December 10, 2021 3 min read
Seniors don’t sleep as well as young adults do for a variety of reasons. Some studies have shown that as we age, our bodies produce less melatonin and there is a gradual deterioration of our circadian rhythm. As a result, sleeping well throughout the night may become more difficult with age. A weighted blanket has been known to be a helpful remedy for older adults to sleep restfully through the night.
How do weighted blankets work?
Weighted Blankets can provide a form of therapy referred to as deep pressure stimulation.Deep pressure stimulation feels like a gentle hug which has been known to relax the nervous system. This hugging sensation can calm the user down which has been known to increase serotonin and melatonin levels (serotonin is the hormone that makes you feel happy, melatonin makes you feel tired), while also decreasing your cortisol levels (the hormone that makes you stressed). Weighted blankets have helped for some to alleviate the symptoms of many conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, and chronic pain. You can read more about weighted blanket benefitshere. The quality of sleep you get each night has been known to directly impact your day to day life, so if you or a loved one are struggling to sleep through the night, it may be beneficial to see if a weighted blanket will work for you.
Seniors produce less melatonin
It isestimated that about 40-70% of older adults have some sort of chronic sleep problem. In the study“Melatonin, human aging, and age-related diseases”, it is described that melatonin levels decline gradually over one's life span. A study inThe Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism compared the melatonin levels of 10 elderly patients with psychological Insomnia, 10 healthy older patients, and 10 young control subjects. The results reflected that the elderly subjects from both groups had low melatonin secretion levels. It was hypothesized that the elderly subjects low exposure to environmental light may have played a role in the lack of melatonin secretion. Since weighted blankets have been known to help with the production of melatonin, somebody struggling to sleep through the night may benefit from the use of one.
Senior Weighted Blankets
A senior weighted blanket is typically on the lighter side, ranging from 8 to 10 pounds. Poly pellets are sewn throughout to ensure the weight is evenly distributed throughout the blanket. Laura Lemond founded Mosaic Weighted Blankets with her mother in mind. Her mother is 82 and has loved her weighted blanket for the following reasons,
“My mom is usually by a cold air conditioner and she likes the blanket, because it keeps her warm, and she is sleeping better with it on her legs at night. She hauls it all over the house with her, she really loves it. For some reason 5 to 7 pm is a hard time for my mother, and she uses her blanket then. Older people tend to complain about being cold, and the blanket really helps with that.”