Why buying a weighted blanket shouldn’t be a heavy decision
Mansi Khandelwal, founder of The Sleep Chapter, weighs in on the science behind these blankets and how they may impact your life and your family in unexpected ways.
We all love to sleep well. It’s one of the few pleasures that any new mother, busy parent or tired child can attest to. Yet, we often take it for granted. High-quality sleep is the cornerstone of overall wellbeing and longevity. However, hardly anybody truly experiences deep, restful sleep at all. In fact, statistics show that almost a third of the world struggles with sleep. That’s a frightening number considering just how detrimental poor sleep can be in the long term.
As a mother of two active children, I grew frustrated hearing so many of my loved ones complain about poor sleep, especially following the stresses of the pandemic. This led me to thoroughly research and eventually, develop my own weighted blankets. Long before it got into the hands of the Kardashians, weighted blankets were actually held as one of society’s best-kept secrets. A therapeutic tool used by both sleep specialists and medical professionals alike, they help patients with chronic pain, stress-related insomnia and acute anxiety to combat restless sleep. The science behind them is simple.
By marrying the magic of a warm hug and a process called deep pressure stimulation, weighted blankets model the feeling of being held or swaddled. In turn, this releases stress-relieving hormones that lull the body into a deeply calming state, helping you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day, which is beneficial for adults and children alike. Any parent who has woken up to a cranky kid in the morning can testify that there’s nothing better than having your child wake up well-rested, happy and playful to start the day.
Moreover, by rekindling the magic of restorative sleep, you can help yourself and your little ones improve focus, enjoy more positive moods, increase your energy and even better your eating habits. Here are a handful of ways a weighted blanket works its wonders.
Sleep is more than just sweet dreams. Without quality shut-eye, we impact our ability to solve problems, react quickly, form memories and learn. Therefore it’s imperative, not only to improve the quantity of sleep but the quality as well. By sleeping under an even weight, we trigger a physiological effect called ‘DTP’ meaning Deep Touch Pressure.
This activates specific pressure points on our bodies and stimulates the production of Serotonin (a mood-boosting hormone), lowers Cortisol (a stress hormone) and increases levels of Melatonin (a hormone that helps you sleep). All in all, this means you and your little ones are likely to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and wake up feeling refreshed.
ANXIETY AND FOCUS
Studies show that interrupted sleep, even as little as an hour a night, can dramatically impact your ability to concentrate and focus. This can be particularly destructive for children, leaving them frustrated during the school day, more irritable overall and struggling to pay attention in class. This can lead to ongoing stress and anxiety as well. By incorporating a weighted blanket, children can benefit two-fold.
If your child is overstimulated, the deep pressure of a weighted blanket can put their autonomic nervous system into “rest” mode. This greatly reduces symptoms of anxiety, such as a quickened heart rate or breathing and provides them with an overall sense of calm. This sets kids up to fall asleep but also stay asleep as well.
Moreover, by wrapping a weighted blanket around your little ones while they work on their task at hand, you can help activate their touch sensors, encouraging them to focus and become less distracted by outside sensory stimuli.
BETTER FOOD CHOICES
Sleeplessness often leads to bad dietary decisions. Studies indicate that we generally gravitate towards calorie-dense, fat or sugar filled foods after a night of tossing and turning. This is likely due to our brain and its processes being dulled from inadequate rest, enticing us towards comforting food choices. This results in quick, convenient, processed meals and snacks.
Therefore, by integrating a sleep solution into your family’s nightly routine, it helps you get the quality sleep you deserve and keeps your senses sharp. This helps your brain to stay on track with making the best possible decisions geared towards your overall wellbeing and removes the influence of a poor rest and energy from what your family chooses to eat.
ADHD AND AUTISM
If you have a family member who gets triggered by social interaction or has a hard time with self-control, especially when it comes to paying attention and sitting still, a weighted blanket can be an incredibly effective tool to help relax them into a more balanced state.
Studies have shown that by mimicking the warmth and pressure of a soothing hug, weighted blankets can not only calm down hyperactive bodies and minds but also help kids to better manage distractions and concentrate more easily.
CONQUERING YOUR DAY
By taking control of your night, you greatly improve the quality of your day. Imagine waking up every day full of energy, ready to take on any challenges that await! That’s the magic of restorative sleep. By boosting sleep, children and parents alike will wake up feeling happier, more productive and satisfied, ready to make the most of the day ahead.
This sleep aid has been surrounded by a lot of media buzz lately, thanks to glowing endorsements from celebrity mums like Kourtney Kardashian, who swear by the blanket’s therapeutic properties. Studies show that for once, this ‘in-vogue’ item may truly live up to its hype, giving you and your little ones the support you need to say goodbye to energy struggles, brain fog and extra stress caused by tiredness. So, give it a go and reap the reward of a truly restful night’s sleep!