Weighted blankets are becoming a popular tool for health and wellness. They treat problems like insomnia, stress, and anxiety. Many studies are finding more problems weighted blankets address. In this article, we’ll discuss the best weighted blanket for fibromyalgia.
Disclaimer: The tips and recommendations given here are intended to be used as guidelines. Do not replace our advice for a registered health professional or therapist’s advice. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional if you have a special condition.
Disclosure: Namaste Blankets, as an Amazon Associate, earns commissions on qualified purchases. This informative review article may contain affiliate links. Commission and earnings support our work. This means we may receive a commission if you purchase items from links embedded in the articles.
Over 10 million Americans suffer from this painful condition. This condition includes having aches and pains all over the body. It’s no wonder why most sufferers find it hard to deal with.
We understand living with fibro pains can be challenging. We understand having the disease can also make it hard to sleep at times. Most people go the route of medication. Unfortunately, there are side effects that come along with medication.
We’ll discuss holistic approaches to manage your fibro pains. We’ll explore how weighted blankets can help patients with fibromyalgia. The goal is to know to maximize the effectiveness of a weighted blanket.
What is Fibromyalgia And How Does It Impact Your Life?
Fibromyalgia is the second most reported muscle condition in America. And, it’s still not well understood by most healthcare providers. According to a study, 70% of fibro suffers go years without being diagnosed.
The American Chronic Pain Association has reported 90% of people suffering from fibromyalgia, are women. Unfortunately, it’s a disease that’s hard to diagnose.
Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose is due to its similarities to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and, tendinitis. The differences are each disease targets a specific part of the body. Fibromyalgia attacks the entire body.
Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Chronic tiredness
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Mind-numbing headaches
- Extreme sensitivity to heat and cold temperatures
- Frequent urges to urination
- Dry mouth.
- Extreme to mild brain fog (sometimes referred to as “fibro fog”)
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for Fibromyalgia. This disease is difficult to diagnose. It’s difficult to recommend medical treatment for patients. The side effects of prescribed medicine can be as painful as the disease.
Some side effects of prescribed drugs include:
- Mild dizziness
- Hypertension in the muscles
- Dry eyes, mouth, and nose
- Extreme weight gain
The side effects of the medication mimic the symptoms of fibro. When you use a weighted blanket, you’re not going to have to worry about this. This is why it’s recommended to use a weighted blanket for fibro pains.
The History and Science Behind a Weighted Blanket
It may seem like weighted blankets are a new trend but that’s farthest from the truth. Weighted blankets have been a popular therapeutic tool for the last 20 years. They’re usually used to help children with autism, anxiety, and ADHD.
Weighted blankets are effective is due to Deep Touch Pressure
This technology causes a feeling of being hugged. This leads to a reduction in anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
It was difficult to find a weighted blanket in the 90s. Through the years, many patients made their own. The first mass production was back in the late 1990s. The target market was autistic children. Now, it’s not the case. It’s now marketed and recommended to all ages – adults and children.
If you’re with the term weighted blanket, you may have come across some terms below:
- Anxiety blanket
- Therapeutic blanket
- Heavy blanket
- Gravity blanket
In 2008, researchers evaluated 33 growth adults, each napping under a 30-pound weighted blanket for 5-minutes. After 5 minutes, the results were astounding:
- 33% of the participants reported a greater drop in their stress levels,
- 19% reported feeling calmer with the blanket
- 8 of the individuals said they felt no indifferent.
- 3 of the participants felt more anxious with the blanket.
This may be a small study but the results show the real benefits of a weighted blanket.
The Real Question: Can A Weighted Blanket Help Fibromyalgia?
The answer is yes, weighted blankets can help ease symptoms. Fibro sufferers have reported having sleeping issues due to the disease. Sadly, with poorer sleep habits comes a higher alleviation of pain. This is why weighted blankets are recommended for fibromyalgia. It’s a tool designed to get you to sleep faster, longer and deeper. This will give you the proper rest needed to help ease the pain of fibro.
Fibro patients also deal with anxiety. A weighted blanket may not get rid of the pain but it will help get rid of your anxiety.
If you’re also asking, “what about my pressure points?” then you’ll also be happy to know, weighted blankets address that as well. We understand this is a common issue among fibro sufferers. The added weight of the weighted blanket will not make your pressure points worse. If anything, they’ll help sooth over the areas in question.
What Else Can I Do?
Very good question! According to Dr. Josh Axe, there are other ways to help manage your pain. Note: We recommend you use a weighted blanket AND follow Dr. Josh Axe’s advice. According to his article, here recommends the following:
- Start with a healthy diet
- Increase the intake of vitamins
- Use Essential oils
- Become more physically active.
An increase in serotonin has helped reduce pain from fibromyalgia. Weighted blankets are side-effect free solution. Note: weighted blankets help increase oxytocin levels in patients as well.
Sleeping under a weighted blanket helps reduce cortisol levels. With the use of a weighted blanket, there’s pain relief, lower fatigue, and higher energy levels.
Fatigue is one of the worst symptoms of fibromyalgia.
“Severe fatigue — more than just being tired — affects up to 4 out of 5 people with fibromyalgia. It often goes hand-in-hand with sleepless nights. Together, they leave you drained and exhausted.”As WebMD notes
An increase in serotonin levels in patients who used a weighted blanket found
“measurable improvements in diurnal cortisol profiles…with cortisol levels significantly reduced during night-time sleep.” The study indicated that “grounding the human body to earth [with a weighted blanket] during sleep improves sleep and reduces pain and stress.”
How to Choose the Right Weighted Blanket For Your Fibro Pains?
All weighted blankets are not equal. If you go to our guide here, you’ll understand the difference. If you’re a hot sleeper, get a weighted blanket that’s made from materials like cotton or bamboo. This is due to the breathability factor. Breathability is important. Heat promotes aches and increases irritability.
It’s best to get a weighted blanket with glass-bead fillings. Glass-beads spreads throughout the blanket better and isn’t as harsh on the skin. They’ll be more accommodating to your pressure points. Get a weighted blanket that has the above materials and you should be fine.