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8 Benefits of a Weighted Blanket

Learn why a weighted blanket should be an essential bedroom item.
Photo: Shutterstock

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 cozier 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, a Canadian bedding and mattress brand, have outlined eight benefits of a weighted blanket, including chronic pain relief and decreasing the frequency of seizures. 

1. Relieves anxiety symptoms 

Anxiety is a mental health disorder experienced by approximately 275 million people around the world. Some of the common symptoms include a 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. 

2. Promotes deep sleep 

Over 35 percent 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. 

3. Lowers your stress response 

There are many health issues 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 the physiological stress responses, preventing these harmful health issues. 

4. Eases pain 

Chronic pain, including headaches, arthritis, and back pain, affects one in five 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 15-pound weighted blanket eased their symptoms. 

5. 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. 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. 

6. 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. However, 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. 

7. 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. 

8. 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, which is a feel-good hormone, increases. Combined with the decrease in cortisol, this works to improve your overall mood. 

“There are an abundance of advantages to weighted blankets, whether you struggle to sleep well at night or even if you simply desire a cozier bedroom,” says a spokesperson from Hush. “However, what’s really interesting is how they can benefit those with health problems, both mental and physical. While a weighted blanket isn’t the sole solution to these health issues, it’s certainly a way to ease symptoms and make those suffering from problems like Alzheimer’s and chronic pain more comfortable.” 

About The Author
julieKeller_author-1

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures, ForbesTraveler.com, E! Online, Gayot.com, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.