With so much going on in our busy lives, we all deserve a night of deep rest at the end of the day. Despite our wanting it so much, falling asleep is not always a simple task. Studies show that over 65% of people in the Middle East struggle with sleep deprivation, and it accounts for one of the top three mental health concerns in the region (the other two being anxiety and depression). With more than 20% of patients asking for sleeping pills globally, another study estimates that the amount of people suffering from sleep disorders has exploded to 1 billion, which is 10 times the amount previously thought.
Experts strongly recommend developing good sleep habits (sometimes referred to as “sleep hygiene”) which include switching off gadgets an hour before bedtime, following your circadian rhythm and sleeping at the same time every night, avoiding large dinners, and making sure your bedroom is suitably dark, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature.
Saddened by the rise in sleep problems among members of her own family, entrepreneur Mansi Khandelwal, became a voice for the cause and founded The Sleep Chapter - the region’s first brand hand-crafting weighted blankets to help you sleep better, dream bigger, and wake up feeling brand new. To the uninitiated, weighted blankets have long been held as one of society’s best-kept secrets. A therapeutic tool used by both sleep specialists and medical professionals alike to help patients with chronic pain, stress-related insomnia, and acute anxiety combat restless sleep. A weighted blanket uses “pressure therapy”, a calm-inducing amount of pressure on your entire body, which mimics the feeling of being hugged, swaddled, or gently held, which is known to lull you into deep baby-like sleep.
WHAT IS A WEIGHTED BLANKET?
Weighted blankets are therapeutic blankets that weigh between 5 and 30 pounds. The pressure from the extra weight mimics a therapeutic technique called deep touch pressure. While these were initially used by Occupational Therapists to help address anxiety in children and patients with ADHD, in today’s times, it is suited for anyone who seeks deep sleep.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Sometimes, all we need is a motherly touch, and that is how a weighted blanket feels. By applying an evenly distributed weight across your whole body, it gently puts you into a calm state while giving you a sense of warmth and protection, and releasing oxytocin or ‘the cuddle chemical’ - which curbs any restlessness and feelings of anxiety. This sends signals to your brain to start winding down during bedtime.
“Sometimes, all we need is a motherly touch.”
Weighted blankets address the basic human need to feel connection and contact. Several studies have outlined a strong scientific foundation for the therapeutic power of sleeping under weight; Deep Touch Pressure has been proven to relieve anxiety and calm the nervous system. Additionally, the weight of the blanket creates a grounding effect on the body, which helps in lowering cortisol levels (especially in women), relieving pain, and stress, and also trouble getting sleep. It releases melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep and relax, thus creating deeper REM cycles, leading to more restful sleep. It is used effectively for young children (age 3 onwards), adults, children or adults with autism, anxiety or ADHD, and sleep concerns. After sleeping under a weighted blanket, 63% of participants felt less anxious and 78% of participants chose it as their preferred calming method.
PICK THE RIGHT WEIGHTED BLANKET:
Important to choose the right one for you, The Sleep Chapter recommends a blanket that is approximately 10% of your total body weight. This guarantees that it’s heavy enough to exert the pressure you need to trigger all the benefits, but not so heavy that it feels uncomfortable. You should gradually transition into using your weighted blanket, start by covering your legs for a few nights before you use it completely. The blankets can be used on top of your current duvet or alone as well. The Sleep Chapter’s blankets are made from 100% organic and natural fabrics such as organic cotton, organic bamboo, and cotton velvet and filled with microfibre glass beads which are eco-friendly, hypo-allergenic, shatterproof, noiseless, safe, and what’s more important is that it does not trap heat. The closest thing to you, as you go into a deep restorative sleep, is your blanket. Make sure yours supports your need to have a calming embrace all through the night. The Sleep Chapter is the Middle East’s first start-up dedicated to crafting 100% all-natural high-quality weighted blankets for adults and children alike.
* This story has been published in the June 2023 issue of L'Officiel Arabia. Out now.