Let’s get one thing clear. Getting enough sleep is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle — just like maintaining a good diet and doing regular exercise. And getting enough rest goes way beyond busting those under-eye circles and setting you up for the day ahead.
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep benefits everything — from your heart and weight to your memory and even your mental health. Without it, you’ll feel grumpy, groggy and unproductive. Sleep deprivation or insomnia can even have profound consequences on your physical health.
Regularly not getting enough sleep puts you at a higher risk of a number of serious medical conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. It even shortens your life expectancy. Scary, right?
As a rule of thumb, most people need around 8 hours of sleep a night to function at their best, but it can sometimes be more or less. If you struggle to stay asleep at night, spend most of your day struggling to keep your eyes open, and often feel tired, you’re probably not getting enough Zzs!
What are weighted blankets?
If you suffer from insomnia or sleep problems, it’s probably affecting your quality of life. But did you know that something as side-effect free and simple as using a weighted blanket for sleep could be a solution to your insomnia issues or the stress and anxiety which cause it?
The idea behind using a weighted blanket for insomnia stems from the benefits of deep pressure stimulation. Deep-pressure goes back to one of the most basic human behaviours which is known to calm us down — being held.
When certain pressure points on our bodies are touched, our body reduces the secretion of the primary stress hormone, cortisol. As this happens, our serotonin and dopamine levels increase. These two neurotransmitters are the things which make us feel relaxed, stress-free and happy. They also help to regulate our sleep.
Using weighted blankets for insomnia uses this principle to improve the quality of your sleep and reduce anxiety. This is due to the heaviness of the blanket, which is able to create a deep pressure on your body.
What are the benefits of a weighted blanket for insomnia?
- A completely natural remedy. Unlike sleeping tablets or other sleeping aids, weighted blankets are an all natural remedy. That means no negative side effects, no associated health risks and no need to visit the doctor.
- Longer, better quality sleep. Weighted blankets use thousands of weighted poly beads which wrap your entire body, mimicking the feeling of being held. This helps you to relax and fall into a deep, peaceful sleep.
- Stress buster. Insomnia or sleep problems can often be caused by stress. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels are high, which puts your other hormones out of whack. Deep pressure stimulation makes it easier to sleep by helping to decrease cortisol levels and realign your hormone production to promote relaxation.
- Improved mood and better quality of life. Insomnia or sleep deprivation can have an extremely negative toll on your physical and mental well-being. Using weighted blankets for sleep can help you feel rested and rejuvenated, which leads to improved mood and general well-being.
The proof is in the pudding
But don’t just take our word for it. A 2004 study of participants who complained of sleep dysfunction, stress, or pain, showed a significant reduction in their cortisol levels, the primary stress hormone, at night, when using deep pressure stimulation.
Another study, conducted in 2015, showed that when using a weighted blanket for sleep, participants had a calmer night with a decrease in movements. Participants believed they had a better quality and more secure sleep when using a weighted blanket. The study concluded ‘a weighted blanket may aid in reducing insomnia… and may provide an innovative, non-pharmacological approach and complementary tool to improve sleep quality’.
What are you waiting for?
If you struggle to fall asleep on a regular basis and believe it is affecting your everyday life, using a weighted blanket for insomnia could be the solution you’ve been looking for. There are many weighted blankets which are temperature regulated, washable and are designed for optimal comfort — to help you get a great night’s sleep, every night.