Weighing In: The Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Health Issues

March 28, 2019

From easing symptoms of insomnia to sensory disorders and so much more, weighted blankets can help address common mental and physical health struggles and help manage neurodiverse conditions. Medical professionals and occupational therapists are more and more utilizing weighted blankets as a tool to help people live a higher quality life. A study from 2015 found that in a study of 32 adults with a 30-pound blanket, over half reported reduced anxiety and 78% preferred the weighted blanket to calm down. So rest assured - Holden and Hay has got you covered (literally!). Keep scrolling to learn how weighted blankets help people with sensory disorders, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome.

Weighted blankets and sensory disorders.

A sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a condition in which the brain has difficulty receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. Symptoms present themselves as hypersensitivity to light, touch, or sound, for example. These issues may be tough on children in particular, as this can limit their ability to function and process information effectively, inhibiting their learning and social skills. Weighted blankets have been found to help SPDs. The Deep Touch Stimulation (also known as DPS, or Deep Pressure Stimulation) provided by a weighted blanket that is 8-12% of one’s body weight induces a swaddling effect that helps to regulate moods and promote sleep by increasing serotonin and melatonin production. The pressure on the body from a weighted blanket mimics the pressure of a firm but gentle hug, which relaxes the nervous system, helping to reduce the symptoms of SPDs.

Weighted blankets help manage insomnia.

Did you know? One out of three adults suffers from insomnia, a condition of habitual sleeplessness. But even if you don’t have insomnia, chances are, you might be tossing and turning at night. The National Sleep Foundation reports that 45% of the population regularly experiences “poor or insufficient sleep.” If you’re looking to doze off more easily, weighted blankets are an all natural, non-pharmacological tool to improve the quality of sleep, especially for those with insomnia. Studies, like this one published in The Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, concluded that sleep time increased with the use of weighted blankets. Participants liked sleeping with the blanket, found it easier to settle down to sleep, and even reported feeling more refreshed when they woke up in the morning. By creating deep touch pressure, weighted blankets induce a sense of calm and peace that keeps you snug in your bed.

Weighted blankets ease the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

Another physical condition weighted blankets are known to help manage is restless leg syndrome, which is a common nervous system condition resulting in either an irresistible urge to move the legs or an uncomfortable creeping sensation. This sensation can make it difficult to sleep as symptoms are often amplified at night. But introducing a weighted blanket has been shown to be helpful due to the evenly spread pressure. For those who struggle with finding solutions to this condition, weighted blankets can be a valuable tool to reduce uncontrollable sensations in a cozy, calming way.

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