Not too long ago, a world existed where lights out meant bedtime, people naturally woke up to the sun’s light and we weren’t kept up at night by the glow of a cell phone.
Complicated schedules, stress, anxiety and insomnia disorders add up to make sleeping more difficult than ever.
The scary part is that this lack of sleep and feeling of anxiety can lead to long-term stress, lack of focus and fatigue that spill over into every part of our lives, taking a clear toll on Canadians’ health:
- According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), mild to severe anxiety disorders affect over 1.8 million Canadians.
- Statistics Canada reports that up to 3.6 million Canadians suffer from insomnia disorders.
It can be difficult to know where to turn to for the calm, rest and assurance so many crave. While we may not be able to shut out smart phones or simplify life completely, science has created a proven method for reducing anxiety and insomnia: weighted blankets.
Who First Used Weighted Blankets?
Does it feel like you've tried everything to treat your anxiety or solve your insomnia? Lying awake at night because you can't sleep or can't put your mind to rest doesn't just affect you while lying in bed, it affects you the next day, too.
Because so many people suffer from anxiety and insomnia, scientists and researchers are busy looking for solutions that go beyond white noise machines or sleeping pills.
You might not be surprised to find out that weighted blankets were originally used by therapists and psychiatry clinics and during occupational therapy. Dr. Temple Grandin, an animal behavior expert, conducted the original research that resulted in the weighted blanket breakthrough.
The blankets, filled with poly pellets, weighted discs, or (non-toxic!) glass beads like ours, create comforting, evenly-distributed pressure across the body to promote relaxation. Dr. Grandin noticed that this phenomenon, called deep touch pressure (DTP), “calmed the central nervous systems of both animals and humans with sensory sensitivities.”
Here’s why weighted blankets are so great for managing anxiety and insomnia: DTP naturally releases dopamine and serotonin, allowing even the most restless of us to feel relaxed enough to drift off at night and experience calm.
It’s no surprise for anyone who has experienced a sleepless night that poor sleep harms mental health.
How Does Sleep Affect Your Health?
The link between anxiety, depression and sleep disorders like insomnia is clear. Lack of sleep tends to worsen anxiety, making it more difficult to rest at night and creating a vicious cycle of missed sleep, anxiety and worsening mental health.
This can spill over into overall mood and behavior, too. Those who don’t get enough sleep tend to be more irritable, make worse decisions and make more errors than those who sleep well.
Continued restless nights make you vulnerable to serious medical conditions like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, depression and a lower sex drive.
Worst of all, scientific research shows that a lack of sleep increases the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body. Cortisol, which is behind the fight or flight instinct, can lead us to feel anxious and experience even more difficult sleep.
Sleep and its effects on mental and physical health are clear, but what if falling asleep and staying asleep is simply impossible due to insomnia? That’s where weighted blankets have been a life changing development.
Can Weighted Blankets Help with Insomnia?
Did you know that 25% of Canadians are dissatisfied with their sleep? Persistent insomnia is also associated with “negative health outcomes, including reduced quality of life and physical and psychological morbidity.”
Since insomnia affects all ages, weighted blankets are a great choice for managing it in all ages too! Heavier than your average duvet at approximately 7-10% of the user’s weight, these heavy blankets are proven to be helpful for those having trouble sleeping.
A common issue with insomnia is a chemical imbalance that promotes sleep. One vital chemical that is released by weighted blankets is serotonin, mood elevator. Due to the deep touch pressure of heavy blankets, serotonin production is stimulated.
Vitally, serotonin sparks production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep patterns. Increased serotonin and melatonin work together to create the perfect biological combination to encourage sleep.
Many people are attesting to the wonders a weighted blanket has worked for them. Christina Heiser of NBC News, who describes herself as “a serial tosser-and-turner,” has found that sleeping with a weighted blanket reduces restless movements during the night and comforts her so that she can feels more rested.
Sleep helps your brain and body heal, and is key to keeping yourself healthy emotionally and socially—which means it can have incredible effects on anxiety, too!
How Do Weighted Blankets Reduce Anxiety?
Heavy blankets have a positive effect on anxiety while you’re drifting off to sleep, but they’ve also been shown to reduce anxiety in stressful scenarios in general, not just at bedtime!
Remember this the next time you go to the dentist: A study in the Journal of the Formosan Medical Association found that participants who wore weighted blankets during wisdom teeth removal surgeries “showed more activity in the part of the nervous system that is in control during times of low stress.” The fact that the weighted blanket “feels like a hug” can help people deal with even the most stressful of medical procedures.
If you are specifically looking for a way to reduce anxiety before sleep, rest easy. Lying down at night with your weighted blanket will induce DTP or deep touch pressure, which has the calming effect on your body and mind need to settle down.
A 2006 study found that 63% of people reported lower anxiety after using the blankets and 78% preferred it as a calming method.
When your anxiety levels are lower, you will sleep better. And if you sleep better, you’ll have less anxiety! That’s a win-win situation for everyone, and not just adults...
How Do Weighted Blankets Help Kids Sleep?
Have kids? With the unique pressures of social media, tech and childhood stress, even kids experience issues that can lead to anxiety and insomnia.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada,
- Approximately 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness, but…
- Less than 20% receive appropriate treatment.
- By age 25, approximately 20% of Canadians will have developed a mental illness.
- Of those who develop mental illness, 70% say that symptoms started in childhood.
Weighted blankets are a safe, non-pharmacological way to manage your children’s stress levels. They are a particularly popular way to treat children with disorders like autism and ADHD because the blankets provide a way to process and regulate their emotions whether they use it to sleep at night or in particularly difficult moments, like after tantrums, to calm down.
Keep in mind that the blankets shouldn’t be used with kids younger than 7 or 8 without a therapist’s recommendation due to suffocation risks. Used with proper supervision, however, all kids can benefit from the compression, “hug-like” nature of a weighted blanket.
Are you on board? Let’s talk about how to get your own anytime hug blanket.
Where Can I Buy a Weighted Blanket?
To learn more about what to look for in a weighted blanket, check out our in-depth guide here to choose the right style, size, weight and quality.
So we can help a variety of insomnia and anxiety sufferers, TUNE offers 15, 20 and 25-pound blankets depending on body weight. All blankets use deep touch pressure technology, which has been proven to relax users, reducing anxiety and preventing restless movement that would interrupt quality sleep.
A better night’s sleep, no medication involved!
Using deep touch pressure technology, weighted blankets are shown to aid those with disorders such as ADHD, ASD, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, PTSD and OCD, among many others.
But you don’t need to have a medical diagnosis; heavy blankets are for everyone and anyone who wants to start sleeping better, feel more rested, and live their best life.
Don’t wait any longer to sleep better and improve your life; order your TUNE blanket now!.
Order Your Tune Blanket Below
It's time for a better night's rest
Thousands of Tune customers have started sleeping better and waking well rested thanks to the power of the Tune Weighted Blanket... Now it's your turn!
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