Society facilitates an incredibly stressful lifestyle for most people, and this inevitably leads to sleep disturbances or difficulties falling asleep.  These interruptions result in a sleep schedule that does not provide the proper sleep duration.  This of course leads to several negative health related consequences, and is harmful to every aspect of your life.

There are several aspects of sleeping most people will try to improve to take control of their sleep schedule; exercise, diet, and choice of pillow are a few common ways to work on this area.  However, there are more simple methods of getting great sleep that do not require the same effort and energy.  One such way is the use of a weighted blanket.

Deep Pressure Therapy

Research suggests that weighted blankets create a soothing feeling by way of “deep pressure therapy” or “touch therapy”.  This is because the brain has many different chemical responses relating to physical touch.  Important neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate mood are found to be released via deep pressure therapy.

Deep pressure therapy has been a way of treating children on the autism spectrum or who have other behavioral disorders for awhile now, but more recently has been researched in the area of relieving insomnia among adults and the elderly.  Various studies have been carried out recently in an effort to figure out whether the use of a weighted blanket could extend into treatment of insomnia, and serve as a much needed answer to those looking to relieve insomnia without the use of prescription drugs or major lifestyle changes.

The Math Behind Weighted Blankets

The blankets are weighted across the entire surface to provide a constant, even pressure on the person.  There are many different approaches to designing these blankets, and you will likely come across several materials or designs when looking for one.

Above all else, there is one factor to make sure you get right when looking for your blanket. The weight of the blanket being used is a highly important thing to consider, and should absolutely not be overlooked.

According to the same 2015 study, a weighted blanket should be more than 10% of your total body weight to ensure it creates the intended calming effect. It should not be unreasonably heavy either though as too high of a weight could result in the opposite effect. It will be easy to notice if a blanket is not right for you; the right one is one that feels good to you.

Relieving Anxiety and Insomnia

A 2015 study from the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders showed that weighted blankets were effective in improving both physical and psychological ailments that interfere with the sleep of participants.  The participants engaged in a short test before participating and generally identified as mild insomniacs.  Subjects resumed their normal sleeping habits for the month duration of the study, but also employed the use of a metal chain-weighted blanket for a two week period during that time.

They documented their experiences throughout the process by collecting feedback on their sleep and monitoring participants with and without the weighted blankets.  The results confirmed that weighted blankets generally reduced movement throughout the night and increased sleep quality with no discernible health risks to adults.

An Unexplored Answer

Weighted blankets represent a fresh, muchneeded change into how we treat various health issues. Use of medication to alter your sleep schedule is not the correct answer for everyone, and should really be the last approach to consider once you have exhausted all your options.

Mild insomnia sufferers have been shown to benefit from the use of a weighted blanket. It could be that your sleep issue is more easily resolved than you believe. Remember that weighted blankets pose no health risks to adults that wish to use them, and do not be afraid to find the perfect one for you.