10 Weighted Blanket Benefits You Didn’t Know Before
Posted By Syju John on Apr 1, 2020
Weighted Blanket Benefits: A weighted blanket, or gravity blanket, is one of the tools that psychiatry and therapy clinics use for their patients. And now, it has become more readily available, outside of a clinical setting, to anyone who needs help with improving their sleep or treating certain sensory issues that they may have.
Exactly, what is a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are simply these heavy blankets that are weighed down with glass beads or poly pellets that are sewn into pockets throughout the fabric. You’ll find that there is a heavy blanket designed for kids and adults. To get the right weight for the blanket, it should be 10 percent of your total body weight plus an additional pound or two.
Should the blanket be as big as your bed? The answer to this is no. It should only cover your body, or that of your partner too if you both like to use a weighted blanket at the same time. Weighted blankets are relatively harmless when used correctly, but take caution when using the blanket on very young children.
Discover: The best weighted blanket is half-quilt, half-weighted blanket. Here’s BlanQuil™ Quilted Weighted from Dreamcloud.
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
A weighted blanket is often used in occupational therapy, or sensory integration therapy, designed for those who have sensory processing disorder like autism. The blanket promotes deep touch pressure or DTP that helps patients to regulate their emotions as well as their behavior.
Deep touch pressure helps stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are known to have a calming and relaxing effect. Some research indicates that experiencing that a slow and gentle touch can activate certain areas of the limbic system. And because those who have sensory-processing disorders tend to be hypersensitive to touch, DTP can help them become desensitized to the sensation and teach them to feel calm at the same time.
Are there any weighted blanket benefits that you should know of? Read on to find out more.
Weighted Blanket Benefits You Need to Know
Although the heavy weighted blanket has been around for years, it is only lately that people see its non-medicinal, potential value when it comes to improving their sleep. But there is more to a weighted blanket than just helping to give you a good night’s sleep.
Here are 10 benefits that not everyone knows about when it comes to using a gravity blanket:
Alleviates anxiety induced insomnia
Cortisol is referred to as the stress hormone, which is produced when you are feeling stressed out. Our body produces this stress hormone when we are feeling nervous, anxious, or irritated. The problem is that when you have anxiety, this can lead to many sleepless nights, which can lead to insomnia. What happens is that your cortisol levels remain high, disrupting your sleep. The combination of anxiety and insomnia may have a huge effect on your health. However, it may be alleviated with the use of a weighted blanket heavy on your body as it has been found to stimulate your feel-good hormones called dopamine; hence, potentially reducing cortisol levels in your body.
Improves sleep quality
Those who have sensory issues or insomnia find themselves unable to get a restful sleep. One study that was published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders showed that the use of a heavy blanket prevented the participant from moving around, which improved their sleep.
Promotes melatonin production
Melatonin is a type of hormone that is known for promoting sleep and even helping with regulating our sleep cycle, or circadian rhythm. It appears that melatonin is linked to serotonin where, when it is triggered by the weight of a heavy weighted blanket, also causes melatonin to be produced. Melatonin levels have been found to increase with the use of deep touch pressure stimulation in patients who have sleep disorders like insomnia. If you wish to boost your serotonin and melatonin levels, then using a weighted blanket may help.
Mimics a hug
We often feel good when close family members and friends give us a hug. This is because the body releases oxytocin, which has been found to reduce one’s blood pressure, creates that feeling of relaxation, and even slows down the heart rate. This is the same feeling that you get when you are using a weighted blanket, which helps your body go into a calm and relaxed state.
Lowers anxiety levels
As mentioned earlier, Anxiety disorders can have a huge impact on our lives, from interrupting our sleep to having sleep disorders, weight gain or weight loss, and even mood swings just to name a few. And if you think that adults are the only group of people who feel this, you might be surprised to find that children may have anxiety attacks too. There is some research that shows that the use of a weighted blanket before stressful events may help calm the nervous system, potentially lowering anxiety levels. This is one of the most appealing weighted blanket benefits we have seen.
Alleviates obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD
Patients who are diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder often find relief when using a weighted blanket because their serotonin levels go up due to the deep touch pressure coming from the weight of the poly pellets stored in the blanket. It has also been found to help alleviate some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, aggression, and even bipolar disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is often associated with those who are in the military, but it can also be triggered by a traumatic event in a person’s life.
Improves behavior in children with ADHD
Some children with autism or ADHD find that they are able to concentrate better with the help of a weighted blanket. The idea behind it is that giving a child the feeling of security through the weight of the blanket can help them become more focused on the task at hand. If using a weighted blanket as a tool, in the daytime, is not conducive to you and your child, try a weighted vest or weighted lap pads which can also have the same effect. There are schools that are already implementing the use of weighted lap pads and blankets to help their students with autism or ADHD.
Reduces symptoms of restless leg syndrome
Those who have been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome often describe it as a creeping and crawling feeling running up and down their legs at night. Unfortunately, this causes their sleep to become interrupted; hence, fatigue is a common issue for those with RLS. Having restless leg syndrome can be uncomfortable too if you are traveling. Some RLS suffers say that the symptoms lessen when they have something heavy pressing down against their legs, which is what a weighted blanket does. Although many opt for compression socks, they can be too tight or uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Lowers instances of panic attacks
Patients who are diagnosed with panic disorder know that an episode can occur at any time, leaving them vulnerable to the symptoms associated with this condition. Although there are medications that can help you feel calm and relaxed, there are those who prefer to treat this problem naturally. Fortunately, the use of a weighted blanket may help reduce the occurrence of panic attacks because it promotes the production of serotonin as well as dopamine. And when you feel more relaxed, and at ease, sleeping won’t be as elusive, especially for those who experience nocturnal panic attacks.
There are days in our lives when we feel depressed, like all the happiness in our body has been sucked out and replaced with something dark. This may be due to an illness or changing hormones, but whatever the cause may be, we often need to find a solution to this problem before it worsens. One of the weighted blanket benefits is the deep touch pressure that the blanket delivers. As mentioned earlier, this can actually help improve one’s mood since your serotonin production is stimulated. And because of the gentle pressure that you are feeling, your cortisol or stress levels can also go down, which makes you feel better overall.
Though further research needs to be done, more and more people are turning to weighted blankets considering the many weighted blanket benefits. It is not surprising considering that insomnia, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, and sleep disorders plague many people. Although initially the blanket was designed to help those with sensory disorders, it has gone mainstream where people are using it to help improve their sleep. And because relying on medication alone may not be enough, people are starting to see the value of using weighted blankets.
Which weighted blanket should you go for then? If you want to get the best value for your money and get the desired effects too, Dreamcloud offers a great weighted blanket. It has a removable cover for easy washing, and the inner blanket is 100 percent cotton. Try one out today and see why people love Blanquil™ Weighted Blanket offered by Dreamcloud!
Before You Go: Do weighted blankets work? Here’s what our experts have to say!