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Weighted Blankets: The Secret to Relaxation and Deep Sleep

Weighted Blankets: The Secret to Relaxation and Deep Sleep

Weighted blankets have become famous in recent years for their capacity to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. These blankets are filled with small weights, usually made of plastic pellets or glass beads, and are designed to provide gentle pressure evenly across the body. Its added weight has been found to have a calming effect on the nervous system, leading to help sleep and decreased feelings of anxiety and stress. 

  • The Origins of Weighted Blankets
  • How Do They Work?
  • Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket
  • Choosing the Right Weight
  • Caring for Your Weighted Blanket
  • Warnings and Precautions
  • Choosing the Right Weighted Blanket for You

The Origins of Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets have been used for centuries in occupational therapy to guide children with sensory processing disorders, anxiety, and autism. However, they have recently gained popularity among the general population as a natural way to improve sleep and promote relaxation. 

The idea behind weighted blankets is based on the concept of deep pressure stimulation, which has been used in various therapeutic settings for calming and relaxing effects. This same principle is applied to weighted blankets, where the added weight mimics a hug or gentle pressure, promoting feelings of security and reducing stress levels. 

How Do They Work? 

Weighted blankets are usually filled with items such as glass beads or plastic pellets, which add weight to the blanket. This evenly distributed weight puts gentle pressure on the body, stimulating the release of serotonin and melatonin -the hormones that oversee relaxation and sleep. The deep touch pressure also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which guides and regulates heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. This results in a calming effect on the body and mind. 

Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket

Apart from promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality, there are several other benefits of using a weighted blanket. Some studies have shown that using a weighted blanket may help with symptoms related to anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and chronic pain. Deep pressure stimulation has also been found to reduce cortisol levels, the hormone overseeing stress response. Additionally, using a weighted blanket can provide comfort and support during times of high stress or emotional distress.  

Caring for Your Weighted Blanket

Proper care and maintenance of your weighted blanket are necessary to ensure its longevity and effectiveness. Weighted blankets can be washed in a washing machine, but it is always best to check the producer’s instructions first. It is also recommended to use a duvet cover or washable cover with your weighted blanket to protect it from wear and tear. 

Warnings and Precautions

It is important to note that weighted blankets are not suitable for everyone. Those with respiratory issues, mobility problems, or certain medical situations should consult with a healthcare professional before using a weighted blanket. It is also not recommended for use by infants or toddlers. Additionally, individuals who experience claustrophobia or have difficulty regulating their body temperature may not find weighted blankets beneficial. 

How to Use a Weighted Blanket

Using a weighted blanket is simple and can be incorporated into your bedtime routine. Ensure that the blanket is evenly distributed over your body, covering you from neck to toe. It is important not to use extra bedding on top of the weighted blanket as it can add extra weight and cause discomfort. If you are new to using a weighted blanket, start with a lighter weight and gradually increase as needed. It is recommended to use the blanket for 20-30 minutes before bed to allow your body to adjust to the pressure. 

Summary:

Weighted blankets have gained fame in recent years as a method for relaxation and deep sleep. These blankets, filled with tiny pellets or beads, provide gentle pressure on the body, which can be calming. Find the benefits of using a weighted blanket, proper care and maintenance tips, warnings and precautions to keep in mind, and how to choose the right weighted blanket for you. Weighted blankets have been reported to help with anxiety, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. The deep touch pressure provided by these blankets triggers the release of serotonin and melatonin hormones, which are responsible for relaxation and sleep regulation in the body. 

 

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