Sleeping With A Weighted Blanket Can Improve Your Mental Health
Nowadays weighted blankets have gone mainstream although they are a new product on the market, that users swear by, and one that medical evidence can actually back up.
Weighted blankets are similar to a duvet or comforter, but filled with glass beads or plastic pellets instead of down or fiberfill — though some weighted blankets have both fiberfill and weights. Most weighted blankets have many compartments full of beads or pellets to provide even weight throughout. Some come with a washable cover to make them easy to clean.
According to multiple studies, yes, weighted blankets do help to alleviate stress and anxiety. We’ll get to these studies in a bit, but first, let’s explore how weighted blankets work. Essentially, weighted blankets provide a firm, deep pressure stimulation that’s known as Deep Touch Pressure Therapy (DTP).
What is Deep Touch Pressure therapy?
Deep touch pressure is the form of pressure that releases serotonin – the hormone that regulates mood in our body and allows us to relax and feel happy. This phenomenon is also called grounding as the person’s nerves calm down when the weighted blankets pushes them deeper into the bed.
Because of this deep touch pressure or grounding phenomenon, weighted blankets help people sleep better and have relief from conditions like anxiety, stress and depression. People who struggle with mental health conditions such as ADHD, PTSD, ASD also experience improved quality of sleep which eases their conditions and makes them happier in the long-term.
Weighted blankets is not a new invention. They have been around for years and have been used a lot by people with special needs. When their therapeutic properties were later explored by regular people, they became mainstream.
What the research shows
The following small-scale studies all indicate that weighted blankets do work wonders when it comes to relieving anxiety and reducing insomnia.
1) Children with and without ADHD
One of the first studies to address the effectiveness of weighted blankets was published back in 2011 in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry. This study involved 42 children aged 8 to 13. Half of the children in the group had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the other half did not have any medical conditions.
With this study, researchers tracked the children’s sleep via sleep testing for four weeks in total. In the first two weeks, the kids slept how they normally did, and in the last two weeks, they slept using a weighted blanket.
All in all, the weighted blankets proved to be profoundly effective for kids with ADHD. More specifically, using weighted blankets reduced the time it took for these children to fall asleep to a level comparable to children without ADHD. The weighted blankets also reduced the number of middle-of-the-night awakenings in kids with ADHD.
2) Adults with chronic insomnia
Another often-cited study that addresses the effectiveness of weighted blankets was published in 2015 in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders. In this study, researchers recruited 31 adults with chronic insomnia, and tracked their quality of sleep across one month.
For the first week, the participants slept using their own bedding. They then spent two weeks sleeping with a weighted blanket, before going back to using their own bedding for the last week.
The results of the study? 80% of the study’s participants indicated that they liked the weighted blanket. These participants reported a range of benefits when using the blanket, including:● Falling asleep more quickly● Sleeping for a longer period of time● Spending less time awake in the middle of the night● Feeling more refreshed in the morning
How to pick the best weighted blanket for you
How heavy should a weighted blanket be? As a general guideline, choose a product that’s about 10% to 15% of your body weight. (If you weigh 170 pounds, for example, you’d look for a 20-pound weighted blanket or something close.)
If you are thinking of investing a weighted blankets, you will find there are numerous online vendors, it might not be easy for you to pick one. As sleep experts, in our opinion, we recommend YnM Weighted Blanket as the best choice. YnM Weighted Blanket is designed to help people who suffer from conditions such as anxiety and insomnia, known for its good price and high quality. The incredible YnM weighted blanket costs you no more than US$100, combined with 3-year-long customer service. It is hardly to find another vendor to compete with YnM. Overall though, the YnM Weighted Blanket has been incredibly well-received by customers online, which is why it is currently the best-selling weighted blanket on Amazon.
With the initial research on weighted blankets looking fairly promising, anyone who could use some help in the battle against anxiety, insomnia, and/or depression might consider trying out these blankets.