Weighted Blankets

Using A Weighted Blanket To Treat Restless Legs Syndrome?

When you sit down to relax after a long tiresome day, have you ever felt uncomfortable in your legs and suddenly had the urge to rip them off or move them roughly to get relaxed muscles?  So, if you are also suffering from such symptoms, you may have restless legs syndrome (RLS). RLS is a common illness in your nervous system. The disease is so common that it is believed to affect approximately 7-10% of the U.S. population. Well, so if there are so many victims to this, what exactly is this syndrome? Let’s look deep into this.

What Is RLS? 

Restless legs syndrome is a condition that causes bodily discomfort, followed by a strong urge to move in search of relief due to continuous stiffness in leg muscles. People with RLS usually describe this sensation as pain, tingling, restlessness, or seizure and the situation seems to become unbearable. 

RLS as the name suggests mainly affects the lower body parts, but it also affects the arms, chest, and in some cases even the head. The symptoms of RLS usually worsen at night, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay awake even the whole night, the cycle goes on causing immense mental issues too. The weighted blanket consists of square pockets with heavy objects, which are quilted to form a heavy blanket. Heavy objects, such as plastic pellets or other pearls, are usually used as filling materials in these square-shaped bags.

The quilted design helps distribute the weight evenly on the blanket so as these are not bundled up to make it difficult for handling.  When testing for restless legs syndrome, doctors may use a needle electrograph test and other nervous system tests to check the efficiency of your body muscles or circulatory system in general.  

RLS Needs To Be Medically Diagnosed By A Doctor First Before Even Taking Into Account The Following Symptoms:

1. A strong desire to move legs or foots

2. Leg and feet for continuous tingling or other uncomfortable sensations continuously especially when there is no activity 

The symptoms of restless legs syndrome might sometimes change every day and vary from person to person. The symptoms can sometimes disappear completely for a short duration and then come back again causing issues. It’s commonly noticed that when most people are sitting or lying down, symptoms worsen in the evening and night.

What Are The Reasons/Causes Of RLS?

Although the exact cause of restless legs syndrome is still unknown, however, some scientists believe that it may be related to the use of a brain chemical called dopamine, which is an important chemical carrier that controls muscle activity and movement, no doubt how this will affect the nervous system as a whole.  Dopamine levels naturally decrease during the day as some natural phenomenon, which is why RLS symptoms get worse at night due to low levels of dopamine at night. Studies have shown that RLS may be related to low levels of dopamine, a chemical substance that helps muscles move or muscular movement prompt.

The symptoms of restless legs syndrome can range from mildly annoying to extremely annoying depending on the time elapsed. Other possible causes of RLS include genetics/inheritance, pregnancy, iron deficiency, and long-term health conditions such as chronic kidney disease or heart disease which has some effect on the chemical or hormonal imbalance in the body.  RLS is usually associated with pre-existing diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, iron deficiency, diabetes, and neuropathy. Certain drugs, such as some antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-nausea, and even some cold medicines, may have the potential side effects of restless legs syndrome leading to some worst impacts on the body.  All these are reasons for RLS.

Treatment Of RLS

For the worst of news, restless legs syndrome cannot be cured, but many people with this disease are turning to a natural solution to reduce their symptoms in the form of a weighted blanket.  Weighted blankets treatment wherein such blankets use the power of deep Accu-pressure or deep sensation to produce a relaxing impact on the body, which is the most beneficial treatment for RLS patients where the body demands muscle sensation to cure the urge.  

Unfortunately, there happens to be no cure for restless legs syndrome until now even after such advanced science. On the opposite hand, care is more focused on symptom relief for restless leg syndrome patients. Many people who suffer from RLS also suffer from insomnia. Because RLS symptoms are usually strongest at night or at rest as there is no movement during these times. This condition usually prevents rapid falling asleep. The pain and persistent tingling and itching that accompany RLS often occur during sleep and cause frequent disturbances in the sleeping cycle. This lack of sleep can lead to other serious health consequences and illnesses for life, such as obesity, impaired judgment, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Unhealthy sleep disorders due to RLS symptoms can also affect a person’s mental health. All these things are correlated.

Well, the most preferred treatment for restless leg syndrome is said to be weighted blankets. So how can a weighted blanket help treat restless legs syndrome or is it just a mythical thought process? Well, below we will take a closer look at how restless legs syndrome is treated using weighted blankets and how weighted blankets can potentially help people with this disease? 

How Does a Weight-Bearing Blanket Help People With Restless Legs Syndrome? 

If you have RLS, here are some ways weighted blankets may improve your life to have not permanent relief but continuous care and relieving treatment through weighted blankets: 

1.  Weightlifting blankets can be a distraction as they use the technology of deep sensation causing continuous muscle movement. Another reason why RLS looks worse at night is that you just pay more attention to it due to inactivity or numbness during the nighttime. The weighted blanket exerts a slight pressure on your body, diverting your attention from the uncomfortable feeling or seizures in your legs and hence causing some relief from the same. 

2. Weighted blankets improve sleep quality and period by curing or controlling restless legs syndrome. It would be an obvious fact that nobody would be able to sleep if there is a continuous sensation in any part of the body, which is why getting a good night’s sleep with RLS can be difficult or impossible sometimes. During the nighttime, you may want to get up, stretch or walk around the house, which can disrupt your sleep and make you feel sleepy during the day.

3. Although weighted blankets are not capable of curing the symptoms of RLS, it is scientifically proven to improve sleep quality, and better sleep habits may offset some of the effects of RLS through better sleeping habits and a relaxed mind ultimately. The weighted blanket increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter chemical in our body that helps the body produce melatonin, a sleeping enhancing hormone, to make it easier to enter a peaceful sleep.

4. The weighted blanket reduces the load or helps in reducing stress and anxiety as it helps in diverting your mind from the feeling of continuous annoying sensation to something that causes muscle relaxation. Another way through which weighted blankets can help is to reduce stress, which is a common cause of RLS as it can also take place through the immense tiresome schedule. The weighted blankets can essentially make your brain think you are bound to something that gives your tired muscles a sensation of relief due to deep sensory pressure technology, which will lower cortisol, a stress controlling hormone.

5. Weighting blankets not only help reduce RLS symptoms at night but also help promote healthy sleep behavior. A weighted blanket can put deep contact pressure on the legs. The weight of the blanket can promote calmness in the legs and peace of mind due to the diversion of mind from annoying sensations to some good relaxed mind. Some people with RLS cannot tolerate the pressure on the top of their legs, but many people who use weighted blankets as a natural remedy find it very helpful being the best-recommended controller in case of restless leg syndrome.

6. The weighted blanket can also sometimes be an emotional booster or enhancer. Almost everyone starts feeling a bit grumpy after a sleepless night from RLS. You just need to cuddle together with your weighted blanket and let it control your restless legs syndrome. The therapeutic stress of the weighted blankets many times promotes the production of serotonin, which is one of the hormones that make the body feel good. Now isn’t this something worth trying?

How To Use A Weighted Blanket To Treat Restless Legs Syndrome

There is no correct or incorrect way to use a weighted blanket as a treatment for your restless legs syndrome. You can use them anytime and anywhere without much difficulty. As the name suggests, they are not that heavy weighted but are designed to create a deep sensation to treat RLS. Many people with restless syndrome put it on their laps while reading or watching TV or sleeping at night, while others sleep in weighted blankets all night. You can use them while resting anywhere with ease. If you want to sleep under a weighted blanket, please choose a blanket that suits you. For example, if you sleep very hot or feel warm every time, just go on to choose a cold and heavy blanket made of moisture-wicking material. 

The goodness with science is that it never rests back in touching any field that comforts human life, which is how we have gravity-weighted blankets. Gravity-weighted blankets are made of ultra-fine fiber and ultra-fine wool blanket covers over them to provide just the right amount of warmth on cold nights. There are also adaptable blankets to make your life even easier and cozy.

Some Natural Treatments Or Cures

Cases of Restless Legs Syndrome are not related to a more serious or underlying health condition and may not require further mild treatment until it is continuously taken care of in your day-to-day life. But if neglected, you won’t be the only sufferer but all your body parts altogether. Due to all such reasons, most people turn to some natural treatments for RLS. Some natural treatments for restless legs syndrome include massage, iron supplements, and relaxation techniques before going to bed. You shall also include a regular exercising routine to get better results in RLS treatment. The symptoms of RLS can also affect other parts of the body, such as the chest, the trunk, and arms sometimes. 

Other massage and relaxation techniques before wrapping may be helpful and relieving causing relaxation in RLS. Daily yoga practice can help control RLS symptoms; you just need to be a bit regular with your schedule. Certain yoga postures and stretching exercises just before heading towards bed can produce positive results in the case of restless leg syndrome. In addition to tightening and relaxing the leg muscles, you shall even try to use breathing techniques to calm down your muscles with maximum oxygen supply. Such breathing exercises work like contractions in the leg muscles when you breathe in the oxygen and exhale when you relax the muscles. All these treatments can help in achieving the best cure for your RLS. This can help relieve symptoms, but it can also help the brain not to associate the bed with discomfort or insomnia providing the best-relaxed mind.

However, using one of the best-weighted blankets at night can amplify the benefits of these natural techniques and promote quieter sleep. Generally speaking, lifestyle changes can help people with mild to medium symptoms through regular exercise, better sleep habits, and quitting smoking.

Well, some drugs are commonly used to treat RLS and relieve symptoms but they are quite harmful in the long run and need to be consumed only under the doctor’s strict supervision. All these methods can help one RLS patient in the best possible way, you just need to be a bit precise and regular with your lifestyle and routine to get the best treatment as an RLS patient.

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