Lack of sleep in modern society is catastrophic. It affects every aspect of our biology, and can be caused by stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. In Canada alone, more than 3 million adults have been diagnosed with mood disorder symptoms that can affect sleep. This, coupled with busy schedules, the increasing impact of electronics on our sleeping habits and the everyday pressures of work, school and family, has resulted in more than a quarter of Canadians getting fewer than 7 hours of sleep per night, a trend that’s particularly prevalent among adults.
How Can Weighted Blankets Help?
Weighted blankets encourage Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation (DTPS). Deep pressure touch stimulation (or DPTS) is a type of therapy that almost anyone can benefit from. It is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling. Occupational therapists have observed that a very light touch alerts the nervous system, but deep pressure is relaxing and calming. DTPS encourages the production of serotonin in the brain, a hormone that can elevate mood. Serotonin is also a precursor to the brain’s production of melatonin, a hormone that is responsible for the regulation of sleep.
DTPS has also been shown to have a calming effect in children ADHD and autism. It shows similar relaxing effects in adult who have not been diagnosed with these conditions.