Weighted Blankets such as those offered by Sleep Force have been rising in popularity in recent years, and have deservedly gained some attention as great and comparatively inexpensive therapy tools. Of course, as a result of being in the view of the public eye, weighted blankets, on the whole, have been questioned. Are they a scam? Are they just another “alternative therapy”? And if I do decide to buy one, what sort of benefits, if any, can I expect? Here, we will give a quick summary of the benefits, as well as a brief explanation behind them, of blankets like the SleepForce or Gravity blanket. For many of these issues, more in-depth information can be found with titles similar to those presented below.
Insomnia/ Sleep Benefits
For anyone with any sort of mental illness or physical disability, one of the hardest things to do is to get a good nights sleep. This fact sadly compounds many of the issues experienced and make them significantly worse, as no one can be their best self when all they could manage the night before was worrying, tossing or turning. So how can a weighted blanket help with this?
Weighted Blankets such as those offered here can offer an inexpensive form of home occupational therapy, and in doing so makes it much easier to handle issues such as anxiety and insomnia. This is primarily done through two interconnected processes. The first process is that due to the weight and softness of the blanket, your body is signaled to create more serotonin and melatonin, where serotonin is a neurotransmitter that in simple terms makes both your mind and body realize it’s a fine idea to calm down, and melatonin is a hormone which regulates sleep and wakefulness, where an increase can lead to a more deep sleep and has a secondary function in helping protect the DNA of the Nucleus and Mitochondria of cells throughout the body (meaning at least, in theory, a longer and healthier life). The second process is that as a result of the increases of melatonin and serotonin, as well as the weight of the blanket itself, your body is likely to minimize movement and delve deeper into REM sleep. Imagine if you will have one of the most comforting hugs possible. Now imagine being able to fall asleep in that hug, and you have a decent idea of why the Sleep Force Blanket may be beneficial to you or your loved ones sleep cycles and daily lives.
For some people, the only thing that can calm an anxiety attack is the weighty comfort of a hug and the feeling that everything will be alright. Unfortunately, those with anxiety are not always in a place where they can get such comfort appropriately, which is where the Sleep Force blanket could help out. Similar as above, a release of serotonin is a huge benefit for those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, as is the release of dopamine which provides a great one-two punch to the disorder and allowing those with anxiety to take a deep breath and find their center again. Regular night-time use can also allow for a more stabilized mood through the day, so perhaps picking up one for the office and another for the bedroom is a great idea when they are on sale.
ADHD, Autism and Sensory Disorder Benefits
For those suffering from attention deficit disorders or sensory integration disorders, a weighted blanket can provide, for lack of a better term, an anchor to help improve experiences immensely. For both disorders, non-constant stimuli can provide the individual with them significant distractions, but a constant one can provide the individual a way to get a handle on what is going on and become capable of accomplishing tasks that can often require a great deal of focus. In fact, weighted blankets as a therapeutic tool were first developed specifically for those with sensory processing disorders, as the weight and warmth were great primary stimuli to prevent usually quite distinct and negative reactions to what we would consider “normal” daily activities. Do keep in mind for both groups, texture can be exceedingly important. It is recommended before buying a blanket to introduce the individual to the possible patterns and textures in a safe setting so they can choose what they prefer and become used to it, thus forming a positive association with it.
While this is far and away not the only uses of a weighted blanket like the ones Sleep Force provides, this does serve as a basic primer for the how and why. If you are curious about a specific disorder, we will provide much more comprehensive data through articles specifically titled for multiple disorders, ranging from Autism to Restless Leg Syndrome and even disorders that can often be the price of serving in the Military.