Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder that a significant number of people have to live with. Many treatments are simply ineffective after a while. But, there is one method that proves to be efficient without undesired side effects.
Insomnia can become dangerous if it’s constant. Sleep deprivation throws the person off the normal daily schedule and can cause conditions such as lowered concentration, lack of productivity and it can even increase the risk of heart attack. That’s why it’s important to treat insomnia on time.
Doctors recommend one treatment that can be effective long-term and it doesn’t include taking medications or any going through expensive therapy. It’s a completely natural way to treat insomnia and it has been used as a treatment for other disorders, too.
Deep pressure stimulation
Before falling asleep, many people have the habit to swaddle in the blanket like a baby. This habit is so common because babies are usually swaddled before sleeping.
Baby swaddling leaves the infant with a feeling of comfort, which is why it’s practiced. It all has to do with pressure stimulation.
Actually, doctors prescribe this slightly unexpected therapy to patients with insomnia. The so-called Deep pressure touch stimulation has been used as therapy for the physical and psychological benefits the pressure has over the body. Namely, deep pressure touch relaxes and calms, according to Temple Grandin, Ph. D, Lifehack reports.
Similarly to baby swaddling, sleeping with a weighted blanket creates pressure on the body which is stimulating. The pressure of the weight relaxes the nervous system before sleep and helps you fall asleep faster.
The pressure encourages serotonin production, which then converts to melatonin. That’s a sign to the body that it needs some rest. Same as swaddling relaxes the baby, the pressure of the weighted blanked calms and relaxes the body and mind of the adult.
It also helps anxiety
Therapy with pressure stimulation doesn’t help only insomnia sufferers, but anxiety patients, as well.
In the same way, the weight relaxes the body and helps the person rest, the pressure also activates pressure points across the whole body, thus relaxing the body and leaving you with a feeling of comfort and relief.
The pressure stimulates the body to release serotonin, and that’s exactly what the body needs when dealing with anxiety because this disorder has been linked to low levels of serotonin.
And scientists agree with doctors here. A research from 2008 proved that weighted blankets are really effective in treating anxiety. Another study from 2012 published in Australasian Psychiatry, supported the same results.
Depression, Alzheimer’s, autism
Doctors have been using deep pressure stimulation as therapy for other disorders and diseases which are linked to low levels of serotonin, including depression, aggression, OCD, and bipolar disorder.
Many doctors add many other disorders to the list: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral palsy, Tourette’s syndrome, and ADHD. It has been reported that people living with these diseases and disorders have benefited from the therapy with pressure stimulation.
What do you have to know about the therapy?
Many doctors recommend this therapy because it has been proven as effective, but also because it’s completely natural. However, there are some things that you need to know beforehand.
The weighted blanket shouldn’t be too heavy. Instead, it needs to feel comfortably weighted. The weight depends on every person, but usually, the size of around 15-30 pounds is recommended. Generally, the weight of the blanket needs to be around 10% of your own body weight.
If you’re not sure this is the right therapy for you because of some other condition you have, make sure you ask your doctor first. It’s important to know that weighted blankets are not recommended for people with respiratory, circulatory or temperature regulation problems. Also, if you’re recuperating from a surgery, it’s better not to use the therapy without your doctor’s approval.
It’s important to know that weighted blankets are not recommended for people with respiratory, circulatory or temperature regulation problems. Also, if you’re recuperating from a surgery, it’s better not to use the therapy without your doctor’s approval.
The weighted blanket can be on top of the person or you can wrap yourself in it. Everyone has different preferences, so it’s good to try several positions in order to find your own style.