Millions of people suffer from insomnia or sleeplessness throughout the night. Not getting enough rest night after night can have dire consequences on a person’s quality of life. It has been proven by scientists and affirmed by anyone who is on a streak of sleepless nights that a lack of sleep can affect a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
There are plenty things to try to fall asleep faster and to stay asleep longer, and anyone desperate for sleep can share the bag of tricks they have to chase down those elusive zzzz’s. Everything from a bedtime cup of warm milk, to meditation, to a whole ritual that may trigger sleepiness. And one thing that many people swear by is getting snuggled under a glorious weighted blanket.
What is a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are basically what their name says they are. They are specially designed to be heavier than normal blankets that give the body a physiological reaction once tucked under the weighted cover.
There are two styles of weighted blankets: duvet style and knitted. Duvet-style weighted blankets add weight by using plastic or glass beads, metal ball bearings, or other heavy fill that is sewn inside the blanket. Knitted weighted blankets are woven using dense yarn to create a blanket that is heftier overall.
What does a weighted blanket do?
Much like all other blankets, weighted blankets keep you warm and cozy. But the extra weight bears down on the body, using something called “pressure therapy.” Pressure therapy is a calm-inducing amount of pressure on your entire body, and evokes feelings that are similar to what a person gets when they are being hugged, swaddled, stroked, or held.
The gentle pressure on a person’s body that a weighted blanket provides can create a feeling of calm. It does so by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers a person’s heart rate. This is especially effective when a person is feeling stressed and their heart beat is rising, or when they are suffering from anxiety or other conditions that affect their wellbeing.
Who can benefit from a weighted blanket?
Anybody and everybody, provided it is a comfortable feeling for them. (For some, the feeling of the extra weight could induce feelings of claustrophobia or other concerns that actually have the opposite intended effect.)
There are also some specific conditions that a weighted blanket has been shown to help, including:
- Anxiety. Millions of people live with anxiety. During the last two years more and more people are reporting symptoms of the condition. Generally (and non-medically) speaking, anxiety is often described as a feeling of uneasiness and worry. These thoughts and feelings can turn into a physical response and can cause a person’s heart rate to increase, breathing to get faster, and set the mind racing, which means that the body is preparing for stress. The pressure of a weighted blanket on a person’s body can put the nervous system into “rest” mode. As a result, they may experience a reduction of some of the symptoms of anxiety and an improvement in sleep.
- Sleep Disorders. These are especially tricky because the symptoms often make the overall condition worse. For example, a person struggling with sleep disorders might feel extra stressed about not getting enough sleep. In turn, this prevents them from falling asleep the following night. A weighted blanket and the use of gentle pressure therapy might just be that missing piece of the puzzle that will help a person fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
What’s right for you?
Whether you are trying to fall asleep on a king size bed, a wall bed, a cabinet bed, napping on the couch, or falling asleep in a sleeping bag under the stars, there is nothing that beats waking up rested and knowing that you have slept well. On the flip side, the anxiety of not being able to sleep can really affect a person. Furthermore, it can determine the outlook of their entire day.
We are passionate about sleep, because we know that is a necessary factor in having a good, healthy life. That is why we help people find the cabinet bed that is right for them. Because we know the value of a good night’s sleep. And if a weighted blanket can help a person fall asleep and stay asleep, then we are all for it!