6 Ways Weighted Blankets Can Help Adults

6 Ways Weighted Blankets Can Help Adults

Weighted blankets are great for kids, but did you know they may also help adults? From promoting more restful sleep and easing anxiety to helping alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s disease, weighted blankets offer a number of benefits for adults. Here are six reasons to order your weighted blanket today.

Alleviate Insomnia

Image of a woman waking up in bed.

If you spend your nights tossing and turning, you know how insomnia can negatively impact just about every aspect of your life. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, about 1 in 3 adults suffer from insomnia, with women, the elderly and shift workers at the highest risk of developing symptoms.

While prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids can often help ease insomnia, many people prefer to try drug-free options to help them sleep. Dr. Michael J. Breus, who runs the site The Sleep Doctor, says that therapeutic techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises “...are inexpensive, drug free, easy to learn and integrate into a daily routine, and can be very effective in improving sleep.”

If you favor natural techniques for curbing insomnia, a weighted blanket may help you relax as you fall asleep. Research published in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health found that weighted blanket therapy helped reduce anxiety in 63 percent of adults. And for 78 percent of adult study participants, a weighted blanket acted as a “calming modality.”     

Get More Restful Sleep

For some people, falling asleep is easy — it’s the staying asleep part that is difficult. Poor quality sleep has been linked to everything from irritability, more car accidents and even a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's.

If you wake up throughout the night, or find yourself doing 3 a.m. laps around the house in an effort to feel sleepy again, a weighted blanket may promote better sleep quality. In addition to improving the release of serotonin, weighted blankets have been shown to help the body produce more melatonin — the chemical that regulates sleep.      

Ease Anxiety

tired anxious man sitting on bed with head in hands.

Anxiety and anxiety-related disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the United States. There are about 40 million adult anxiety sufferers in the U.S., which accounts for over 18 percent of the adult population.

According to Ali Venosa at Medical Daily, “The idea of weighted blanket therapy, also called deep-touch therapy, goes back to a basic human behavior known to calm us —  being held. Clinical studies suggest that when certain pressure points on the body are stimulated by touch, the brain releases serotonin. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating various brain functions, including sleep and mood.”

If you’ve ever snuggled under a down comforter or a heavier sleeping bag, you might have already experienced the soothing effect of a weighted blanket. Some people even feel relaxed while lying under the protective lead aprons dentists use to take x-rays. These types of coverings all have one thing in common: they put gentle pressure on the body, which promotes feelings of calm and security.

By applying gentle pressure to the body, weighted blankets boost the brain’s serotonin levels, which in turn reduces cortisol (the stress hormone). This may alleviate anxiety and ease depression. In adults with anxiety caused by sensory processing disorder, weighted blanket therapy may also help restore focus and regulate emotions.     

Help Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, which is a chronic pain condition, affects up to 12 million adults in the U.S. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, which can be debilitating. In some cases, sufferers find it almost impossible to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing or climbing stairs. One of the hallmarks of fibromyalgia is intense pain at 11 or more of the medically identified 18 “tender point sites” throughout the body.

Many fibromyalgia patients find relief through myofascial release, which is a therapy technique that involves gentle, hands-on pressure over trigger points, tender point sites and even the whole body. Weighted blankets for adults recreate this gentle, steady pressure, which may provide much-needed pain relief for fibromyalgia sufferers.      

Help Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and affects an estimated 5.5 million Americans. It’s also a disease that is on the rise. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s deaths increased by 89 percent between 2000 and 2014. Alzheimer’s also affects family members and caregivers. Currently, over 15 million Americans care for people with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.  

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. And while researchers have achieved promising breakthroughs in recent years, they still can’t slow the disease’s progression. However, it is possible to manage Alzheimer’s symptoms. Because many Alzheimer’s sufferers experience anxiety, depression and mood swings, caregivers and health professionals often look for ways to soothe and calm their patients and loved ones.

Daily Caring, an award-winning website for caregivers, recommends weighted blankets for adults with Alzheimer’s. “A weighted blanket or lap pad is a simple, non-drug option that can be used day or night. They reduce anxiety, calm nerves, provide comfort, and promote deep sleep.”

If you care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, browse our collection of weighted blankets, which are available in a wide range of colors and weights. If you have questions about what is the right size weighted blanket for you or your loved one, don’t hesitate to contact us — we’re happy to walk you through the ordering process.  

Ease Restless Leg Syndrome

photo of legs spread on bedsheets.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a nervous system disorder that causes sufferers to feel uncomfortable sensations in their legs. To get relief, they must move their legs — sometimes so often that it disrupts their daily life and their sleep. RLS sufferers describe these sensations as “pins and needles,” “itchy” and even a “creepy crawly” feeling.

Weighted blankets act like a gentle, steady hug around the legs, which may help calm irritated nerves and intolerable sensations. Because weighted blanket therapy also promotes the production of serotonin, adults with RLS often feel calmer and less anxious during sleep, when RLS symptoms are known to flare up.    

Try Weighted Blanket Therapy Today

Are you ready to experience more restful, restorative sleep? Do you want to ease anxiety or chronic pain? Learn more about SensaCalm weighted blankets for adults. Give us a call at 855-736-7222, or use our online contact form to get in touch.

Has a weighted blanket helped you? Share your experience with us @SensaCalm.

Disclaimer: The content on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before undertaking any type of therapy or treatment.

Back to blog