Benefits Of A Weighted Blanket For Sleep Disturbances
Last night, for the thousandth time, you hoped something would change and allow you to fall asleep until morning. But it was not to be.
There you found yourself again, in the middle of the night, tossing and turning, struggling to calm your racing mind and return to sleep.
All too soon, the jarring sound of your alarm clock invades your awareness, marking yet another night marred by sleeplessness and frustration.
“What am I going to do?” You wonder to yourself. Desperate for something that will help you get a good night’s rest.
The good news is that help has arrived! It's a weighted blanket by Gravid - Canada’s favourite online supplier of weight sleep support products.
Well, thanks for asking. We’re about to explore what a weighted blanket is and the benefits of using one for sleep disturbances. Come and join us and find out how weighted blankets could be the answer you’re looking for.
What is a weighted blanket?
A weighted blanket is a heavy blanket scientifically proven to help you relax, reduce stress, and improve sleep through the use of Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS).
Deep pressure stimulation or deep touch pressure is a gentle pressure applied to the body. Think of a hug or a squeeze. Ok, if you’ve been squeezed by the Hulk, then maybe you’ve got the wrong idea, so to be clear, this is more like the hug you get from your grandmother. It’s firm and yet gentle. Deep pressure and yet soothing.
How do weighted blankets work?
Deep pressure stimulation
A medical therapy called ‘deep pressure therapy’ is recommended by occupational therapists when someone suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and also anxiety and panic attacks. Sufferers often experience sleep disorders due to an imbalance of their autonomic nervous system and this therapy helps the nervous system to regulate itself by providing ‘grounding’. This is a term used to describe the feeling of being safe and secure.
A weighted blanket provides the same ‘grounding.’ So even though you may not suffer from the disorders we’ve mentioned above, you can get the same benefits from a weighted blanket because sleep disturbances are often caused by an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which also plays a part in upsetting your nervous system.
Related to chronic stress, this hormone is responsible for increased body weight and a chaotic sleep pattern. Awake between 2:30 am and 3:00 am? That’s cortisol destroying your sleep quality. When your cortisol levels are too high, you feel strung out at night and exhausted during the day. A weighted blanket can help mitigate the nighttime effects that cortisol has on your sleep using the principles of deep pressure therapy.
What provides the heaviness of a weighted blanket?
Using a weighted blanket can be a strange experience for newbies. Many customers want to know why what makes the blanket so heavy and whether weighted blankets are safe.
The heaviness associated with the weighted blanket comes from the glass beads that we put inside the blanket. Glass beads distribute weight evenly across the blanket and are essentially what causes the weighted blankets to work.
Are glass beads a safety risk?
Source: Canva/Getty Images
How safe are these beads? Glass beads do not pose a healthy risk unless they are ingested by small children and pets. However, each blanket has a cover that protects your blanket from damage, reducing the risk of ingestion. Ok, if your pet is intent on chewing holes in your blanket and has the time to do it, then we can’t guarantee the safety of your blanket. Destructive pets aside, you have nothing to be concerned about.
Too hot to handle
Want a weighted blanket but hate the extra heat using a weighted blanket? Try our cooling weighted blanket. We use Tencel™, which is breathable, naturally-cooling, and wicks moisture away, so you enjoy a sweat-free sleep at the perfect temperature. You get all the weight without the warmth.
What does it feel like to sleep under a weighted blanket?
Your sensory experience will begin when you unbox your blanket and run your fingers through the plush, rich fabric of your outer cover. Even this has been designed with sufferers of a sensory processing disorder in mind. The soft and luxurious feel of the blanket cover will put even the most confused nervous system to rest.
Next, as you zip your weighted blanket into the cover and make your bed, you’ll be happy with the look and finish of your blanket. If it doesn’t just scream, ‘Plush sleeping experience,’ then we don’t know what does.
Lastly, you’ll slip under your weighted blanket and get the feeling of gentle but firm pressure over your body. It will feel like you’re being gently squeezed, but it should not feel overwhelmingly heavy.
We should mention at this stage that it’s important to get the correct weight for your body measurements, and if you hate the thought of a heavy blanket, why not try the lightest weight on offer? But don’t just give up on what might be your answer to a good night’s sleep.
With the correct size and unless you suffer from disorders that would make sleeping under a weighted blanket a challenge, you can go right ahead and enjoy the benefits of your Gravid blanket every night of your life. Let’s take a look at other benefits you can get if you suffer from sleep disturbances.
The real benefits of a weighted blanket
Sleep disturbances associated with chronic pain
For chronic pain, weighted blankets can be a welcome relief from an exhausting phenomenon. Dull, aching, or throbbing pain responds well to warmth combined with light pressure. In the case of diabetic neuropathy, a weighted blanket can act as a supportive therapy in a pain management care strategy.
The pressure from the weighted blanket is thought to stimulate neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin - the feel-good hormones. The exact mechanism for how it stimulates the production of this key happy hormone is complex. However, it can be simplified by likening it to that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’ve just received a hug from someone you love. Same hormone, same feeling.
When should you not use a weighted blanket for pain?
If you suffer from pain related to muscle weakness and cannot move the blanket off you for that reason, you should not use a weighted blanket for pain.
Sleep disturbances associated with obstructive sleep apnea
Michael, an overweight man in his mid-50s, is experiencing the same thing he does every night. Michael’s nights are anything but peaceful. As he drifts off to sleep, the muscles in his throat relax a little too much. His airway narrows and his breathing becomes more of an effort. The room is filled with loud, guttural sounds echoing the noise of the tractor working in the field.
Momentarily, his breathing stops altogether and his brain sends a panic signal to his body to wake up. He jolts awake, his heart racing. The clock shows it’s only been an hour since he fell asleep. Michael has obstructive sleep apnea.
OSA is characterized by muscles in the airway relaxing too much and causing disturbances in breathing. Common symptoms are:
- Loud snoring
- Restless sleep
- Daytime exhaustion
OSA can lead to serious health complications if left untreated, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Although a weighted blanket is not a direct treatment for OSA, it can have a beneficial support function:
- Reducing Anxiety Symptoms and Stress: OSA can be associated with increased stress and anxiety, partly due to disrupted sleep. A weighted blanket may help reduce these feelings, promoting a more relaxed state that could potentially improve sleep quality.
- Improving Sleep Onset and Quality: For some individuals, the deep touch pressure provided by a weighted blanket can facilitate faster sleep onset and improve overall sleep quality. Better sleep quality can be beneficial in managing the symptoms of OSA.
The interplay between stress, cortisol, being overweight, and elevated blood sugars provides the perfect storm for OSA. A weighted blanket cannot cure OSA but the added benefit of getting better sleep reduces cortisol and day-time exhaustion, which reduces stress, which in turn reduces cortisol and so on.
When should you not use a weighted blanket for OSA?
If you have severe OSA and additional pressure on your chest worsens your condition, then you cannot use a weighted blanket for OSA.
Sleep disturbances associated with restless leg syndrome
Anyone with restless legs knows the feeling. The creepy, crawly-like sensation that snakes its way up your legs and forces you to move them, which brings only momentary relief. Then the sensation begins again and you move your legs once more. On and on, the game continues throughout the night causing frustration and fatigue.
The Restless Legs Foundation calls RLS the most common disorder you’ve never heard of. With 7-8% of Americans suffering from this disorder, it's a pretty significant number, and yet it's not exactly dinner table talk. Perhaps it should because then more people with this condition can get the help they need, with weighted blankets being one option for supportive treatment. 
For some, the relentless feeling of needing to move your legs is relieved by gentle pressure on the legs. This is where a weighted blanket can help by introducing deep pressure stimulation, which can reduce the sensations felt by RLS sufferers.
At the same time, a portion of RLS sufferers prefer having no pressure on their legs, which alleviates their symptoms. In this case, the weighted blanket may aggravate the condition and it is advisable to consider your personal preferences before deciding on a weighted blanket as an option for relieving RLS.
Sleep disturbances associated with stress, worry, anxiety, and panic
The strongest case for the benefits of a weighted blanket can be made for those who suffer from stress, worry, anxiety, and panic.
As discussed earlier in the article, these disorders appear in other neurological disturbances and can be greatly relieved by deep pressure therapy. This can be easily introduced by a weighted blanket.
In a randomized clinical study on the effects of weighted chain blankets for insomnia, a significant improvement was seen in the Insomnia Severity Index by sufferers over a 4-week period. Those who continued to use the weighted blanket for 12 months experienced further reductions in insomnia and stress-related symptoms. 
The sufferers felt more grounded, less anxious, and more secure, providing them with restful sleep. They reported being able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, which reduced their anxiety and increased their well-being.
Gravid - Canada’s best-weighted blanket, is gaining popularity for its role in relieving stress-related symptoms in sleepers. You can take their 1-minute blanket quiz to choose your blanket and receive a special discount at the end.
Whether it's the restless agony of chronic pain, the disruptive patterns of obstructive sleep apnea, or the incessant discomfort of restless leg syndrome, a weighted blanket offers hope for sleep disturbances.
Its design, harnessing the principles of deep pressure stimulation, not only soothes the body but also calms the mind. The gentle, consistent pressure mimics a therapeutic hug, easing anxiety and fostering a sense of security that is often lost in the craziness of our modern world.
The Gravid weighted blanket is more than just a sleep aid; it's a companion in battling sleep disturbances and 60,000+ happy customers agree.
To show our commitment to solving Canada’s sleep struggles, we are giving all first-time buyers $100 off our blankets. Put an end to nighttime distress today, and be well on your way to experiencing the therapeutic benefits for yourself.
The Gravid Guarantee
Try out your blanket for 14 days, and if you’re dissatisfied with the product, we will refund your money.