At least 7-8% of the global population struggles with restless legs syndrome. That’s a large number of people desperately trying to find something that can temporarily soothe them during the night. This is exactly where weighted blankets become a part of the context. In the past, weighted blankets have proven themselves to be very fruitful while tackling stress and anxiety among various age groups. So, the question arises; can a weighted blanket help with restless legs?
After returning from a hectic day at work and doing the chores around the house, one’s always looking forward to bedtime. Snuggling with your favorite pillow in your personal space, you can really take the heavy load of stress from your weak shoulders. But, your plans for a deep, calm slumber can really go south if you have restless legs syndrome.
It’s referred to as both a neurological disorder and a sleep disorder. Restless legs syndrome is a condition that’s as grueling as its name sounds to you. That’s why finding a cure for it becomes an extremely desperate struggle for the ones that have it. But, before we go way ahead, let’s find out more on RLS and how sleeping with a weighted blanket affects you.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is categorized by the constant and uncontrollable urge to move your limbs, more particularly your legs. The urge to move your legs stems from a temporary feeling of uneasiness. Unless the person in question moves their limbs, this uncomfortable sensation lingers on. People struggling with RLS often report an increase in symptoms around nighttime. That’s because, during these hours of the day, people are typically lying down for a quick nap or a good night’s slumber. Some of the many symptoms of restless legs syndrome include the following sensations in the lower part of your body.
Women are comparatively more likely of having RLS as compared to men. Pregnancy is a leading cause behind this as it’s categorized by hormonal fluctuation, sleep deprivation, etc. A pretty mild case of RLS can be fueled by a person’s sedentary lifestyle. For instance, someone who carries out little to no physical activity during the day is high key likely of dealing with RLS. In more severe cases, genetics can be responsible for restless legs syndrome.
So, if someone in your previous generation had restless legs syndrome, he’s more likely of passing it onto you. Last but not least, RLS can be a product of a health condition you already have. Some of these health conditions can be; renal failure, diabetes, anemia, etc.
Let’s make it very clear right from the get-go. Purchasing a weighted blanket and sleeping with it won’t cure restless legs syndrome. Yet, it can improve your entire sleeping situation which directly makes your sleep quality better. Consequently, you won’t be as bothered by the irritation RLS usually tends to cause while sleeping under a casual blanket. Weighted blankets have proven themselves to be great stress relievers. Not only do they help while relieving anxiety, the deep touch pressure stimulation carried out by weighted blankets can calm down twitching nerves.
The weighted blanket lying on top of you can trigger various pressure points that alleviate discomfort resulting from the tugging sensations in your lower body. For instance; if you struggle with twitching muscles during the night and aren’t happy with your disrupted sleep, sleeping with a weighted blanket can calm down the muscles in your entire body. In most cases, the affected areas for RLS include legs, and feet. On the contrary, some individuals also struggle with the same thing in their arms. Thus sleeping under a weighted blanket provides the muscles in your entire body stress alleviation they need through deep touch pressure stimulation.
The reason why you tend to experience extra discomfort while lying in your bed could be the fact that you’re solely paying attention to one thing. Sleeping under a weighted blanket can also act as an indirect distraction for your body thanks to the added gentle pressure.
It’s a therapeutic experience that can not only alleviate the stress your lower body’s in but also boosts your mood. Various studies have found that sleeping under a weighted blanket increases serotonin release to a noticeable level. Thus, someone who’s struggling with RLS is more likely of enjoying a good night’s sleep under a weighted blanket as they’re less grumpy.
There are a few traits here and there that will decide the level of your comfort while sleeping or taking a nap during the afternoon. First and foremost, stay clear of the fabric that won’t suit you. Someone who tends to be a hot sleeper and tends to sweat way more should be purchasing a cooling weighted blanket. This kind of weighted blanket usually has moisture-wicking fabric that can help you avoid any sogginess during the night while also providing comfort from restless legs syndrome.
Additionally, you should also be looking for a weighted blanket that has the appropriate weight. If you struggle with RLS you need appropriate deep pressure stimulation which can only be done through the right amount of weight on top of your body. This will also help fight the constant urge to switch sides or to move your limbs every five seconds. Lastly, it’s better to purchase a weighted blanket with a removable duvet.
This will save you lots of trouble while running the laundry. You can simply remove the cover to remove any stains instead of washing the entire thing or taking it over for a professional wash at your local dry-cleaning center.
The brands that Manufacture blankets tend to make various claims regarding the item they’re producing. Yet, it’s essential to understand that simply the use of a weighted blanket cannot relieve the symptoms of RLS entirely. It’s a debilitating condition that can affect your everyday life to an extreme extent.
A weighted blanket can surely provide you relief from restless legs syndrome during nap time or during a long night’s slumber. But, you must partner it with a number of lifestyle changes to really wear off the symptoms entirely. If you’re using a weighted blanket for restless legs syndrome might as well adopt these 5 habits for a more comfortable slumber every night;
As mentioned earlier, RLS tends to get more severe and really worsens during the night. So, you’ve got to keep track of what you’re consuming around bedtime. Cut down the level of nicotine or caffeine you’re consuming during the day. Some other dietary changes that can ease up your muscles include; consuming fewer dairy products during the night and skipping on sodium-rich items. Don’t give yourself a sugar rush by munching on leftover pastries or your favorite chocolates.
The lack of essential nutrients like magnesium and iron is said to be among the leading causes of restless legs syndrome in the late 40s. Your unfavorable eating habits are costing you those precious resting hours during the night and resulting in your lazy antics during the day. You can find your fix for magnesium as well as iron in; avocados, peas, bananas, fatty fish, broccoli, spinach, and tofu.
If greens aren’t your thing then might as well consult your physician to get your hands on some nutritional supplements. Covering up magnesium and iron deficiency is essential because both of these are natural muscle relaxants. Maintaining the equilibrium of both nutrients in your body can help relax those twitching muscles. Consequently, easing up your qualms regarding RLS.
I’m sure you’re wondering that working out before bed seems like a stupid idea. That’s definitely not what this statement refers to. Nobody’s asking you to perform a 20-minute long grueling abs session. Giving your body a little movement and stretching before bed can actually tone down the impact of RLS during the night. There are plenty of stretching videos on YouTube that you can count on before bed. Doing yoga before bed is also a great idea as it also puts you in a great mood which really helps in dozing off.
A physiological condition like this requires on-time medical attention. So, don’t waste your time looking for hooks and crooks. What really helps is creating a more sleep-friendly environment around you. Thus, you’ve got to avoid any screen time at least an hour before bed. Snuggle in your weighted blanket while listening to a classical symphony by Tchaikovsky. If you’re feeling more calm and grounded, you’re less likely of being bothered by the discomfort caused by restless legs syndrome.
Mike is one of the lead editors at Weighted Living and the author of this article. He's become fascinated with weighted products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves. He's written quite a few weighted product guides as well.
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