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Are Blankets Good for Restless Legs?

Updated November 4, 2019

For almost all medical issues, there is a proper diagnosis. Issues with muscles, behaviors, mentalities, and more all have their own diagnosis and treatment, curable or not. This is simply how we have advanced in medical care.

Now some disorders or diseases have peculiar treatments, ones that you wouldn’t think of off the top of your head. One of these treatments is a weighted blanket.

A weighted blanket has been proven time and again to help users in their sleep suffering from multiple illnesses. So, the question is, can your weighted blanket help against a very common syndrome, restless legs?

What is a Weighted Blanket?

To explain it simply; a weighted blanket is one with extra weight placed inside of it. The blanket can be made out of numerous materials to load more weight into it.

The two most common fillers for a weighted mattress are glass beads and plastic pellets. There are other fillers such as rice, millet, and lead, though it’s better to avoid these.

There are also two different styles which you can choose from, duvet and one-piece. The one-piece has the weights and the blanket stitched into one. The duvet style is a new and more convenient design in which the weighted material and blankets are two different pieces. This makes cleaning the blanket easier to do.

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) or Willis-Ekbom Disease, is a disorder in the nervous system which urges your legs to move. This disorder tends to interfere with sleep, making it a potential sleep disorder. RLS symptoms present ‘itchy’, ‘crawling’, and ‘pins and needles’ feelings.

Typically, these feelings escalate in the evening and at night when you’re sitting or lying down. Some people have tolerable and moderate irritation, while others may have severe irritation that impairs sleep nightly.

RLS, if not treated and if severe, can decrease your levels of productivity at work, and cause sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, and traveling can become difficult.

So, the question remains can these weighted blankets help RLS?

Weighted Blankets and RLS

The simplest answer; Yes. Weighted blankets can help multiple cases, RLS being one of them. The easiest way to relieve yourself of your RLS is to move your legs. But this will interrupt your sleep since such aggressive movements will jerk you awake, as well as the constant irritation to your legs.

When you use a weighted blanket, your legs are hugged in place. The blankets help calm down the nervous nerves and soothe the disturbed area. RLS also flares up when you’re anxious. With a weighted blanket, your levels of serotonin will increase, and your anxiety won’t escalate while you sleep. This allows your RLS to rest easy even when you’re lying down or sleeping.

RLS can kick-start multiple outcomes, such as depression, stress, anxiety, and constant recurring pains. Weighted blankets tackle not only your nerves but all of the other effects of RLS to give you are more restful sleep each night.

Benefits of Weighted Blankets

There are multiple benefits to reap from using a weighted blanket, these are just some of them:

  • A weighted blanket can ease insomnia. Insomnia is the inability to sleep and can seriously mess with your mental health. Deep touch pressure stimulation helps to promote serotonin flow in your body, a chemical that is essential for sleep regulation. So, while you may not receive the effects immediately, using a weighted blanket will eventually give you the serotonin levels you require for a wholesome sleep experience.
  • Anxiety can occur due to RLS. There are many ways to handle anxiety. When sleeping, a weighted blanket is a simplest and best solution. Your weighted blanket gives you a gentle hug that is also firm. This helps relieve your anxiety.

  • Your stress can also be managed with a weighted blanket. Stress affects both your mental and physical health, even if it’s not chronic. Your weighted blanket can come to the rescue with its deep touch pressure stimulation therapy.
  • Even if you’re not suffering from any of the side effects of RLS, a weighted blanket can still generally improve your sleep quality. It can help you fall asleep faster and sleep for longer. You’ll feel much fresher after bringing the weighted blanket into your routine, which can naturally improve your mood as well.

There are some other diseases and sicknesses a weighted blanket can fix, though they don’t have any direct relation to RLS. Listed below are some disorders and diseases that can be helped with a weighted blanket.

  • You can also receive help with a sensory processing disorder. All information that you acquire isn’t processed properly, which can lead to anxiety and breakdowns. The reaction of a sensory processing disorder can be described as a “traffic jam” in the way it gets jumbled up. With deep pressure being applied to your body while you rest, your sensory system develops and becomes more efficient

  • Fibromyalgia. This disorder is a musculoskeletal pain that creates fatigue, sleep, memory and mood swings. Fibromyalgia also enhances the pain you feel since the brain processes pain signals are also affected by fibromyalgia. Weighted blankets can help relieve the pressure pain caused by fibromyalgia.
  • You don’t have to use prescription drugs. This is one bonus many people appreciate. There is always the issue of medication not working for some people. Some people don’t trust medications either since they can subconsciously fall into an addiction. A weighted blanket is a 100% natural solution.
  • Insomnia and depression sometimes branch from PTSD. Since weighted blankets can help stress, depression, sleep deprivation, and insomnia, it can also help calm those people who suffer from PTSD.
  • OCD occurs because of low serotonin levels. Weighted blankets help promote the production of serotonin levels which can ease the intensity of the disorder.

  • Massage and touch therapy is a great way to manage autism. Touch therapy helps increase levels of both serotonin and dopamine which help with mood regulation, movement, impulse control, and many more factors autistic children have less control over their body.

Conclusion

Weighted blankets are an ideal solution for more than just RLS, they can help you sleep better in any situation. Whether it’s insomnia you’re suffering from or some form of mental illness, the benefits to reap are numerous. You can sleep for longer periods of time, fall into your sleep quicker, and rest uninterrupted.