Millions of people sleep poorly: in Germany alone, every tenth worker suffers from sleep disorders - according to a DAK health report. In the course of "insomnia", those affected no longer fall asleep or sleep through the night, but the sleep itself is also perceived as not restful. And the consequences are serious: Due to increasing insomnia, many employees are constantly tired and exhausted during the day, which is not only reflected in their performance, but also in their health. Healthy sleep is all the more important, which you can promote with the help of a weighted blanket, for example. However, anxiety and stress patients can also benefit from the therapy blanket.
Weighted blankets have been used in the therapeutic sector for a long time, but therapy blankets are also becoming increasingly important far away from medical treatments. The reason for this is the calming effect of the blankets on the body, which is triggered by their own weight. Because unlike normal duvets, the weighted blankets have durable, hypoallergenic and non-toxic glass beads or plastic beads sewn inside. This makes them heavier – and they exert deep pressure on the autonomic nervous system. In plain language this means: The weight has a similar effect on your entire body as a warm hug. But to what extent can weighted blankets help with anxiety and sleep disorders or even depression?
Studies have shown that even pressure on the body stimulates our vegetative nervous system. More specifically, the "deep touch pressure" effect has a calming and relaxing effect on our body. The explanation for this is very simple: The deep pressure, which is comparable to a hug, stimulates serotonin production - i.e. the release of a happiness hormone. It not only counteracts the cortisol level (stress hormones), but also gives you a feeling of inner peace, security and serenity. Your joints, muscles and tendons relax, reducing anxiety, stress and heartache.
And that's not all: the sleep hormone melatonin, which controls our day-night rhythm, is produced from serotonin. Due to the serotonin release, more melatonin is also produced in the body - which in turn should lead to us being able to fall asleep faster. And that is exactly the effect that weighted blankets are supposed to achieve. At least that's the theory, because "melatonin has to get to the brain first," explains Martin Keck, former director of the clinic at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich. "It's not automatically given just because the body may be producing more serotonin." For this reason, he doesn't think the studies that some ceiling suppliers use to advertise are very meaningful, he told Süddeutsche.
Incidentally, the same effect is also used with crying babies: The puck method, i.e. being wrapped tightly in a cloth, makes children feel safe and born, just like they once did in the womb. Therapy blankets apply the same principle, only they are intended to help adults with anxiety and sleep disorders. And these are by no means all clinical pictures in which weighted blankets are used.
Basically, weighted blankets are just as suitable for children as they are for adults when it comes to improving their own body awareness. For people who are always very tense and cannot rest, the heavy blankets offer a sensible alternative to ordinary duvets. For this reason, the therapy blankets are not only used for anxiety and sleep disorders, but also for other clinical pictures that cause inner unrest, such as:
Here, too, weighted blankets with their deep pressure can help to offer those affected that satisfaction and security that they sometimes lack in everyday life.
Weighted blankets do not necessarily only have to be used to fall asleep, but can also help to improve the quality of life during the day. Especially if you suffer from anxiety.
Unfortunately, weighted blankets are not suitable for people who suffer from breathing difficulties or circulatory problems - and if they are, then only after consulting a doctor. This also applies to children under the age of five.
Due to their high quality and durability, weighted blankets have their price. Depending on the manufacturer, the models cost between 60 and 300 euros - whereby the cheaper blankets do not have to be inferior to the expensive ones.
Most blankets are kept simple, many models are gray or sometimes blue. However, you have the option of covering the weighted blanket with ordinary bed linen - the sizes are identical.
The weighted blankets are usually made of 100 percent cotton, so they can be washed as normal. Nevertheless, you should always pay attention to the label of the manufacturer - if he recommends a special wash cycle, you should stick to it.