Anything less than two would prove to be ineffective, as it does not give enough pressure.
On the other hand, anything more than five lbs. can harm the body over a long period of extensive pressure on one’s bone structure. However, it’s advised to consult a doctor before purchasing one, as they will consider more than the simple weight ratio, especially if this is for a child.
Weighted blankets are not advisable for people who have recently been in surgery or have a withstanding illness of claustrophobia or weak bones and muscles.
Where to Buy a Weighted Blanket?
You can buy weighted blankets at shops that are specially tailored in manufacturing these blankets such as Mosaic Weighted Blankets, of course these are also available off Amazon. Or even better, why not make one yourself?
How to Make Your Own Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket can be highly beneficial and helpful to people of all ages. Not only is this an easy way to keep your insomnia and anxiety a check, it saves a lot of money while doing so. However, make sure to check with a doctor first!