Have you been thinking of a way to improve your sleep quality? Or maybe you're looking at making some improvements to your sleep environment? Sleeping with a weighted blanket is a great way to reduce your stress levels and improve sleep.
You might have seen weighted blankets popping up all over the internet lately. People are loving weighted blankets as the pressure gives a calming and relaxing effect. What you might not realise is that they’re also great at helping with sleep.
This article discusses the effects of using weighted blankets for sleeping and why you should consider using one in your bedroom.
What are weighted blankets?
The name is the biggest giveaway of what they are, weighted blankets are literally blankets that are designed to have more weight than normal blankets or doonas.
There are several options for fillings for the weight, but the weighted blankets are filled with micro glass beads. The beads are so small that you don’t feel them individually, but the weight is a comfortable amount of heaviness on your body as you sleep.
Other weighted blankets are filled with rice, millets, plastic pellets, and other materials, but these materials have been found to be difficult to wash.
How do they work?
The concept behind using weighted blankets is called DPT or deep touch pressure. What it does is that it applies deep pressure to the body intending to relax the nervous system.
Deep touch pressure implemented in weighted blankets is also very similar to deep pressure stimulation found to have calming effects on the body.
To make it simple, the deep pressure stimulation replicates the feeling of a warm hug and stimulates the production of hormones like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine.
These hormones are responsible for lowering stress levels, enabling you to get a good night's sleep.
Uses and benefits
There's no one way of using a weighted blanket. You can use it like a normal blanket, or however you prefer to use it as you sleep.
The recommended method of using your weighted blanket is to fully cover your body from your neck up to your legs.
Covering your full body from the neck down would evenly distribute the weight across your entire body, giving you the full feeling of deep pressure stimulation.
It is also recommended that you lie on your back, so the weight could be evenly distributed, but if you sleep on your side or on your stomach, you should be fine as well.
Weighted blankets are a versatile tool for relaxation and sleep! But let’s unpack that a little more...
Weighted blankets can help battle insomnia
Chronic insomnia has become increasingly prevalent in adults, resulting in people trying out different ways to sleep better at night.
One way to counter the difficulty in sleeping is by using heavy blankets to relax the nervous system.
The effects of deep pressure stimulation on the body switches the nervous system into being more relaxed and helps you fall asleep faster.
Improves your sleep quality
One of the key indicators of good sleep quality is when you've properly gone through all the phases of the sleep cycle and spent enough hours in each phase. You’ll know your body has gone through this when you wake up feeling refreshed.
Going into the deep sleep phase requires your body to naturally lower your heart rate and your blood pressure, using a weighted blanket helps you achieve that better.
The simulation of body weight being applied onto your body from the weighted blanket gives you the feeling of a warm hug at night, this allows you to feel more relaxed and achieve lower heart rates needed for effective deep sleep.
Tips for using weighted blankets
Using a weighted blanket is a very different experience than your normal blankets or duvets, and for some people, it takes a bit of time to get used to it.
Follow these tips so you could enjoy using your weighted blankets better:
Choose the right weight for your body type
Weighted blankets apply pressure on your body as you lie down, and choosing the wrong weight may ruin the experience for you.
Using a blanket that's too heavy for you may cause your sleep to be uncomfortable, and picking one too light may not bring out all the benefits.
As a general rule, pick a blanket that is about 10-15% of your body weight; this gives you the weight that is just right to help you sleep comfortably while enjoying the benefits of a weighted blanket.
Ecosa has 7kg, 9kg and 11kg weighted blankets available, so there are options for everyone!
Use it every night
As mentioned earlier, weighted blankets feel significantly different from ordinary doonas or blankets. The feeling of sleeping with pressure placed on your entire body can be discomforting at the beginning.
Allow your body to get accustomed to the feeling of deep pressure by using your weighted blankets every night. If you’re a wriggler, you’ll notice that you move around less in your sleep, as the weight minimises your movement.
It may take a few nights before the weight begins to feel natural, it may be different in the beginning, but you're sure to enjoy its benefits in the long-term.
Keep your bedroom cool
If there's any disadvantage to using a weighted blanket, it can be too warm since the blanket is designed to be heavier than usual, more material is being used in the blanket, and it can often cause you to overheat while you sleep.
Your body should naturally lower its core temperature during your sleep, this is part of how the body restores energy and repairs itself.
Sleeping too hot, may not give you the best sleep quality; therefore, it is advised that you keep your bedroom's temperature as low as possible when using weighted blankets.
Select a weighted blanket that’s breathable
Something to consider when purchasing your first weighted blanket is the breathability of the blanket's fabrics.
The Ecosa Weighted Blanket uses a very breathable bamboo outer material that is 100% organic and hypoallergenic.
Using a breathable material for your weighted blankets ensures that you don't overheat easily using your weighted blanket. If you do, the material would be very effective at wicking away your sweat.