Have you ever noticed how climbing into bed and snuggling up with a plush, cozy blanket or better yet cuddling beneath a light mound of them can make you feel? Almost immediately that sense of softness and warm comfort comes over you as you prepare to close your eyes. But what if I told you it is more than just the feel or material of your favorite blanket or blankets that may improve drifting off to sleep sooner as well as other offer health benefits. Thus, here is why a heavier, weighted blanket may have more benefits than you realized over what blanket you may be using.
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The reason that weighted blankets have something special going for them is due to their unique design. What singles them out is how the tiny pellets constructed out of plastic, glass or steel beads, sand, pebbles, and grains are used to pressure the material down. The heaviness of the beads or pellets that can range anywhere from five to 30 pounds is why this type of blanket can be therapeutic. It is the weight against the body that makes such a difference as it exerts gentle pressure that helps calm the nervous system in the same way that a baby is soothed by swaddling or just being hugged.
So how could this advantage of heaviness into a blanket manage to work for anxiety when stressed? Negative emotions such as when overcome with fear, worry or crying can speed up the heart rate. Therefore, the amount of pressure from the weighted blanket can activate the parasympathetic nervous system to slow heart beat, lower blood pressure for relaxation and help digestion.
You may also experience insomnia because of all the pressure of what may be going on in your life. However, that tender pressure from a weighted blanket tends to be more comforting than a traditional blanket to prepare the body for rest from the tranquil feeling it creates. In return, you have a better chance of sleeping more soundly and waking up feeling invigorated.
Those with depression may find benefits of a weighted blanket as well. Though more research still needs to be done, it is interesting to note in how that weight stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that it also helps release “feel good” hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.
If you have aches and pains from conditions like arthritis, a weighted blanket can serve to provide that additional comforting warmth from that light pressure. I use one (Big Blanket) and found it does warm and soothe more for longer sleep on those days when you would, otherwise, need to get up for pain medication.
A weighted blanket may not solve all your health problems, but I love mine for the health benefits it offers me. This sort of blanket may do the same wonders for you as well.