We’ve all had those sleepless nights—the ones when you lay awake, unable to turn your mind off no matter how hard you try. And then it gets to a point where you think “OK, if I fall asleep right now, I can still get five hours of sleep,” but then you stay awake for another hour, and then another hour. It’s a vicious cycle that only leads to one thing: insomnia.
If stress and anxiety hit you hardest at night, we may have a suggestion that could help calm you down and salvage your sleep.
Have you ever heard of a weighted blanket? It’s a pretty cool concept, really. People who use them explain that it feels like someone is hugging them to sleep (how cute is that?)
So what is it?
A weighted blanket ranges between 5-25 lbs and should be chosen based on your own weight. The general rule of thumb is to choose a blanket that is 10% of your body weight, plus 1-3 lbs.
Does it really help insomnia?
Because weighted blankets haven’t been around for very long, it’s difficult to scientifically prove that they help. However, we do believe in independent studies and personal testimonials—and there are plenty that attest to the benefits of a weighted blanket.
One study found that 31 men and women with moderate insomnia who used the blankets for 2 weeks reported a calmer night’s sleep with fewer movements. They believe the blankets helped them sleep more comfortably and securely, and they had higher-quality sleep.
A study from 2015 found that after 32 adults used a 30-pound blanket, 63% reported lower anxiety and 78% preferred the weighted blanket to calm down.
And how does it help, exactly?
Three words: Deep Touch Pressure (DTP)
Deep Touch Pressure is gently distributed pressure to the body that is proven to increase serotonin, decrease cortisol, and reduce activity in the nervous system—all three help your body relax, rest, and restore.
When you apply deep pressure to the body, the body switches from running its sympathetic nervous system to its parasympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system is the alert system in the body, while the parasympathetic nervous system is the calming system. When the parasympathetic nervous system takes over, your heart rate slows, muscles relax, and circulation improves.
Interested in learning more about improving sleep by reducing stress? We’re here to help.