The Blanket That Will Help You Sleep At Night
Insomnia is a common problem that is faced by people in all age groups. Around 30% of Indonesians have trouble falling asleep every day. However, many of you might not realize that sleeping disorders and mental health are intertwined. Insomnia comes in many forms such as unable to sleep at night, waking up in the middle of the night or being unable to have a deep sleep which leads to waking up feeling tired instead of refreshed.
Experts argued that insomnia is triggered by an unhealthy lifestyle, high pressure situations, excessive use of computers and mobile phones (looking at blue lights) and is common in this modern society.
Additional triggers of insomnia are but not limited to:
- Stress & Anxiety
- Sensory Processing Disorders (especially in kids)
- Nervous Disorders
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on our health, such as:
- Altering our normal functioning of attention and disrupting our ability to focus
- Plays a significant role in car accidents
- Increased risk of chronic illness and have weaker immune systems
- Release of insulin, which leads to increased fat storage and higher risk of type 2 diabetes
- Increases risk of cardiovascular disease
- Affects the production of growth hormone, including testosterone in men
As an insomniac myself, I have spent 8 years trying to find a solution to help me with my insomnia. I have tried a wide range of solutions such as melatonin pills, sleeping pills, anxiety pills, and going to ‘experts’ for help. All of these work, but only temporarily. Not wanting to take pills and going to ‘experts’ for the rest of my life, I decided to do more research on this topic and tried different kind products and exercises to find what works for me.
Finally, I discovered the right solution..
Introducing the Huggy Blanket
Huggy is a weighted blanket that is designed to be around 7-12% of your body weight and can help you in a non-medicated and natural way with sleep, stress & anxiety, ptsd, or other sensory processing disorders. The ‘heavyness’ of the blanket creates a sense of being hugged / cuddled. The physical connections that you feel provides warmth and security, helping the body relax. Research shows that weighted blankets creates a type of physical connection that has an abundance of positive effects on hormones governing the nervous system, affecting both mood and stress level.
11 Benefits of Huggy Blanket
1. Releases Dopamine & Serotonin:
A weighted blanket provides a gentle yet deep pressure that goes deep within the body. Researchers have found that this “deep touch pressure stimulation” or “proprioceptive pressure” promotes the release of two brain chemicals -- dopamine and serotonin which have a calming effect that combats anxiety, stress, and depression.
2. Reduces Cortisol:
A therapeutic weighted blanket helps ground your body during sleep which may deeply enhance the calming effect. Studies show that grounding may help reduce nighttime levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that has a negative effect on blood sugar, digestion, and immunity.
3. Boosts Melatonin:
When the weighted blanket stimulates serotonin, melatonin hormones are also released -- promoting sleep and helping regulate the sleep cycle.
That’s the beauty of a weighted blanket. Overall, the blanket’s pressure provides a calming, soothing environment that is conducive to sleep, so the tense, anxious, restless person gets the sleep they need.
4. Puts insomnia to rest
Insomnia has a variety of patterns. Maybe you have trouble getting to sleep. Or you just can’t stay asleep, waking up in the wee hours -- much too early. It’s a problem many, many people face - but a weighted blanket can potentially help.
The best research comes from a 2015 study in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders. In this study, 31 adults with chronic insomnia had their sleep tracked for one week with their usual bedding. Then they slept for two weeks with a weighted blanket. The fourth week, they slept with their usual bedding again.
Overall, the participants indicated that they liked the weighted blanket. When using the weighted blankets, they were able to sleep longer and were less awake during the night. They were less restless before going to sleep when they used the weighted blanket. They also indicated they slept better and woke up feeling refreshed.
Researchers found that “when the participants used the weighted blanket, they had a calmer night’s sleep.” (1)
Psychologists say that the weighted material may be effective because it produces a light touch sensation whenever you move under the blanket. This may feel like a caress. The sensation may stimulate the release of hormones/brain chemicals that soothe the nervous system, reducing anxiety and arousal.
A weighted blanket may aid in reducing insomnia in this way, which makes the blanket an effective non-drug approach to improve sleep quality, researchers state. (2)
5. Reduces anxiety and restlessness
A sense of calm is necessary to drift off to sleep. Imagine feeling that calm effortlessly...
The deep touch pressure stimulation from a weighted blanket has been shown to produce a soothing effect that reduces anxiety. Because deep touch pressure provides this calming effect that aids sleep, the blanket also helps symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Deep pressure stimulation helps with restlessness, which aids both adults and children with this common ADHD symptom -- and research shows it can help with their sleep problems as well.
In one study of 42 children, one-half had ADHD symptoms while the others did not. Their sleep was tracked by sleep testing and parent diaries for four weeks; for two weeks, they used a weighted blanket. The ADHD kids found that the weighted blanket reduced the time it took to fall asleep and the number of awakenings during the night. In fact, they slept just as well as the children without ADHD. (3)
6. Helps students focus
School can be challenging for a child with a sensory processing disorder like autism. The hallways and classrooms are overwhelming with noise and intense colors. This can be overwhelming for the child, causing frustration and upsets.
Over the years, educators and occupational therapists have encouraged the use of weighted vests and lap pads. Researchers believe that the firm yet gentle pressure helps relieve the child’s anxiety and keeps them focused; they also sleep better. (4)
7. Easing Restless Leg Syndrome
Nighttime is difficult if you have restless leg syndrome, as the tingling is often most apparent at night -- greatly impairing sleep. You may have difficulty traveling because you constantly feel the need to move your legs. It’s very troubling!
While compression socks provide some relief, they can actually become very uncomfortable if they are too tight. If you have arthritis, you may even have trouble putting the socks on your legs. With a weighted blanket, you get the relaxing pressure without constriction to the legs.
8. Improves sleep quality
Fatigue is often caused by poor quality of sleep. You get some sleep, night after night, but you don’t get truly restorative sleep. This is so evident when you wake up tired -- as you have not benefited from the proper type of sleep!
A weighted blanket can help improve sleep quality. The blanket’s deep touch pressure stimulates serotonin, the relaxation hormone, which helps you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and feel rested in the morning.
9. Promotes a happier mood
If you’re feeling irritable or depressed, you may not be getting enough mood-lifting brain chemicals. Serotonin, the hormone that affects mood disorders, is also considered a brain chemical.
Deep pressure stimulation (via a weighted blanket) can boost levels of serotonin, research shows. This same deep pressure also reduces levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which also helps the body to relax. A weighted blanket can serve as the hug you need to improve your mood and ease your sadness. (7)
10. Enhances calm
If your day has been filled with too much stress, wrapping yourself up in a weighted blanket when you finally get home can help make things better. If a bad boss or bad traffic has you feeling frantic, your weighted blanket can help you feel better. Those helpful hormones and neurotransmitters -- serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin -- will give you the hug you need.
11. Relieves PTSD symptoms
If you have trauma in your past, a weighted blanket can provide a therapeutic touch.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious problem that affects many people who have experienced a stressful or traumatic event. Veterans who saw combat can suffer from PTSD. Survivors of trauma like a physical assault or a serious car accident are two more examples.
Various therapies can help ease symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression. Research shows that a weighted blanket helps reduce anxiety in these survivors, along with improving blood pressure and pulse rate. (9)