July 9, 2021 | by Naomi Myerson
The quest for a good night’s sleep – but a really good night’s sleep, one of those where you wake up in the morning feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world - is universal.
Research shows that quality sleep can boost the immune system, strengthen heart health, increase productivity and improve memory, to name just a few of its numerous advantages. With factors such as increased use of technology, stress, and anxiety increasingly affecting our ability to wind down for the night, it is clear that we could all benefit from better sleep. But if you’ve spoken to a pregnant friend or loved one recently, or are going through the process of growing a tiny human yourself, you will know that future moms are in need of a great night’s sleep even more so than most.
Pregnancy can interfere with quality sleep in numerous ways, particularly towards the second and third trimester. As women’s bodies work to protect and nurture the developing baby, increased heart rate and shortness of breath can make it more difficult to relax when lying down and subsequently fall asleep. Due to their ever-growing bellies, many pregnant women also experience backaches and leg cramps, making it tough to find a comfortable sleeping position.
Enter the weighted blanket: the newest must-have night-time accessory for future mothers. A weighted blanket is a heavy quilt with pockets typically filled with materials such as sand, plastic weights, steel balls or micro-glass beads, distributed evenly throughout the quilt. In the case of Sunday Citizen, take hypo-allergenic premium glass pearls and add in thousands of pieces of Clear Quartz, Rose Quartz and Amethyst that harness ancient, natural healing energy to promote feelings of peace and make you feel amazing.
Ever since the start of the pandemic, weighted blankets have been having a moment, and for good reason. Their surge in popularity can be attributed to such factors as their anxiety-relieving effects, their ability to alleviate insomnia symptoms, and the calming sensation they provide of being hugged or swaddled. Users describe feeling as if they are being wrapped in a cocoon, and sleep psychologists have even touted the benefits of weighted blanket use to treat sensory processing disorders, autism and ADHD in children.
The positive impact of a quality weighted blanket is clear, and with doctors giving them the green light for use during pregnancy, there’s no reason why pregnant women shouldn’t reap the rewards. Here’s how a weighted blanket could benefit you.
A common side effect of pregnancy is swelling of the legs and hands, due to the fact that a woman’s body produces almost 50% more fluid during this time, particularly during the final four months. A quality weighted blanket can help to reduce inflammation and swelling thanks to the gentle, even pressure it exerts on the body as you sleep. Think peaceful sighs and no more achy, swollen feet – pure bliss.
Alleviating Anxiety and Stress
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed at the many life changes that occur during pregnancy, despite a woman’s best efforts to stay calm and relaxed. For first-time mothers especially, the fear of the unknown, increased hormone production, worrying about the baby’s health, and the anticipation of motherhood can cause anxiety and stress levels to rise.
Many pregnant women have reported that weighted blankets help to alleviate these feelings, and this is no coincidence. The science behind it comes from something called Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS) Therapy.
The gentle pressure of a weighted blanket is proven to stimulate the body’s serotonin production, due to the brain associating this feeling with being hugged, cuddled, and comforted. Serotonin is a chemical found in the body that helps with relaxation and melatonin production, helping to soothe your racing thoughts, promote peaceful sleep, slow down your breathing, and allow you to find rest and calm.
Relief from Restless Legs Syndrome
Nearly a third of pregnant women will experience restless legs syndrome (RLS) during pregnancy. This condition can affect sleep quality, as the “itchy” or “pulling” sensation associated with it triggers an overwhelming urge to move your legs, often causing the sleeper to wake up in the middle of the night.
Whilst there are medicines used to treat restless legs syndrome, many pregnant women prefer a more natural solution such as a weighted blanket, which studies have found can help to significantly reduce RLS symptoms.
Our Weighted Blanket Recommendations
When choosing the right weighted blanket for you, one thing to bear in mind is exactly how heavy you want your blanket to be; sleep experts recommend choosing a blanket that is roughly 10% of a person’s body weight, for maximum comfort. When it comes to future mamas, doctors advise that this calculation should be based around pre-pregnancy weight, as opposed to an increased pregnancy weight.
With a wide-ranging choice of 10lb, 15lb, 20lb, or 35lb throws in three beautiful, tranquil colors including off white, purple haze, and cloud grey, Sunday Citizen has you covered. Our weighted blankets are made from a uniquely soft and cozy fabric that will leave you snug as a pregnant bug in a rug. With holistic crystal energy, including naturally soothing amethyst, clear quartz for healing, and rose quartz to promote feelings of harmony, trust, and love, get set for the most restorative sleep of your life.