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The Science Behind Weighted Blankets

Weighted Blankets
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A Weighted Blanket Might Be A Good Tool To Help You Sleep

Anyone who has had trouble sleeping and has searched for products that might assist them with relieving sleeplessness has likely come across advertisements for weighted blankets. Weighted blankets are simply blankets that are made of heavy material, or have heavy material added to them to make them much heavier than normal blankets. Weighted blankets can weigh as much as 25 pounds.  

Weighted blankets try to capture the cozy feeling for waking up underneath a heavy comforter on a cold day. Proponents of weighted blankets say that they calm stress and anxiety and can assist with alleviating insomnia. Their popularity has boomed in recent years, and you can find them most places you would find regular blankets. 

While the idea of a weighted blanket might seem odd at first, the idea is actually based in scientific theory. Deep pressure is a principle wherein pressure applied to the skin stimulates serotonin and melatonin that have a calming effect on the brain. We know that these neurotransmitters can be helpful when it comes to sleep. 

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that weighted blankets can be beneficial against anxiety and sleeplessness. Occupational therapists routinely use weighted blankets in sensory integration therapy, and many therapists who work in mental health facilities claim that weighted blankets have a calming effect on their patients. Some patients who would have otherwise needed restraint seemed to be calmed just fine with a weighted blanket instead. 

Aside from the anecdotal evidence, there are not a ton of studies on whether weighted blankets are as effective as purveyors claim, but the scholarly evidence we do have suggests they can be helpful. Most practitioners seem to be comfortable recommending them.

A weighted blanket should be no more than 10% of your body weight. For those who have a hard time sleeping, they can certainly be a worthwhile thing to try. We know that good sleep is associated with proper brain function, strong immunity and overall good health. Getting good, regular sleep is an important part of The Kaufmann Lifestyle, which includes diet, exercise, and smart supplementation. In order maximize other tools you use to promote your health, sleeping well and regularly simply must be a priority. 

Combined with other safe, natural tools, such as melatonin or other natural sleep aides, quiet time, diminishing screen time and a regular routine, adding a weighted blanket to the mix seems like a safe, easy way to try to get a better nights sleep. Many of them are designed to be heavy without being too hot so they can be used year round.

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The Kaufmann Lifestyle: Getting Healthy Sleep

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