Sleep is an important part of life and the lack of it may pose a threat to your entire health. According to a report, between 50 to 70 million American adults experience a kind of sleep disorder that affects the quality of their sleep. The inability to sleep has been linked to many different conditions including stress, drug use, the side effect of a medication, and certain types of illnesses, just to name a few.
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Although short term sleep deprivation may only affect your ability to carry out your normal daily activities, you may develop a more chronic health issue if the lack of sleep is left to continue for a long period of time. Sleep deprivation has been linked to conditions such as anxiety (1), depression (2), as well as behavioral and communications issues (3) among many others.
If you are dealing with insomnia or other types of sleep deprivation, the best way to alleviate your condition is to restore your normal sleep pattern. It is no news that most sedatives and other sleep-inducing medications may have an adverse side effect on your health, which may even lead to the development of other conditions.
The Benefits of Weighted Blanket
If like me, you don’t like pills, you may improve your sleep quality by purchasing a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets have so much to offer individuals experiencing sleep disorders and other related issues, but it can also be used by individuals who desire to enjoy better sleep quality. The blankets, unlike traditional ones, are designed with extra weight that is aimed at exerting a pressure of the body of users.
Weighted blanket users state that its weight over their body provides them with comforts that feel as though they are being hugged by another individual thus helping them to fall asleep relatively quickly. Also, it is reported that the weight of this type of blankets helps to regulate the level of the stress hormone – cortisol in the body. As already mentioned, stress is the major cause of most sleep disorders, which invariably means less stress may allow you to rest and sleep better.
Furthermore, cortisol is known to adversely affect the level of melatonin which may negatively affect sleep quality. (4) The blanket is also reported to stimulate the production of happiness hormones such as oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. Even though scientific evidence to prove the benefit of weighted blanket for sleep is limited, many users of the linen believe that it is effective for improving their sleep quality. Here are a few possible benefits of weighted blankets:
- Reduces anxiety (5)
- Increase calmness and relaxation
- Improves breathing and lung function
- Alleviate insomnia and improve sleep (6)
- Improves attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (7)
- Improves autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (8)
Weighted Blanket Fillers
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If you decide to purchase a weighted blanket, you will find that they are filled with either chain, glass beads, glass sands, plastic beads or steel bead. These fillers are used because of their weight and the best filler for you will be dependent on your needs. Weighted blanket makers take steps to ensure that you forget about the existence of these fillers by ensuring that the blankets are heavily padded and properly stitched.
Precautions When Using Weighted Blankets
You may think that it is just a blanket hence use it as it pleases you. However, there are a few precautions to take to ensure your safety when using linen. First, weighted blankets have been found to be beneficial for children diagnosed with ADHD but it is advised to consult your medical practitioner before going ahead to use the blanket for kids. This is especially because it is not advised to use the linen for kids below the age of 8 years.
Furthermore, many weighted blanket users claim that the linen helped in improving their breathing and lung performance. This may be true, but it is medically discouraged for individuals diagnosed with conditions like asthma to use a weighted blanket. This is especially because the infected lungs may find it difficult to function properly under the extra weight.
In addition, weighted blankets are available in different weight ranges. It is best to go for a blanket that weights about 10 percent or less of your total body weight. You should also ensure that the weight of the blanket is evenly distributed to all parts at all times.
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