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Do Weighted Blankets Really Help With Insomnia and Anxiety?

Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night to function at their best and stay healthy. Sadly, many find themselves repeatedly waking up or tossing and turning at night. In other words, this sleep problem has become a global issue.

In Singapore, many have trouble getting a good night’s rest. It even has the third most sleep-deprived population after Tokyo and Seoul.

Image of a sleeping man
Image by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

With that said, this sleep issue is alarming. What might seem like simple symptoms could be signs of sleep disorders. To resolve this problem, getting to the root cause is essential, and one way to do this is to learn more about one of the most common sleep disorders: insomnia. In this article, we dig deep into this condition and how remedies like weighted blankets can help insomnia sufferers. 

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep. It can also cause one to wake up too early and not get back to sleep. It results in sleep deprivation, leading to fatigue and difficulty functioning.

This sleep disorder can be short-term, meaning it lasts for only days or weeks. This usually happens due to stress. When it lasts for a month or more, it becomes chronic insomnia. Regardless of whether it is short-term or long-term, it can lead to severe health risks when left untreated.

    What Are Weighted Blankets?

    Weighted blankets are sleep aids that are filled with heavier materials, such as plastic pellets, glass beads, sand, rice, and more. These filling materials are evenly distributed over the sleeper’s body to promote calmness and relaxation.

    Weavve’s Weighted Blanket
    Featuring Weavve’s Weighted Blanket

    Moreover, these blankets mimic a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation. This is why it feels like getting a big hug or being wrapped in a soothing swaddle like a baby every time they are used.

    How Do Weighted Blankets Help With Anxiety And Insomnia? 

    Trying to sleep with racing thoughts and overwhelming emotions is no easy feat. The good news is that weighted gravity blankets can promote relaxation and relieve insomnia symptoms. Here are the ways they help with anxiety and sleep disorder:

    Calm the Nervous System

    People with an overactive nervous system may find it difficult to fall and stay asleep due to rapid heart rate, hyperactivity, and shortness of breath.

    Image of a woman in a flower field
    Image by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels

    Such issues can be addressed with these special blankets. Providing deep touch stimulation calms the fight-or-flight response and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. The gentle pressure they offer may calm the nervous system, slow down the heart rate, and help improve sleep.

    Besides deep touch stimulation, the placebo effect may have a role in managing insomnia symptoms. A systematic review revealed that believing that weighted blankets could positively affect sleep could potentially help you get the refreshing rest you need.

    Alleviate Anxiety

    Anxiety causes sleeping issues, including insomnia. Similarly, lack of sleep may cause anxiety.

    Image of an adorable girl hugging her teddy bear while sleeping
    Image by cottonbro from Pexels

    Besides being unable to fall or stay asleep or suffering from unsatisfying sleep, anxiety can impact rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This then can cause disturbing dreams, which can lead to more sleep disruptions. Because of this frustrating sleep disorder, many people dread going to bed. This dilemma is called sleep anxiety.

    To soothe anxiety, weighted blankets may help. They ease persistent feelings of fear, uneasiness, and worry. A study found that these sleep aids safely and effectively reduce anxiety in adults.

     Weavve’s TENCEL™ Lyocell Classic Set in Cloud WhiteFeaturing Weavve’s TENCEL™ Lyocell Classic Set in Cloud White

    Reduce Autonomic Arousal

    Deep pressure stimulation can reduce autonomic arousal. This is especially helpful for people who feel stressed or experience physical anxiety symptoms, particularly during bedtime. It promotes better sleep and helps settle in for a good night’s rest by slowing down functions and restoring energy at night.

    Trigger The Release Of Natural Feel-Good Chemicals

    The deep pressure stimulation from the blankets could trigger the brain to release feel-good chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.

    Image of a woman holding a smiley balloon
    Image by Julia Avamotive from Pexels

    Serotonin keeps the mood steady and calms the mind and body, while dopamine promotes a sense of calm and happiness. On the other hand, oxytocin eases pain and reduces stress. All of these allow for a more peaceful and sound sleep.

    Serve As A Form Of Sensory Therapy

    People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to get overstimulated by noises and sensations in social situations. With weighted blankets, they may feel secure and protected, making them at ease and helping them get the restful sleep they need.

    Weavve’s Weighted Blanket
    Featuring Weavve’s Weighted Blanket

    Thanks to this benefit, these sleep companions are also used by occupational therapists to help soothe those with sensory processing disorders and social anxiety disorders. Furthermore, they alleviate chronic stress symptoms. The theory is that they allow sleepers to put their focus on the hug-like sensation instead of anxious thoughts.

    How Do You Properly Use Gravity Weighted Blankets For Insomnia?

    If you’re planning to use weighted blankets for insomnia, here are things to remember:

    Weavve’s Weighted Blanket
    Featuring Weavve’s Weighted Blanket

    Choose The Right Weight

    Weighed blankets come in different weights. To choose the right weighted blanket, get one that is ten percent of your body weight. For instance, go for a 5-kilogram blanket if you weigh 50 kilograms. Also, look for one that is designed to evenly distribute gentle pressure.

    Consult A Doctor

    These blankets are generally safe to use, but they may not be for everyone. They are not recommended for young children since they may be too heavy. They may also pose a safety hazard for pregnant women, seniors, or those with respiratory issues.

    What Are The Dangers Of Untreated Insomnia?

    Image of a woman wearing collared top laying on tableImage by Valeria Ushakova from Pexels

    If this sleep condition persists, it can take a toll on overall health and wellness. Here are the potential complications that may happen when this disorder is left untreated:

    Anxiety disorder

    Asthma attacks

    Depression

    Diabetes

    Difficulty functioning

    Fatigue

    Heart disease

    High blood pressure

    Increased risk of accidents, especially when driving or operating tools or machinery

    Irritability

    Lower your sex drive

    Memory problems 

    Obesity

    Poor concentration

    Seizures

    Strokes

    Weakened immune system function


    What Are The Symptoms Of Insomnia?

    Image of a man sitting on bedImage by cottonbro from Pexels 

    Short-term insomnia and chronic insomnia have similar symptoms. These include:

    Aggressiveness

    Anxiety

    Decreased motivation

    Depression

    Difficulty falling asleep

    Extreme daytime sleepiness

    Gastrointestinal symptoms

    Headaches

    Hyperactivity

    Irritability

    Lack of coordination

    Low energy

    Not feeling well-rested upon waking up

    Poor concentration

    Poor memory

    Waking up in the middle of the night

    Waking up too early

    Worrying about sleep


    What Causes Insomnia?

    Image of a tired female student sleeping on a stack of booksImage by George Milton from Pexels

    This sleep disorder often comes from different physical and psychological factors. Insomnia causes include:

    ADHD

    Alzheimer’s disease

    Anxiety

    Bipolar disorder

    Caffeine use

    Changes with the sleep schedule

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    Chronic pain

    Depression

    Drinking

    Gastrointestinal reflux disease

    Genes

    Hyperthyroidism

    Medications

    Menopause

    Nightmares

    PMS

    Pregnancy

    Restless legs syndrome

    Schizophrenia

    Sleep apnea

    Sleep distractions, like extreme heat or cold and noise at night

    Smoking

    Stress

    Traumatic events


    What Are Some Home Remedies To Ease Insomnia?

    Falling asleep doesn’t have to feel like going on a battlefield. It should be a pleasant experience that allows you to rest peacefully and wake up feeling refreshed. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

    Image of a woman sleeping in bed hugging a pillowImage by cottonbro from Pexels

    If you wonder how to sleep with insomnia, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are many ways to improve sleep quality without popping sleep medications. Here are some of the best treatments for insomnia that you can try at home: 

    • Avoid midnight snacks
    • Avoid using gadgets at night to limit blue light exposure before bedtime  
    • Exercise regularly
    • Check your medications
    • Hide alarm clocks in your bedroom
    • Limit alcohol consumption and caffeine before bedtime
    • Limit naps
    • Optimize your bedroom for comfortable sleep
    • Stick to a sleep schedule
    • Try stress management techniques
    • Use sleep devices for insomnia, including weighted blankets for anxiety

    Are Weighted Blankets Worth It?

    To sum it all up, weighted blankets have science-backed benefits for insomnia. While they do not totally serve as insomnia treatment, they are an inexpensive way to reduce anxiety and stress, making relaxing and sleeping challenging.

    Image of a kid hugging a teddy bear
    Image by Galina Yarovaya. from Pexels

    Note, however, that although these blankets are worth a try, they won’t be able to fix everything. Be aware of their limitations. They may not be able to treat chronic insomnia and ease severe symptoms.

    To treat insomnia for good, start practicing good sleep habits. Talking to a mental health professional or a doctor is also better in the long run when seeking sustainable, long-term strategies. It can help you identify the cause of your sleep problem and receive appropriate care for your needs.

    DISCOVER WEAVVE’S COLLECTION

    Weighted Blanket

    Our weighted blanket is made of smaller compartments for evenly distributed weight, which promotes relaxation by simulating the sensation of being held or embraced.

    Folded weighted blanket
    Featuring Weavve’s Weighted Blanket
     

    You can feel secure, at ease, and comfortable thanks to its deep touch pressure. In addition, it has a breathable fabric that is machine- and dryer-safe, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic.

    Shop weighted blanket Singapore

    TENCEL™ Lyocell Duvet 

    Folded TENCEL Lyocell duvet
    Featuring Weavve’s TENCEL™ Lyocell Duvet

    Want something lighter? Try our Lyocell duvet instead. It is the first in Singapore featuring 100% pure TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers in both its exterior fabric and inner filling. In effect, you will have a blanket with great thermal regulation and ultimately enjoy comfortable rest every night.

    Shop TENCEL™ Lyocell duvet Singapore

    RESPONSIBLY MADE

    Here at Weavve, we pride ourselves on being committed to responsible sourcing, production, sale, and use of our products. We take great effort in ensuring that our decisions account for all the people who help build our products, the environment, and our consumers. From Standard 100 by Oeko Tex® certified sheets to SEDEX certified factories, Weavve makes sure that everyone is cared for at every step of the way.

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