There’s nothing quite like the feeling of cozying up to your favorite blanket at night. Weighted blankets, in particular, have been proven to be effective for those who have trouble sleeping or simply struggle with falling to sleep at night. But do weighted blankets work, or are they just a passing fad?
Here’s everything you need to know about the weighted blanket trend and what you need to know before purchasing one for yourself:
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
If you’re especially susceptible to anxiety before bedtime, you might find that you’re dealing with a multitude of symptoms, including a racing heart. One way to combat the overwhelming feelings of anxiety that overcome this physical sensation is by slowing down your heart rate.
When you use a weighted blanket, you’re utilizing the technology behind something known as ‘pressure therapy,’ which mimics the feeling of being held closely or swaddled while you try and catch up on sleep.
Do Weighted Blankets Work On Children?
Weighted blankets were actually first developed to help children who struggle with autism and ADHD. Children who struggled with these disorders found the calming and enveloping feeling that accompanies a weighted blanket.
In one study from 2014, researchers found that participants reported higher feelings of comfort when using the weighted blankets, even when it didn’t show significant differences in the actual quantity of sleep.
So, do weighted blankets work at all with children? While the research remains inconclusive, it’s possible that the increased feelings of relaxation and comfort they naturally encourage help with accomplishing a comfortable night’s sleep.
Do Weighted Blankets Work On Adults?
Most research around whether weighted blankets are effective or not tends to revolve around cases of adult anxiety, in which they have been found to be particularly effective. The reason for this has to do with something known as autonomic arousal, which is when your body might be experiencing symptoms such as an elevated heart rate, digestive issues, trouble breathing, and more.
Deep pressure stimulation has been found to be effective in these cases, which is why people who deal with these kinds of issues can find the sleep accessory to be useful. Trying to get a good night’s rest when you struggle with anxiety can also require you to sharpen up on your sleep hygiene in general.
How To Improve Sleep Hygiene For Better Sleep
If you struggle with sleep anxiety, there are a few other ways to ensure you’re getting a good night’s sleep. Here are a couple of quick tips and tricks that might be useful:
- Switch out your caffeine for herbal tea. Caffeine can make it harder for your body to regulate its autonomic system, and it also keeps you up at night. Try to avoid drinking caffeine if you’re looking to improve your sleep hygiene.
- Avoid blue light before winding down. Blue light can be disruptive to your circadian rhythm, which is going to interrupt the flow of your sleep. To avoid this, as well as the anxiety that can naturally come from scrolling through your phone, set yourself a time limit before winding down for the night.
- Use a comfortable sleep setup. Using cozy bedding and the best mattress you can for your comfort can make a world of difference when it comes to the quality of your sleep. Be sure to do your research before you go ahead and settle on a sleep setup that works for you.
Better sleep is possible as long as you take a systematic and sustainable approach to your sleep hygiene. Happy snoozing!