Sleep and relaxation are vital to promoting better mental health and a feeling of better overall well-being. When you own a blanket that helps reduce stress at the end of a long day, it can increase your long-term happiness. Weighted blankets are more popular than ever today because of their numerous health benefits. With deep pressure stimulation, weighted blankets are a reliable solution to better sleep, reduced stress, and pain reduction.
Background on Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets resemble a regular blanket, but the inside consists of pellets or beads to make them heavier. The typical weight is between 3-25 pounds. The idea behind a weighted blanket is that the deep pressure from lying underneath will provide a calming effect on the body.
Weighted blankets initially helped children with severe autism, anxiety, and PTSD. But society gradually realized the need for weighted blankets to help promote better sleep, reduce anxiety, and ease pain. Companies now market these products because of the many weighted blanket benefits they provide.
Deep Pressure Stimulation and Its Benefits
So, what is deep pressure stimulation, and how does it tie into weighted blanket benefits? Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS) is a gentle but firm squeeze, hug, or hold that relaxes your nervous system. This pressure typically applies its therapeutic effects through hands or various message tools. Products like a weighted blanket deliver deep pressure stimulation because of its weight and texture.
If DPS does its job correctly, it will trigger a chain reaction throughout the body that releases a feeling of peace and calm. When the weighted blanket applies DPS, your body will switch from utilizing its sympathetic nervous system to its parasympathetic nervous system. So, what is the difference between these two nervous systems?
- Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is your high alert system, which runs during stressful situations like work, heavy traffic, or various traumatic events.
- Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) is this system that delivers calmness and peace to your body and mind. Your heart rate will slow down, your circulation improves, and your muscles relax.
Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is your high alert system, which runs during stressful situations like work, heavy traffic, or various traumatic events.
Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) is this system that delivers calmness and peace to your body and mind. Your heart rate will slow down, your circulation improves, and your muscles relax.
- Improved focus
- Enhanced communicativeness
- Better social interactions
- Increased level of happiness
- Less likelihood of self-injury
- Sense of calmness that sticks around for hours after therapy
- Less hypersensitivity to touching
What are the benefits of weighted blankets?
Weighted blankets feel amazing while you use them. But there are many long-term weighted blanket benefits that you experience as you continue to share them. Below are the most common benefits that people enjoy after investing in a weighted blanket.
Weighted Blankets Help with Insomnia
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More and more people who experience insomnia are looking toward weighted blankets. The extra weight from the pellets or balls inside will provide a hug, which creates a new level of comfort and deep pressure stimulation. Not only is there a personal preference for using a weighted blanket, but it also provides positive chemical reactions in the body.
People with Insomnia experience weighted blanket insomnia benefits because of the critical Parasympathetic Nervous System activation. When you sleep under a weighted blanket, a fantastic chemical reaction occurs. As your nervous system switches over, serotonin and dopamine release, which are the “feel-good” brain neurotransmitters.
When the body releases these hormones, you experience improved impulse control, motivation, social behavior, memory, attention, digestion, and sleep. As your body releases more serotonin, it helps you shut down and calm down before bedtime. Many people who experience insomnia can read or relax in bed with the weighted blanket, which sends them into a smooth sleep when it is time to close their eyes.
According to a 2015 study by the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, weighted blankets enabled insomnia to sleep better because of its calming effects. The study tracked the sleep of chronic insomnia sufferers for one week with their regular bedding, two weeks with a weighted blanket, and then one week with standard bedding again.
80% of the participants preferred the weighted blanket because they spent less time awake during the night with the weighted blanket. The people who used the weighted blanket also explained that it was easier to settle into sleep with the weighted blanket. This group also highlighted a much more refreshing feeling when they woke up the next morning.
Weighted Blankets Reduce Anxiety
Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash
The weighted blanket anxiety benefits extend to both children and adults. Weighted blankets push the body downwards through a “grounding” or “earthing” process, which produces calming effects to reduce stress. The blanket’s weight implements the deep pressure touch, which utilized the firm pressure to address high anxiety levels and chronic stress.
Studies confirm that the grounding process decreases your nighttime cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that your brain produces when it thinks you are under attack. If you experience this at nighttime consistently, it has long-term detrimental effects on your immune system. When a weighted blanket provides it touch, it creates relaxation and disrupts this harmful cycle.
Weighted Blankets Ease Pain
Weighted blankets pay a pivotal role in reducing your reliance on painkillers. The gravity blanket effect applies a firm, but gentle pressure on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The blanket “hugs” the various tender points on the body. Elevated cortisol levels not only cause mental stress, but they also induce pain on your muscles. The weighted blanket pressure will help break this cycle.
The Blanket Wrap-Up
Weighted blanket sleep benefits help address insomnia issues because of the improved serotonin and dopamine regulation. The grounding effect of weighted blankets helps reduce stress and anxiety, which promotes a smoother “calm down” experience before bed. And the deep pressure of weighted blankets delivers comfort when you feel pain or tenderness throughout the body.
Weighted blankets are much more than spending money on another blanket. You invest in long-term mental health, better sleep, and reduced stress because of the numerous weighted blanket benefits. You could change your life with your decision to experience a weighted blanket.
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