Hippo Hug’s beautiful and innovative weighted blankets are useful for so many things, but course one of the most obvious is helping ease the effects of insomnia. A weighted blanket for insomnia can assist those suffering from an inability to sleep in a safe, non-medicinal manner.
Just this past weekend the Calgary Sun published an article by Dr. W. Gifford-Jones named “Fighting insomnia without drugs or doctors,” which referenced a report from the Harvard Medical School speaking to how anxiety and stress can often lead to insomnia. Gifford-Jones noted that the Harvard doctors pointed specifically to weighted blankets as a low-risk, non-medicinal sensory tool that could help patients successfully fall asleep.
Another investigative study published in 2015 in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders titled “Positive Effects of a Weighted Blanket on Insomnia” looked deeply into the benefits of a weighted blanket for insomnia symptoms. The findings were positive, with researchers noting that they observed increased sleep times and a decrease in sleep movements. Their closing summary statement was, “A weighted blanket may aid in reducing insomnia through altered tactile inputs, thus may provide an innovative, non-pharmacological approach and complementary tool to improve sleep quality.”
How a Weighted Blanket for Insomnia Works
Hippo Hug’s weighted blankets are all made in Canada and customized to your preference of size, weight, and fabric. Our proprietary weighting system involves specially designed disks so that your blanket has a low profile and looks similar to a regular quilt. This can also reduce the hot feeling of the blanket as it has less layers than others on the market.
Weighted blankets work by applying what is known as deep pressure touch stimulation. The constant, even, gentle pressure is similar to a warm hug, and results in a relaxing and calming feeling. The weight provides both physical and psychological benefits, encouraging the production of serotonin, which assists in decreasing heart rates and reducing blood pressure. There is also evidence weighted blankets may increase the production of melatonin, which is known to promote a good night’s sleep.
The sensory input provided by a weighted blanket slows the physiological effects of wakefulness, which is particularly helpful for those with insomnia. They assist with keeping people still, which improves the overall quality of sleep by reducing the number of times a person is woken up by their own movements.
And as many report a nervousness about falling asleep as a key issue in their inability to rest, the psychological benefit of a comfy blanket made specifically for you can also be of benefit.
What is Insomnia, Anyway?
We always recommend seeing your doctor if you think you may be suffering a medical condition such as insomnia. It’s important to keep your health-care provider up to date about any issues affecting your overall well-being. A doctor’s note can assist us in using our expertise to help get your weighted blanket covered by medical benefits or a third party.
The MayoClinic.org describes the diagnosis of insomnia as occurring in several steps, including (but not exclusive to; a) a physical exam to ensure that the sleeplessness isn’t the result of another underlying medical issue; b) a sleep habits review, which usually consists of a questionnaire; and c) potentially a sleep exam at a sleep disorder clinic.
Insomnia may be acute, which is brief and usually brought on by stressful life events. Acute insomnia tends to pass without medical treatment being needed. If you are suffering from acute insomnia you might still try a weighted blanket to help reduce the negative effects of stress on your body and mind.
The Sleep Foundation qualifies chronic insomnia as occurring more than three times a week and lasting longer than three months. People have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and often wake up too early in the morning. Insomnia tends to be more prevalent in women and older adults and is experienced by up to 40% of adults at some point in their lives. There is no one common denominator that describes insomnia for everyone, as each person experiences it differently. Your sleep issues are as unique as you are and that is why your weighted blanket should be matched to your needs.
Treatment for insomnia is often a prescription for sleep medication, which can be highly addictive. Many begin to completely rely on their medication to help them sleep, which makes it practically impossible to rest without it. Trying to wean yourself off of these medications can be extremely difficult, and uncomfortable, and may even require additional medications to fully rid yourself of the habit. You should never wean yourself off any prescription medication without first talking with you doctor.
In addition to a weighted blanket for insomnia, other non-medicinal treatments may include altering bedtime rituals, exercising more often, cognitive behavioural therapy, and meditation.
The Dangerous Effects of Insomnia
Insomnia is much more than an inability to sleep. It can have extremely detrimental effects on day-to-life. A recent article found on Medscape.org states that insomnia, sleepiness, and fatigue can be very dangerous. Excessive sleepiness or tiredness has been linked to cognitive and memory problems in adults, as well as learning difficulties in children. The ability to perform regular daily tasks is severely impaired, and even more serious; those with insomnia are four times more likely to struggle with depression and are at an elevated risk for issues such as drug and alcohol abuse.
Sleepiness and fatigue are among the most common causes of car accidents, many of them resulting in terrible, life-changing injuries. Fatigue can also lead to accidents in the workplace, which can be very dangerous for those in industries where they work around heavy machinery or in situations where they need to be awake and aware, such as on construction sites. Protective workers like police officers and firefighters also put themselves and others at risk when working while tired.
Shift workers are among those who report difficulties sleeping the most often, as regular sleep patterns (known as the circadian rhythms) are disrupted. Daytime sleep is not as restful as sleep during the night, and it can be difficult to fall and stay asleep when the sun is up and brightly shining. Weighted blankets have been shown to help shift workers get the rest they need to perform their important professions to the best of their abilities.
Hippo Hug is Here to Help
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our products, or just come on by our storefront to have a firsthand look at what we do. We look forward to discussing how our quality weighted blankets for meditation can help improve your life. If you have any additional questions, visit our frequently asked questions page.