According to new research, sleeping with a weighted blanket may work better than melatonin for those who struggle with falling asleep at night!
Insomnia can be such a waking nightmare and in the worst scenarios, it can really affect not just your mood but also your well-being and productivity, becoming a debilitating disorder.
Estimates from the National Sleep Foundation say that 45 percent of all Americans declare that insufficient or poor sleep has affected their day to day lives at least once in the last week.
Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night has been proven, time and time again, to benefit people in every way, including our energy levels, immunity brain and heart health.
But with almost half the U.S. population struggling to get enough sleep, it’s no wonder that the use of supplemental melatonin has risen by 478% in the last two decades (as per a JAMA journal study published this year.)
As you may know, melatonin is a hormone that the brain produces in order to control our sleep-wake cycle, sending signals to the body that it’s time to rest when it starts to get dark out.
But using it in pill form is a little questionable since it’s a hormone after all!
Not to mention that it’s not the only reason why you might have trouble sleeping so it’s not guaranteed to work.
So how can we encourage our bodies to produce more melatonin naturally?
Scientists have been trying to find the answers to this question and it appears that some in Sweden have concluded a really good method is sleeping with a weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets are indeed known for helping with anxiety and the production of happy hormones such as serotonin but now, it turns out that they’re just as good when it comes to encouraging the production of melatonin.
As part of this study, Uppsala University researchers got 26 young men and women to use either a regular blanket or a weighted one that was 12 percent of their body weight.
The two groups switched after one night, trying the other blanket option so that the scientists could really see the effects.
The team noticed that the melatonin levels would increase by about 30 percent in those using weighted blankets.
They concluded that the pressure could calm sympathetic neuron stimulation and are hoping to repeat the experiment with a larger group of people in the future.