There are many joys to be found in growing older. Reflecting on a life well-lived brings with it a certain wisdom, a certain feeling of accomplishment that can’t be taken away that easily. Been there, done that - most elderly people say that when they turn their curious eye toward younger generations. But, not everything is peachy as you grow older. Once we hit a nice, round birthday, most of us will notice that our sleep patterns aren’t what they used to be. If you’re already there, a possible solution might be a weighted blanket - a blanket specially designed to calm the senses, soothe stresses, and help you find that good night’s sleep again.
Although the terms ‘elderly’ and ‘senior’ get thrown around derogatorily these days, we don’t mean them as an insult. The fact is that all of us become ‘seniors’ at subtly different stages in our lives. This will depend on a lot of factors - genetics, lifestyle, health circumstances, and more. However, once you start noticing a deterioration in your sleep patterns and can’t attribute it to anything in particular (and you’re over 50), chances are that your body is starting to signal that it’s moving past its prime.
Why Do Older People Struggle With Sleep More?
In this day and age, how old you are shouldn’t mean a thing. Mature people are more than capable of new life adventures, new opportunities, and new challenges - sometimes even with more zest and vigor than young people. There’s a snag, however - if you’re older and sleep deprived, you first have to deal with that before attempting to scale a mountain, or going after that second college degree.
Despite what most people believe, seniors need as much sleep as 40-year-olds. Most of the time, though, they won’t get it. The reasons for that are numerous:
- Cases of troubled sleep are more frequent in people over 65 years of age - around 39% of the elderly struggle with this condition, as opposed to 24% in the 18 - 29 age group.
- The circadian rhythm changes with years - our body’s internal clock that regulates how and when we sleep gets altered as we grow older, as is witnessed by the changes in the brain tissue.
3 Ways A Weighted Blanket Can Help With Troubled Sleep In Seniors
Poor sleep quality can be crippling when you’re a senior, but you don’t have to settle for it. An expertly-made weighted blanket can help with a myriad of sleeping problems that manifest with age, and ensure that you get a decent night’s sleep. Our blanket uses gentle pressure - deep pressure stimulation or deep touch therapy, as it’s also known - to trigger body’s own sleep-inducing chemicals, and to alleviate symptoms of stress.
If you - or maybe an older loved one - have trouble sleeping, we urge you to give this non-pharmaceutical sleep aid a try. Here are five ways a weighted blanket could help you achieve better (and even rejuvenating) sleep.
SAFETY TIP: Before purchasing a weighted blanket for yourself or an older loved one, keep safety in mind. Chose a blanket that you can easily manipulate. We suggest picking up a 6.8 or a 4.5 kg blanket. For more information, refer to our extensive buyer’s guide right here.
A Weighted Blanket Is Perfect For Relaxing & Reducing Stress Levels
Somehow, most people assume that the older the people get, the less stressful they get, too. Nothing could be further from the truth. Looking at this study, elderly people over the age of 85 seem to feel overwhelmingly stressed, in part due to diminished social contact and failing health. Also, simply reminiscing about the ‘good old days’ can be stressful - even people half this age feel a mental 'twang' when they look back at their youth.
A weighted blanket can help with stress management. One side-effect of the weighted therapy is the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with increased levels of happiness.
A Bit Of Added Nigh-Time Pressure Can Also Help With Stress
Stress in the older populations is usually triggered by the overwhelming worry about other health conditions, and by being faced with one’s own mortality. However, using a weighted blanket can help ease that mentality, as well as numerous sleep problems that stem from it.
According to a study published in Occupational Therapy Journal, weighted blanket therapy ‘is reported to have therapeutic and relaxing effects...and deep pressure has been shown to alleviate stress’. In fact, 63% of people who participated in the study reported feeling less stressed after sleeping with a weighted blanket. One additional benefit of that was the fact that their sleep patterns showed marked improvement.
Weighted Blankets Can Improve Sleep Hygiene
No, the term ‘sleep hygiene’ has nothing to do with cleanliness - it refers to sleep habits and overall sleep environment. Not particularly important in our youth (when we can pretty much sleep on a bed of nails if we have to), sleep hygiene becomes particularly important as we get older. As our bodies struggle to get the necessary sleep, we must do everything in our power to make sleep easier on ourselves.
A weighted blanket can become a part of a bedtime ritual designed to signal to our brain that it’s time to quiet down and prepare for sleep. The relaxing and calming pressure that it applies can become an integral part of your sleep hygiene, along with other sleep-improving aids, such as essential oils (chamomile and lavender), or drinking herbal teas before turning in.
Order Your Calming Blanket Today
Good sleep is always important, no matter how old you are. If you’re getting on in years and you’ve noticed your sleep is deteriorating, do something about it. Our weighted blanket is perfect for seniors who do not have underlying conditions that are affecting their sleep patterns. It provides a relaxing, calming sensation, triggering various chemical responses that ease stress.
Please note that the content in this blog post shouldn’t be construed as medical advice Please contact your GP for more information. If you have any questions about our product, please send us a message or contact us via Facebook. We will be happy to talk to you about the benefits of using a weighted blanket for the elderly. Depending on your case, we might suggest talking to your doctor before purchasing our product.