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Do Weighted Blankets Help with Snoring?
Do you or your partner snore?
If so, you may have considered trying … well… anything! Isn’t it?
Weighted blankets are becoming increasingly popular as a way to help with various sleep issues, including snoring.
But do they really work?
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the research on weighted blankets and snoring to see if there’s any evidence that they can help.
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What is snoring?
Snoring is the noisy or harsh sound that is produced while sleeping due to obstruction of air passing through the soft tissues of the throat. It is often caused by seasonal allergies, respiratory problems, or nasal congestion and can be a sign of a more serious disorder called sleep apnea.
People suffering from sleep apnea may experience labored breathing, choking, gasping for air, and difficulty staying asleep, move during sleep, as well as a dry or scratchy throat, drowsiness, inattentiveness, and agitation. There are three kinds of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Central sleep apnea (CSA), and Complex sleep apnea. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of sleep apnea and consult a certified ENT specialist if snoring becomes an issue.
What are the causes of snoring?
Snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that can have adverse health consequences if not treated. The causes of snoring can be attributed to several factors, including
- Physical anatomy, such as an abnormally shaped neck, jaw, tongue, or tonsils
- Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol or sedative use, and obesity
- Hormone abnormalities, such as hypothyroidism and acromegaly, can also cause throat tissue to swell
- Sleeping on your back increases the likelihood of snoring as the tissues in the back of the throat tend to collapse more easily.
Weighted Blankets and Sleep Apnea
Sleeping with a weighted blanket can provide several potential benefits. The deep pressure stimulation it provides can help increase oxytocin production and reduce cortisol levels, which can reduce stress and tightness in the airway for easier and less restricted breathing. Additionally, it can help individuals to stay asleep and enjoy better overall sleep quality. Weighted blankets may help with conditions that affect sleep, such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
It’s important to note, however, that weighted blankets are not recommended for those with untreated sleep apnea, as the added weight can further restrict breathing.
Individuals with asthma, claustrophobia, or who are under the age of 3 should also avoid using weighted blankets.
Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Sleep Apnea
The benefits of weighted blankets for sleep apnea include improved sleep quality, as the deep pressure stimulation helps induce feelings of contentment and encourages longer periods of uninterrupted sleep. Additionally, weighted blankets may help to reduce cortisol levels, lower blood pressure, and encourage side sleeping, which is considered the suggested sleeping position for people with sleep apnea. Other benefits of weighted blankets include increased serotonin production, which can help reduce symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, and restless leg syndrome.
Those with chronic respiratory or circulatory issues like Sleep apnea, asthma, low blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or claustrophobia should speak to their doctor before using a weighted blanket.
Would a Weighted Blanket Help With Snoring?
Weighted blankets have become increasingly popular in recent years for a variety of ailments and conditions. Many people claim that the deep pressure stimulation created by the blanket helps to induce calmness and relaxation, and may even be beneficial for those suffering from snoring.
Weighted blankets may be able to promote muscle relaxation in light snorers, but those who experience heavy snoring and untreated moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea should not use weighted blankets as they may worsen the condition.
For those with mild snoring, the deep pressure stimulation from the blanket can reduce anxiety, increase oxytocin, lower blood pressure, reduce involuntary movements at night, and help keep the individual on their side.
With that being said, it is important to consult with a doctor before trying a weighted blanket to make sure it is suitable for the individual.
In conclusion, a weighted blanket may be beneficial for those with mild snoring if approved by a doctor. However, those with heavy snoring and untreated moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea should not use a weighted blanket as it could worsen the condition.
How does a weighted blanket help with snoring?
A weighted blanket can help with snoring by using deep pressure stimulation to change hormones in the body and promote better sleep. This pressure can reduce anxiety, increase oxytocin which helps to relax muscles, lower blood pressure, reduce involuntary movements at night, and help you stay in your desired sleeping position.
Additionally, the pressure from the blanket can help keep you from rolling over in your sleep, reducing the risk of snoring and sleep apnea.
What is a weighted blanket?
A weighted blanket is a type of blanket that is designed to add pressure on the body to promote relaxation and help increase the release of serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones. The blankets usually weigh anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds and are filled with pellets, beads, or disks to add the desired amount of weight. The even pressure helps to activate deep pressure stimulation, which in turn can reduce anxiety and help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
What is the difference between weighted blankets and normal blankets?
Weighted blankets are designed to be heavier than regular blankets, which are usually made with cotton, polyfill or feathers. Weighted blankets use heavy materials such as glass, plastic, ceramic or steel beads, ball bearings, or other heavy fill and are usually quilted in individual squares to evenly distribute the weight.
Regular blankets do not offer the deep pressure stimulation that weighted blankets provide to reduce anxiety and create a calming sensation.
Are weighted blankets safe for people with sleep apnea?
While research has not yet definitively established the effects of weighted blankets on people with sleep apnea, the evidence that is available shows they may be beneficial. Studies have found that weighted blankets can reduce anxiety, increase oxytocin, lower blood pressure, reduce nighttime movements, and help maintain sleeping position, all of which can be beneficial for those with sleep apnea.
However, for those living with untreated sleep apnea, weighted blankets are not recommended, as the added weight can restrict breathing even further.
For those who are treating their sleep apnea with a CPAP machine, a weighted blanket may be beneficial, as it can reduce stress and tightness for easier, less restricted breathing.
Ultimately, it is important to speak with a doctor before using a weighted blanket if one has sleep apnea, as it can help to ensure safety of the weighted blanket.
What is the best way to get rid of snoring?
If you’re struggling with snoring, the best way to get rid of it is to identify the root cause. To do this, it’s recommended to consult a certified ENT specialist and get your condition correctly diagnosed. Depending on your diagnosis and the severity of your snoring, your doctor may recommend lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding alcohol and sleeping on your side, or medical treatments, such as using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine.
If lifestyle modifications don’t seem to be working, your doctor may advise using a weighted blanket as it can help to promote muscle relaxation. However, note that individuals with moderate to severe OSA should not use weighted blankets as it could worsen their condition.
It’s also important to remember that snoring can be a sign of a more serious sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). So, if you notice any other symptoms of OSA, such as choking, gasping for air, and difficulty staying asleep, it’s advisable to consult your doctor.
Can You Use a Weighted Blanket if You Have Sleep Apnea?
It is important to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first. Weighted blankets can help with sleep apnea symptoms, as they provide deep pressure stimulation that can change hormones in the body and promote better sleep.
Additionally, they have been shown to increase oxytocin production, reduce cortisol levels, and stimulate serotonin—all which can help reduce stress and tightness for easier, less restricted breathing.
However, if you are not currently treating your sleep apnea, a weighted blanket is not recommended, as the added weight may make it more difficult for you to breathe at night.