New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANSlife): There are several simple ways to improve your sleep quality, from cutting out cups of coffee to avoiding any daytime naps - but there are also bedroom additions to consider; specifically weighted blankets.
While a weighted blanket will certainly make you feel cosier in your bedroom, it also has plenty of benefits that will not only contribute to a better night's sleep but can also help with several health problems.
Experts at Hush. have outlined eight benefits of a weighted blanket, including chronic pain relief and decreasing the frequency of seizures.
Relieves anxiety symptoms
Anxiety is a mental health disorder experienced by many with approximately 275 million people around the world suffering from this. Some of the common symptoms include fast heart rate and quick breathing which can be relieved with a weighted blanket. It puts the autonomic nervous system into rest mode and promotes feelings of relaxation.
Promotes deep sleep
Over 35 per cent of Americans get under seven hours of shut-eye at night, with nearly half of the nation claiming that they feel tired in the daytime between three to seven days each week. Weighted blankets can combat the struggles of insufficient sleep similarly to the way they help anxiety, by calming the heart rate to ensure you fall into a deep sleep. Plus, they use deep pressure stimulation which increases levels of melatonin, known as the sleep hormone.
Lowers your stress response
There are many health problems that can occur from an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which triggers our fight or flight response, such as obesity and kidney disease. The deep pressure stimulation in a weighted blanket works to calm nerves and lowers physiological stress levels, preventing these harmful health issues.
Chronic pain including headaches, arthritis, and back pain affects 1 in 5 Americans. Research has shown that sleeping with a weighted blanket can reduce pain; a recent study of 94 chronic pain patients discovered that the gentle pressure from a 15lb weighted blanket eased their symptoms.
Helps with Alzheimer's and dementia
Some of the symptoms that people with Alzheimer's and dementia may face are difficulty sleeping due to agitation. Given that weighted blankets promote relaxation by calming nerves and reducing anxiety, they can be used as a non-drug option for dementia and Alzheimer's sufferers. As well as this, a previous case study reflected a decrease in night-time wandering, hallucinations, and emotional disturbances for a patient with Alzheimer's by using a weighted blanket.
Reduce the incidence of seizures
Epilepsy is one of the most common conditions affecting the brain, with 5.1 million people in the U.S having a history of the condition. Relaxation techniques can work effectively alongside epilepsy medication to reduce the frequency of seizures. One of these techniques is using a weighted blanket as it has deep touch pressure, lowering stress. Although, it's important to note that some forms of epilepsy make you more prone to seizures when you feel deeply relaxed therefore, please consult with a doctor.
Decreases cortisol levels
Cortisol, the stress hormone, has been linked to many health issues, including heart disease, weight gain, and high blood sugar - so it's important to keep the levels low when you can, which is possible with a weighted blanket. Studies have found that deep pressure can lower our cortisol levels and increase serotonin production.
Boosts your mood
In addition to the benefits of improving mental disorders and easing pain, weighted blankets can act as a mood booster. Due to the pressure of a weighted blanket, the production of oxytocin increases, which is a feel-good hormone - and combined with the decrease in cortisol, this works to improve your overall mood.