A weight-loss journey is not always an easy one, even though we’d like it to be. You may feel like you’ve tried everything, and none of it is working. So many factors contribute to a happy and healthy mind-body connection. One of these factors is getting good sleep regularly.
How do you feel after a poor night’s sleep? Maybe lethargic, unmotivated, snackish (for sweets obviously, who wants a carrot when they’re cranky?) These are common symptoms of sleep loss and, in turn, weight gain.
The gym is definitely out of sight when a nap is needed. Oh, meal prep? Forget about it. We slept horribly, and now we want cake and rest.
This cycle is primarily due to a few of the following consequences from little sleep:
- Lowered metabolic functioning
- Increased ghrelin (hunger hormone), lowered leptin (tells us when we’re full)
- Increased anxiety and depression
None of these are coincidental, and unfortunately, science backs up these hunger-inducing reactions.
However, fortunately, we can take matters into our own hands. Introducing your new favorite sleep, and thus weight loss, tool – the weighted blanket.
A Natural Solution
Weighted blankets don’t stray too far from what they sound like – blankets with weight in them. Nothing too complex about it, but the benefits may blow your mind.
Weighted blankets leverage the power of deep touch pressure therapy (DTP), a beautiful technique that applies firm touch to alleviate pain, anxiety, and other comorbid conditions of sleep loss.
Weighted blankets form to the body and gently ground it into the mattress, giving the body a sense of security by calming the nervous system. Once the mind and body softly transition into restful sleep mode, we can say goodbye to midnight snacking. Plus, lazy hangry days can kick rocks while fulfilling energetic days lay ahead.
Now how do they accomplish this?
Top 3 Ways Weighted Blankets Help With Weight Loss
- Hormone Regulation
We’ve touched on our hunger hormones, now let’s look at some other major players – serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, and cortisol.
These all affect our mood and sleep patterns. Serotonin and dopamine are our happy hormones that express themselves when comfortable and safe, allowing us to wind down.
Next, the release of serotonin sets up melatonin, our sleep hormone, up to lull us to sleep and keep us snoozing.
Conversely, cortisol, our stress hormone, keeps us awake and alert, ruining our chances of good sleep when at escalated levels.
The pressure from weighted blankets caresses the body, where the touch relaxes us and sets up our happy hormones to thrive in a peaceful body. Who would’ve thought something as simple as touch makes this big of an impact on how we feel and sleep?
- Relieve Anxiety & Depression
Losing sleep cracks open the opportunity for other pesky conditions to enter the floodgates, with common ones being anxiety and depression. And us midnight snackers know just the way to alleviate sadness or stress when we can’t sleep.
However, weighted blankets can help us cut the carbs by slowing our pulse and heart rate, smoothing out our breathing, and taming the mind. The DTP takes the nervous system out of fight or flight mode, turning stress to rest.
- Betters Overall Sleep Quality
Americans are no strangers to sleep deprivation. The narrative is to work hard and play hard, but this practice translates into poor sleep quality even when it’s time to hit the hay.
Luckily, weighted blankets increase the production of melatonin, often seen in pill form at drug stores. Skip the supplement with touch therapy. As weighted blankets snuggle you throughout the entire night, sleep will be restorative, uninterrupted, and thus of higher quality.
When we gain this type of rest, we feel more energetic and productive the next day, so the benefits last beyond the bedroom.
How This Translates To Weight Loss
- Increased metabolic functioning.
When we sleep better, and for the appropriate amount of hours, our metabolic rate works better throughout the day. When our metabolism is optimal, we have more energy and a greater activity level.
Additionally, touch and pressure streamline blood circulation and, thus, plow through metabolic waste. This waste is actually the toxins we often go to unsustainable detoxes to cleanse ourselves after a brutal binge.
Plus, toxins make your craving senses tingle if they build up, feeding the vicious habit of overeating. So toss on your weighted blanket to proactively fight a lousy metabolism; it’s that simple.
- Lowered ghrelin (the hunger hormone), increased leptin (tells us when we’re full).
We’ve all been to the fridge or pantry for some late-night munchies. Sadly, these twilight snacks do the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish.
In fact, midnight snacking has proven to be one of the biggest setbacks in weight loss and a massive contributor to weight gain.
Touching back on the hormones we now know are associated with weighted blankets and sleep, hunger hormones are unfortunate tag alongs that can negatively impact your weight loss efforts.
Consistent and uninterrupted sleep throughout the night decreases ghrelin while increasing leptin. Win-win.
- Reduced anxiety and depression.
Cortisol, we meet again. Remember, elevated cortisol means increased stress and anxiety and, now, fat build-up.
Our body processes and digests differently under stress, mainly negatively with our waistline taking the hit. Further, it’s common to turn to fatty, sugary, or carb-based foods for comfort in times of distress.
Skip the pantry and look to your weighted blanket for support instead. Not that a weighted blanket will trap you in the sheets, preventing your legs from scurrying towards the kitchen, but it will applicate DTP, therefore reducing the impulse to leave the bed in an anxious state.
How To Use A Weighted Blanket For Weight Loss
While weighted blankets come in many different shapes and sizes, they all work to benefit all users equally. However, if you’re new to checking these guys out, here’s a standard list of go-to’s for picking the best weighted blanket for you:
- Your weighted blanket should weigh 10% of your body weight, give or take a few lbs.
- Pick a size that covers your body from your shoulders to your toes and doesn’t hang too far over the bed.
- Choose a fabric with optimal temperature, texture, and breathability for your ideal sleep situation.
- Opt for a filling that avoids any allergy, sensory, or tactile sensitivities.
If you are confused about how to pick out or use a weighted blanket, check out our complete guide. But don’t stress it, your new weighted blanket will relax you in no time.
We hope you feel empowered by weighted blankets to assist you in your weight loss journey. In our opinion, the first step to success is getting a good night’s rest. Enjoy more sleep and fewer lbs with weighted blankets.