The weighted blanket works like a therapy which soothes the nervous system. It calms down, relaxes, minimises the consequences of many diseases, and most importantly – works effectively against sleep disorders. How does the sensory blanket work and which one will be the best for you?
What is a sensory blanket?
A good quality weighted blanket, also known as a sensory blanket, is a usual blanket with an unusual filling. Good-quality blankets, instead of commonly used feathers or synthetic fibres, contain millions of glass (not plastic!) microbeads that cannot be detected with bare hands. The blankets should also be quilted and sewn into squares to ensure their optimal weight and the appropriate distribution of the load over the entire surface of the product. Such blankets – unlike those with natural filling – does not sensitise, irritate the skin or attract dust and mites. Their filling has also totally different effects on our body.
Transition to deep sleep
The secret of the sensory blanket is based on signals sent by stimulated receptors. The brain receives the information that our body is wrapped up and safe – just like when a close person hugs us. As a result, we start to produce more serotonin, so called “happiness hormone”, while the level of cortisol, the hormone responsible for tension and stress, falls. Our body turns off the combat readiness mode, and switches to the phase of calming down and relaxation. What is more, it has been noticed that during this process, we start to produce an increased amount of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our internal biological clock. The nervous system also starts to operate differently – the blood pressure drops and the body sends fewer and fewer stimulating signals to the brain. We start to feel pleasant fatigue and fall asleep easier, increasing our chances for deep sleep. The next day, our body will be thankful for that as we will wake up refreshed, full of energy and motivation.
Sensory blankets are a result of many years of research on the therapeutic properties of weighting. First, a pressing machine was created and tested on students. It turned out that more than the half of them recognised the deep pressure as extremely pleasant and relaxing. The respondents also found that the experiment helped them to reduce the feeling of tension and stress. Modern weighted blankets have been produced based on this research. Today they can be well used by children, adults and the elderly. In the youngest, they effectively minimise the symptoms of ADHD, ADD, Asperger’s syndrome and autism, while in adults they reduce the feeling of tension and stress, and thus effectively fight insomnia. Among seniors over 65 who are struggling with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, the symptoms are getting milder. Sensory blankets are therefore an effective remedy both for our body and mind.