Do weighted blankets help fight insomnia?

These types of blankets, which can weigh up to 15 kilos, exert a constant gentle pressure throughout the body that achieves a relaxing effect. They are a good help to combat insomnia and they have more and more scientific evidence.

Insomnia is one of the main health problems in the Western world and the pandemic has increased.

Good sleep hygiene with habits aimed at better sleep is key to achieving a night of restful sleep. Following certain sleep schedules, not doing intense exercise late in the day, not having copious dinners or not being exposed to the blue light from screens before bed are some of the pillars to improve rest.

A new recommendation is added to the list of guidelines for better sleep and of foods or natural products that can also help you fall asleep: the use of so-called heavy blankets.

But what exactly are they and what is the use of these blankets that weigh so much?

WHAT A HEAVY BLANKET

Such a blanket can weigh between 4 and 15 kg, hence the name heavy blanket. To choose yours and make it work, it is key that its weight is around 10% of your body mass.

  • They usually look like a quilt and are filled with microbeads or treated glass grains (some are also filled with plastic beads). Some also have additional layers of fabric to add weight.
  • The weight is distributed evenly throughout the blanket thanks to the seams that perfectly distribute the filling material.
  • In the case of children, there are blankets between 2 and 4 kg in weight that are suitable for children from 10 kg.
  • You can explore the variety at www.zonlihome.com

WHAT EFFECT DOES A HEAVY BLANKET HAVE?

As pointed out by Blanky, a pioneering company in the manufacture of heavy blankets in Spain and Portugal, this additional weight, well distributed throughout the body, creates a gentle localized pressure on the muscles that relax you as if it were a massage.

Such sustained overhead pressure has been shown to lower cortisol and increase serotonin and dopamine levels, calming the nervous system and leading to a sense of well-being.

So, the difference between using a heavy blanket and sleeping with a duvet is that the former:

  • Helps reduce tension and stress.
  • Produces a relaxing effect.
  • It helps to fall asleep and, with daily use, regulates the sleep cycle.
  • Helps keep you in a deep sleep.
  • Reduces anxiety.

WHAT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE IS THERE ON WEIGHTED BLANKETS?

A recent study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published in September 2020 has shown that nearly 60% of patients with insomnia who slept for at least 4 weeks with a heavy blanket reduced their ISI by more than 50% (Index Insomnia Severity) compared to the control group.

“The results of this preliminary study are really encouraging to assess weighted blankets as a possible treatment option in patients with insomnia,” says Dr. Javier Albares, director of Doctor Albares Sleep Medicine at the Teknon medical center.

The more therapeutic tools we have to treat insomnia, the better, and perhaps we could consider that heavy blankets could be one of these alternatives”, he concludes.

Other international studies and research from the University of Massachusetts reveal that the use of heavy blankets:

  • Increases the feeling of comfort in 76% of users.
  • Reduces anxiety levels by 63%.
  • 88% of users say they sleep better.

BRIEF HISTORY OF WEIGHTED BLANKETS

Weighted blankets have been used therapeutically for more than a decade to treat disorders such as autism. Although the use of heavy blankets did not increase the duration of sleep in these children, they did sleep more peacefully.

A recent study by the Department of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm concludes that it can be helpful in the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety.

At https://zonlihome.com/collections,  we have the best options for you that can help in improving the quality of your life.

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