Approximately 60-million Americans deal with sleep disorders a year, from insomnia to hypersomnia. Many doctors will prescribe medication to counteract these symptoms, but for some, these drugs can become addictive. If you’re looking for a less invasive treatment to help you rest better at night and wake up refreshed in the morning, consider using a weighted blanket.
How Weighted Blankets Work for Sleep Insomnia
Weighted blankets are designed with evenly distributed pockets of plastic beads, or other weighted objects, which create a type of sensory therapy. This pressure across your body promotes the feeling of security, and makes it easier to focus on a single thing, rather than going over everything that you’ve got to do tomorrow.
Insomnia occurs for many reasons, and while a weighted blanket may not be a miracle cure, it can certainly make an impact on your sleep schedule and waking health. Recent studies have shown that weighted blankets reduce levels of anxiety and create a safe and comfortable environment for those who suffer from anxiety disorders. Even if your insomnia isn’t caused by a type of anxiety, these blankets can help.
Getting Comfortable with a Weighted Blanket
There are many ways to use a weighted blanket, and they are sold in different sizes, colors, and materials. Depending on what you find comfortable, you might choose a weighted blanket that only covers your legs, or you might select on which acts as a full-sized comforter on your bed. When you first introduce a weighted blanket to your bed, it will feel different, but give it a chance to work its magic.
Weighted blankets for insomnia work best when combined with a regulated sleep schedule to help your body adjust its biological clock to a regular sleep time. Create a routine that allows you to climb under your weighted blanket with the lights out around the same time every night, this will help to further treat symptoms of insomnia and decrease your waking time.
Insomnia and Serotonin
Serotonin has been linked in the past to depression and anxiety, but these aren’t the only two neurological issues it affects. Studies show that your serotonin levels also affect sleep patterns. In fact, many individuals suffering from low natural serotonin production and depression also suffer from insomnia.
Fortunately, one of the key benefits of a weighted blanket is its ability to help your body produce serotonin. This natural neurotransmitter releases feelings of happiness, which easy anxiety, and make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. The reason for this reaction stems from the blanket\s sensory functionality; appearing to those who use it, as a warm hug. This imitation of human physical intimacy causes a reaction in the brain which releases serotonin and thus promotes healthier sleep patterns.
There have been many studies performed over the past two decades which research the many amazing benefits of weighted blankets. One such study, published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders in 2015, found that when monitoring insomnia patients using weighted blankets there was significantly less movement through the night. The research team also noted that sleep time increased, and quality of sleep was better as reported by patients.1
The conclusions of this study suggest that weighted blankets are an innovative and non-invasive alternative to drugs and other types of therapy, when dealing with insomnia. Unlike medications which can have long lasting effects, and which users may become dependent on, weighted blankets can be used extensively with no health risks at all.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of insomnia, such as difficulty falling asleep, waking through the night, an inability to focus, difficulty staying away during the day, anxiety and irritability, or headaches and fogginess speak to your physician about trying a weighted blanket today. You can purchase weighted blankets online and through many brick and mortar establishments. For a look at the top brands of weighted blankets on the market today, check out our other blog posts.
For more information on weighted blankets and how they can help insomnia, and other anxiety based disorders, visit our main webpage at www.anxietyblanket.com. We are constantly updating our blog with new and relevant information on weighted blankets and how they work.