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Weighted Blankets, Good or Evil?

What Science Says Regarding Weighted Blankets?

Date:   3/29/2019 2:24:28 AM   ( 3 y ) ... viewed 279 times

There's nothing better than a warm snuggly bed to help you relax and calm the nerves. If you really want to let go all of your stress and put an end to racing thoughts during sleep, you should try a weighted blanket. That's because a lot of people consider weighted blankets as a way to reduce anxiety, self-soothe and helps in better sleep. So far, the research does kind of support their use. But question is do you believe the hype?
As the name implies, a weighted blanket refers to a blanket that's particularly designed heavier, typically by using pellets, glass beads or chains sewn evenly throughout the fabric. The weight is added to tranquilize the sleepers using deep touch pressure (DTP) and compression therapy. Moreover, this quilted blanket encourages relaxation and enhances the release of feel-good hormones - serotonin and dopamine.
Adding dozen kilograms to your blanket might sound smothering. However, there are some studies that explored the safety and therapeutic effects of weighted blanket on human body. A 2008 study revealed that use of 30lb heavy blankets doesn't pose a significant health risk to adults.
What Science Says Regarding Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets have been in use as a calming tool for quite a long time. However, they were originally used to treat the special-needs community (those with autism and ADHD), but recently it has surged popularity as calming tool for general population.
In a 2008 study, which involved 32 adults, 63% of adults of them reported reduced anxiety on a standardized questionnaire after sleeping with a 13. 8 kg (30 lbs.) weighted blanket and 78% of them said they felt more relaxation with it. Another study in 2016 reported that 21 patients suffering from chronic insomnia started feeling safer and comfortable when they slept with a weighted blanket. Also, they tossed and turned a whole lot less under heavy blanket, which shows high quality of sleep. They also stayed asleep for longer period of time.
Likewise, in a 2014 study, involving 67 kids with autism found weighted blankets better than control blanket. However, weighted blankets didn't actually help children sleep for longer interval, or wake less often. In fact, when it comes to improving sleep, research is quite a mixed bag.
Still, there is some evidence that a weighted blanket can help you relax during stressful times. A study published in 2016, where researchers monitored heart rates of 60 patients while they were getting their wisdom teeth removed. Researchers noted that everyone found the procedure painful. However, those participants who used a weighted blanket during wisdom tooth extraction were able to calm down somehow. On the flip side, those who didn't get the heavy blanket, they spent more time in responding to it.
Are Weighted Blankets Safe to Use?
Although, this sort of extra weight isn't appropriate for everyone, especially unsupervised children and for infants.
Wondering how hefty should a weighted blanket be? It requires you to perform calculations on what weight to use, either. Generally, experts recommend using a small size weighted blanket for children between ages of 6-12.
As a rule of thumb, weighted blankets should be sized according to body's weight, not to accommodate your bed. But, how heavy you can go is up to you. While some people like their blanket a little heavier, there are some who like it a bit lighter. Before you decide to buy a weighted blanket for you and your children, make sure to measure the correct weight by using only 10 percent of the child's or person's body weight.
Apart from it, these weighted blankets are less convenient to carry around while traveling. Nonetheless to mention, they tend to be quite expensive, begin at $125. Being that said, there are many DIY tutorials on internet where you can learn to sew your own customized heavy blanket.
Conclusion
All in all, a weighted blanket is a simple product that has some great influence on human body. From mimicking a hug to releasing serotonin, a weighted blanket is capable to lift your mood and get rid of stress during sleep. Even, the weight itself triggers changes to the cells that nudge the nervous system towards relaxation. People tend to relax better when they wrapped in these heavy blankets simply because they expect it to happen.
Designed to cope with stress and sleep, weighted blankets are a source of relief. In the end, it all boils down to individual preferences. Give this snuggly coping technique a try and watch the difference yourself.

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