How Weighted Blankets and Temperature Affect Sleep Health

Do you struggle to sleep but aren’t sure why? Have you been endlessly trying every sleep remedy you can find online with no results? Scientific studies have shown that there may be a simple and accessible solution: weighted blankets and temperature regulation.

The Consequences of Sleep Loss

Many underestimate the negative consequences of bad sleep health. This chronic issue affects up to a third of the population, especially those living in urban areas [1]. Studies show that this number is on the rise among everyone from teenagers to the elderly due to the stressors of a modern lifestyle [2]. 

Why does this matter? Acute sleep disruption, or bad sleep health, has almost too many short- and long-term health consequences to list. Research shows that lack of sleep can affect both your personal and professional life, as it can lead to depression, psychosomatic disorders, addictions, cardiovascular issues, low productivity, and poor judgments [3]. The associated mental struggles, in particular, can cause a strained relationship with loved ones. Your work life can also be heavily affected, as low productivity and impaired judgment make it far more difficult to attain career goals, reducing chances of promotion [4]. 

This is only the beginning of the dangers of bad sleep health. Those who sleep fewer than six hours every night are more likely to be obese and diabetic, in part because lack of sleep is linked to both an increased appetite and insulin resistance [5]. Fatigue is also one of the leading causes of car accidents, with the U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration attributing 100,000 accidents annually in the United States to driver fatigue [6]. 

The Right Temperature Is Essential

Now that you know the serious consequences of sleep disruption, it’s equally important that you know the solution and the science behind it. Research shows that the temperature regulation of both your body and your bedroom is critical to having a good night’s rest [7]. The optimal room temperature is around 65°F (18.3°C), as this helps maintain your body’s internal temperature [8].

Controlling your body’s internal temperature can be difficult, as it’s constantly shifting on a 24-hour schedule. These shifts are referred to as the circadian rhythm [9]. Your body naturally starts to begin cooling before you go to bed, reaching its coolest point around 5 a.m. Given these internal shifts happening in your body, your room temperature must be kept at an optimal temperature. Otherwise, your room temperature will interfere with your body’s ability to cool itself down at night. 

This issue is typically most prevalent in the summer. A survey of 765,000 respondents revealed that most of them experienced inconsistent sleeping patterns during the hotter seasons [10]. 

Heat exposure makes it difficult to fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and to obtain a good quality of sleep that’s genuinely calming and refreshing. Cold exposure, on the other hand, affects your initial ability to fall asleep [11]. This is why using bedding to promote healthy thermoregulation is critical to a long night’s rest. Bedding with moisture-wicking materials is an additional benefit, especially to those sleeping in naturally humid environments [12].

Weighted Blankets Provide a Solution

Weighted blankets are an effective, affordable, and accessible solution for those struggling with insomnia or abnormal sleep patterns. Weighted blankets that are at least 10 percent of a person’s body weight have also been found to provide significant calming benefits to users, especially those suffering from anxiety [13]. The reason? Weighted blankets add pressure to the body, which mimics the sensation of being held tightly. This comforting feeling increases the release of serotonin, which promotes calmness and relaxation [14].

According to the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, people who use weighted blankets on average find it easier to get to sleep, have a better quality of sleep, and feel more refreshed upon waking [15]. This innovative, non-pharmacological tool can aid those struggling with maintaining their body temperature, as well as those suffering from insomnia, sleep loss, and anxiety. It’s a simple and reliable way of ensuring you get a good night’s sleep so you can be at your best mentally and physically.