Serotonin is a chemical that helps you feel calm, relaxed, and in a much better mood. The release of serotonin also helps with melatonin production (aka sleep hormones); this, in return, signals your brain and body, “It’s time to sleep.”
Our autonomic system has two systems that work together. The sympathetic system, responsible for ‘fight or flight,’ and the parasympathetic system in control of restoring the body to a calm and composed state.
Weighted blankets work with your parasympathetic system. When you’re stressed, your heart beats too quickly. Through the blankets evenly distributed weight, your parasympathetic nervous system is activated, lowering your heart rate and stress levels immediately.
What are the benefits of using a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets were initially used for therapy in the past to treat children with severe anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and other mental health disorders. Eventually, doctors discovered how it could be a useful tool for members in the mental health community through deep touch pressure. From that point its use became widespread for people suffering from stress, insomnia, and anxiety caused by the increasing stress of daily routine and modern life.
According to multiple studies, weighted blankets have shown promising results in improving sleep and managing stress. Many nowadays suffer from lack of sleep, which can take a toll on someone’s health, including cardiovascular and mental health. Fortunately, a weighted blanket can help relieve or manage symptoms of:
Insomnia or sleeping disorders
Mental health disorders: anxiety, depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Restless leg syndrome
Arthritis, fibromyalgia, pain
Things to consider before buying a weighted blanket
Are you almost convinced to get yourself/ someone a weighted blanket? Not just yet! A few things to keep in mind:
Quality: weighted blankets can be harmful to very young kids. If fillers or pellets fall out of the blanket, it can be a choking hazard. When purchasing a weighted blanket, ensure stitches are sewn well and secured. Toddlers under two years old (< 2yo) are advised not to use them as it presents a suffocation risk. Consult a pediatrician before using a weighted blanket on young kids/toddlers.
Weight: choosing the right weight matters. Experts advise choosing a blanket that’s 10-15% of the user’s body weight. If the blanket is too heavy, it can be counterproductive and can make you feel uncomfortable. If it’s too light, you might not feel the weighted blanket’s effects. Refer to our Suenyo Weighted Blanket guide before purchasing one.