Excite

Are weighted blankets good for you?

When it comes to sleep, we'll try anything to get a good night's rest so a weighted blanket can be the answer. They use deep touch pressure therapy to aid sleep. The pressure they exert on the body increases serotonin production. That's the chemical in the brain that creates a sense of well-being. If you have trouble sleeping or you have autism, ADHD or anxiety, a weighted blanket could help relax you, but are they good for your body?

    Pixabay

What are they?

Weighted blankets look like conventional blankets, but they're a lot thicker. That's because they're filled with beads. It's the beads that provide the comforting "hug" most people want from their weighted blanket. They were first used to help individuals with mental health issues, but they've now become a means for anyone with anxiety to get relief.

Do they work?

A lot of the so-called "evidence" that they work is anecdotal. If you need sleeping pills to get a good night's rest, why not try and weighted blanket instead? They're certainly not the cure to a poor night's sleep, but they can help. A good night's rest is achieved by going to bed at the same time each night in a quiet and dark room. You should remove TVs, phones and other devices from the bedroom and avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Taking exercise can also help you sleep.

Arthritis

As well as comforting sleepers, weighted blankets can also help physical problems, including arthritis. While no studies have taken place to support this, there's a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest the deep pressure a weighted blanket exerts can benefit anyone with degenerative joint disease. A study by Pain Medicine found that osteoarthritic pain of the knee can be relieved by deep pressure during massage. If you follow that train of thought, it's logical that the deep touch pressure created by weighted blankets will help arthritis suffers.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Anyone with rheumatoid arthritis will tell you how much they struggle to get off to sleep. A weighted blanket can make a difference as it will reduce the suffer's discomfort. Anyone with any chronic pain could find a weighted blanket beneficial. The only possible drawback is that the weighted blanket could cause additional pain if the suffer doesn't get enough sleep. It's a gamble which means it will work for some and not for others.

Breathe easy

A weighted blanket could help you breathe easier. That might not make sense to you, but according to a research carried out at Indiana University's School of Public Health, "extra pounds surrounding your body seem to relax your respiratory system and even out your breathing." Their research suggested it could help those who snore loudly at night, but it's not advisable for anyone who suffers from sleep apnea.

Overheating

While a weighted blanket has a lot of health benefits, its weight can make you too hot at night. A sweaty night full of tossing and turning isn't a restful one. Thankfully, you can buy weighted blankets designed with breathable materials that help cool you down. Look for natural bamboo or moisture-wicking microfiber or simply good old-fashioned breathable cotton when you buy a weighted blanket.

Teeth

Let's end with the idea that a weighted blanket can help your teeth because it seems so farfetched it can't be true, but when you think about the basic benefit of a weighted blanket, it makes sense. Everything we've said about weighted blankets comes down to one thing – stress relief. The deep pressure makes suffers feel cosseted. That's the feeling you want when you're at the dentist, and you need a tooth removed. A study found on sciencedirect.com showed that molar extractions in adolescents were far less stressful for those wrapped in a weighted blanket. We're not suggesting you take your blanket to the dentist when you next go there, but it's something that should be looked at by the dental industry.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2020