Can A Weighted Blanket Help Relieve Your Chronic Symptoms?

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Did you know that a weighted blanket for fibromyalgia and other chronic health conditions can help you manage symptoms and achieve a better quality of life, right in the comfort of your home? Here are the common conditions weighted blankets can help with.

RELATED: How To Use Your Weighted Blanket: Therapeutic Versus Everyday Use

In this article:

  1. Weighted Blankets Benefits as a Therapeutic Solution
    1. Anxiety
    2. Chronic Pain
    3. Sleeplessness
  2. Consider Using a Weighted Blanket for Fibromyalgia and Other Chronic Symptoms for Your Brain and Body

Weighted Blanket for Fibromyalgia and Other Chronic Conditions

Weighted Blankets Benefits as a Therapeutic Solution

Weighted blankets for adults aren’t just a cozier alternative to your quilt or comforter. They can be used as a therapeutic solution to several common ailments and illnesses.

Consider using a special weighted blanket for relief from fibromyalgia and other chronic health issues, since weighted blankets harness the power of deep-pressure stimulation (DPS). This activates hormones that trigger your central nervous system, reducing the symptoms of these conditions.

How do you know if a weighted or heavy blanket is right for you?

In this article, we’re going to explore three common types of health problems that respond positively to the best weighted blankets, as well as look into the science behind deep-pressure therapy.

1. Anxiety

Frustrated young man massaging his nose and keeping eyes closed | Can A Weighted Blanket Help Relieve Your Chronic Symptoms? | Weighted blanket for fibromyalgia

Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders, and it affects just over 18% of the US population annually. More than that, less than 40% of the people experiencing anxiety who have been diagnosed by a professional receive treatments. [1]

Anyone can experience anxiety, especially when you are triggered by a negative emotion, thought, or situation. It’s characterized by worried thoughts, feelings of tension, and increased blood pressure.

You may experience the following symptoms for this condition:

  • difficulty sleeping
  • difficulty concentrating
  • increased irritability
  • uncontrollable feelings of worry
  • restlessness

These symptoms can significantly affect your physical, mental, social, and psychological well-being, which has long-term effects on your overall health. This is the reason why you need to address and alleviate the symptoms associated with anxiety.

Whether your anxiety is treatment-resistant, you prefer to not take pharmaceuticals, or you want an extra natural boost, DPS may be right for you.

How can a weighted blanket for fibromyalgia and other chronic health conditions provide the deep-touch stimulation you need?

When you’re anxious, your sympathetic nervous system is on high alert. Your brain tells your adrenal glands (near your kidneys) to release epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine to give your body a boost. This causes your heart to race and blood pressure to rise.

Norepinephrine Definition: A naturally-occurring chemical in the human body that serves as a neurotransmitter, sending signals between nerve cells, and a stress hormone.

The blood in your body is channeled to muscles that help you move as quickly as possible.

The sympathetic nervous system is essential evolutionarily. It’s our fight-or-flight mechanism that helps us fight danger or flee to safety.

It’s only supposed to be activated during specific times of danger. However, in our modern times, we are living in a constant state of stress and anxiety.

Whether it’s about finances, life, or something else entirely, stress is stress, and prolonged stress is devastating to the body and can lead to heart disease if unchecked.

What deep-touch stimulation in weighted blankets for anxiety and other chronic health concerns can provide is a way to circumnavigate your sympathetic nervous system during times of non-stress by activating your parasympathetic system. This is your rest-and-digest mechanism, and blood is rushed to your gut to calm you.

Hormones such as acetylcholine (which reduces heart rate), dopamine, and serotonin are also released, leaving you feeling happy and calm.

A study published in 1987 examined how DPS affects hyperactive children, and it had a very high subjective effect. This means the children who were exposed to this type of therapy felt calmer and less anxious.

A more recent study published in 2008 gave university students in Brazil a deep-touch stimulation treatment, and the physical effects of anxiety significantly decreased after receiving the therapy.

Calmer sleep and improved relaxation awaits | | Can A Weighted Blanket Help Relieve Your Chronic Symptoms? | Weighted blanket for fibromyalgia

2. Chronic Pain

Senior woman suffering from backache at home | Can A Weighted Blanket Help Relieve Your Chronic Symptoms? | Weighted blanket for fibromyalgia

Chronic pain is a condition where pain lasts more than 12 weeks, whether in a localized area of the body or as an overall malaise. It’s different from acute pain, where you feel the sensation in an affected area from an obvious injury, and often resolves with the correct course of treatment.

Since chronic pain persists for months, it can inhibit you from living a normal, comfortable life. It often warrants more in-depth examination to come up with a correct diagnosis, but the causes of chronic pain cover the spectrum of undiagnosed illness or injury, to unmanaged mental health conditions.

You may also experience the following symptoms with chronic pain:

  • mood changes
  • decreased appetite
  • sleep disturbance
  • chronic fatigue

Sufferers of chronic pain are everywhere. “A new study by the CDC revealed that 50 million Americans (just under 20% of the age-adjusted adult population) suffered from chronic pain, which was defined as ‘pain on most days or every day in the past six months.’”[2]

This is a major issue because not only is a significant portion of the adult population in pain and unable to enjoy life, but they’re also frequently given opiates to manage the pain, which contributes to the opioid crisis seen across the nation.

While some pain medication may be necessary to be functional during the day, it isn’t sustainable for a lot of people. This is why many people with chronic pain seek out natural remedies and solutions.

Most chronic illnesses don’t yet have cures, much less a clear etiology (cause or source of a disease). The best doctors and other medical practitioners can do is help the person relieve the symptoms of the illness.

Fibromyalgia is a common chronic illness that causes pain, fatigue, joint stiffness, insomnia, and lack of focus (brain fog). Its cause is unknown, but the pain receptors continue to fire long after an initial injury has already healed.

Brain Fog Definition: A symptom caused by various medical conditions such as stress, lack of sleep, and hormonal changes. It’s a cognitive dysfunction that involves inability to focus, poor concentration, lack of mental clarity, and memory problems.

Not only do fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses cause pain, but also since they’re largely invisible disorders (illnesses that don’t always outwardly affect people), they take an emotional toll on the person. Fibromyalgia patients and those with other chronic illnesses feel dismissed and isolated by others who may not understand chronic pain and how debilitating it can be, not to mention how frustrating the lack of effective relief often is.

DPS using a weighted blanket for fibromyalgia and other chronic pain issues can be a viable solution. People with chronic illnesses can put pressure on the affected joints or muscles (for example, on the knees, ankles, or back) to relieve the pain. Since pain worsens during times of pain, a weighted blanket for adults is also used to reduce this stress and allow the body to recover.

Fatigue is another common result of chronic pain. Using a weighted blanket, a person is more likely to get a full night’s rest, thus reducing their fatigue and restoring some of their energy and vitality.

It’s not just people with fibromyalgia who can benefit from weighted blankets, though. People coping with the following illnesses can all try DPS to find comfort and relief:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • osteoarthritis
  • osteoporosis
  • lupus
  • multiple sclerosis
  • shingles
  • neuropathy
  • diabetes
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • menopause

RELATED: What Type Of Weighted Blanket Is Right For You?

3. Sleeplessness

Man unable to sleep | Can A Weighted Blanket Help Relieve Your Chronic Symptoms? | Weighted blanket for fibromyalgia

Sleeplessness, also known as insomnia, is the difficulty to stay or fall asleep. You commonly feel dissatisfaction with your night’s sleep and may experience the following symptoms:

  • decreased performance at school or work
  • mood disturbances
  • difficulty concentrating
  • low energy
  • fatigue

This condition is also characterized by its duration. Acute insomnia is usually brief and occurs because of common circumstances, such as receiving bad news or difficulty falling asleep the night before an exam.

Chronic insomnia is when you experience disrupted sleep during a night’s rest at least three nights a week and lasts at least three months. The probable causes are the following:

  • poor working hours or conditions
  • unhealthy sleep habits
  • changes in the environment
  • clinical disorders

Insomnia and other sleep issues or disturbances, such as sleep apnea, are a serious problem on the rise.

With our modern lifestyles of being “on” all the time—work demands and technology at our fingertips—it’s difficult to get on a sleep schedule. Combine this with the several illnesses, both mental and physical, which cause sleeplessness, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Not only is insomnia an inconvenience, but it can also potentially be dangerous, especially for drivers and laborers who need to maintain vigilance for safety.

“According to the National Sleep Foundation, 30-40 percent of American adults report that they have had symptoms of insomnia within the last 12 months, and 10-15 percent of adults claim to have chronic insomnia.” [3]

Put simply: When you’re tired, your body isn’t at its optimal functional level.

How can a weighted blanket for fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses benefit you if you have chronic sleeplessness?

The weights promote a sense of calm, releasing feel-good dopamine and serotonin hormones, allowing you to sleep better and longer.

A study published in 2015 showed that participants’ sleep time increased and movements while asleep decreased when sleeping under the blanket. The participants had a positive subjective experience using the weighted blankets, saying they experienced quality sleep and felt more rested when they woke up.

The researchers suggest it’s the blanket’s “altered tactile inputs” that help induce a calming effect on its users.

Consider Using a Weighted Blanket for Fibromyalgia and Other Chronic Symptoms for Your Brain and Body

A weighted blanket for fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses can be used as a natural, non-pharmacological remedy for many disorders and symptoms.

In the case of anxiety, chronic pain, and sleeplessness, these can become a vicious cycle wreaking havoc on your health. Any one of them can contribute to experiencing the other two, which often exacerbates the original symptom.

If you experience any of these, consider using a weighted blanket for fibromyalgia and other chronic symptoms to help your brain and body communicate together effectively to impact your life positively.

 

Now that you have a better understanding of how a weighted blanket for fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, and sleeplessness, you will have more reasons to get one and experience relief yourself. Although weighted blankets can act as a therapeutic solution for these conditions, it’s still best to seek advice from a medical professional if you don’t experience relief or the symptoms get worse.

Are you ready to experience the benefits yourself? Check out our selection of minky weighted blankets in our Sonno Zona store today to find the best match for you.

Are you unsure which type of blanket to buy? Our handy weighted blanket overview guide can help you find the size and weight that will be best suited for you.

Which of the common health conditions mentioned above are you experiencing? How are dealing with it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Up Next:

 

Indirect Sources:

https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisedu.org/what-is-deep-pressure-stimulation/

https://www.healthline.com/health/weighted-blanket-for-anxiety

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/content/what-causes-insomnia

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323454.php

https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/spring11/articles/spring11pg5-6.html

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/what-insomnia

Direct (Linked) Sources:

https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3688151

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19142390

https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/09/14/who-hurting-prevalence-chronic-pain-america-13407

http://sleepdisorders.sleepfoundation.org/chapter-2-insomnia/what-is-insomnia/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9155.php

http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1081315&dswid=6187

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 28, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Can a Weighted Blanket Help Relieve Your Chronic Symptoms? https://blog.sonnozona.com/can-a-weighted-blanket-help-relieve-your-chronic-symptoms/

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