When nocturnal bruxism symptoms such as teeth grinding and jaw clenching shatter your sleep, you're often told to limit late-night caffeine and screen time, establish a solid bedtime routine, and create a good sleeping environment. Along with wearing a custom-fit night guard, that's excellent advice. Besides the previous recommendations there is a brand new term and therapy, weighted blanket for teeth grinding, which we are going to explain.
However, you can also turn to an unexpected resource for inspiration: Charles Schultz's "Peanuts." Reflective and wise beyond his years, the cartoon character Linus found great comfort in the presence of his faithful blue blanket. In fact, his reliance on it brought the term "security blanket" into the public's vocabulary.
Now, sleep experts report a connection between weighted blankets and better sleep. Using a weighted blanket for teeth grinding could help you enjoy quality sleep. Keep reading to learn how weighted blankets work, who can benefit, and how to choose the right weighted blanket.
Teeth Grinding, Stress, and Sleep
Millions of Americans battle sleep bruxism, a condition defined by subconscious teeth grinding and jaw clenching while sleeping. It can lead to painful problems, including dental damage, headaches, earaches, pain in the jaw and face, and TMJ disorders.
Like other sleep disorders, bruxism can make getting a good night's rest difficult. Doctors aren't exactly sure what causes it, but stress does seem to be a major part of the problem. In these cases, a weighted blanket offers a potential solution.
As the name implies, weighted blankets are blankets with a little extra heft. These specialty blankets typically weigh between 4 pounds and 30 pounds. Sleeping under one mimics deep pressure stimulation therapy, which is used to help people suffering from everything from depression and anxiety to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The blanket's weight delivers a calming compression that many users compare to a hug. This naturally reduces stress and anxiety.
A Complementary Treatment, Weighted Blanket
Whether your bruxism is mild or severe, sleeping under a weighted blanket could be beneficial. However, patients with moderate or severe bruxism will likely need to use this complementary therapy in combination with other treatments. Many people find that a weighted blanket pairs beautifully with a night guard.
The weighted blanket helps them to relax and sleep more deeply. Meanwhile, the night guard is an oral appliance worn while sleeping which forms a protective barrier between their upper and lower teeth. Its presence makes it more difficult for the teeth to contact each other when patients grind their teeth. This prevents tooth damage, eases the strain on the jaw's muscles and joints, and reduces discomfort.
Weighted blankets and night guards actually have several common traits. Both are drug-free, easy to use, comfortable to wear, and readily available.
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How Weighted Blankets Work
Weighted blankets work through deep pressure stimulation. Deep pressure stimulation refers to the use of physical touch to coax the body's autonomic nervous system to unwind and relax. When firm, comforting pressure is applied to the body, the brain releases a cocktail of feel-good neurotransmitters, including serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine.
These all-natural chemicals soothe stress, ease anxiety, reduce pain, and improve mood. This benefits both your physical and mental health. The pressure can come from a hug, a massage, a special vest, or a weighted blanket.
Could a Weighted Blanket Work for You?
If you struggle with bruxism, you likely have little to lose from trying a properly-fitted, weighted blanket. For most people, there are very few risks or negative side effects associated with using one.
However, there are some ages and conditions weighted blankets are not compatible with:
- Children under the age of 2: Weighted blankets can increase suffocation risks for infants and toddlers.
- Asthmatics: Asthma can interfere with breathing in the middle of the night. The addition of a weighted blanket may worsen the problem.
- Joint issues: The pressure generated by a weighted blanket may be uncomfortable for individuals with injured or damaged joints.
- Claustrophobia: Sleeping under a weighted blanket may be too confining for people who fear being closed in.
- Overheating: While a variety of weighted blankets are available, people who tend to overheat may find their warmth overwhelming.
Choosing the Right Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets contain pellets or beads made of glass or plastic. This unusual filling produces a heavier blanket that delivers smooth, even pressure. Thanks to their soaring popularity, these blankets come in an array of weights, sizes, materials, and price points.
To choose the right heavy blanket for your needs, you'll need to keep a few different things in mind:
- Your weight: To get the proper amount of pressure, choose a weighted blanket that is roughly 10% of your body weight.
- Your size: While most covers are sized to fit a bed, weighted blankets tend to be sized to fit one individual. Consider your height and sleeping position. Then, choose a blanket that will offer a comfortable amount of coverage.
- Your budget: Weighted blankets typically are priced between $50 and $400.
- Your preferences: The look and feel of a blanket are important things to consider. You should also think about the amount of warmth it delivers and the potential for allergens.
- The weighted blanket's construction: Durability can have a major impact on the effectiveness and lifespan of your weighted blanket. The ease of laundering is another concern. The weight and bulk of these blankets can make washing them challenging. In fact, duvet covers are often recommended to extend the time between launderings.
Shopping for Weighted Blankets
If you're ready to shop for a weighted blanket but aren't sure where to begin, we have you covered. We looked on Amazon to find some of the website’s best weighted blankets available:
With 4-pound and 5-pound options, Waowoo's weighted blanket is sized right for kids. It's crafted from a breathable fabric and filled with glass beads to deliver pressure. While the blanket is washable, you may want to use a duvet cover. Prices for the blanket start at $49, and the duvet cover is sold separately.
Sized to fit a queen bed, this weighted blanket is free from chemicals, as are all this company’s fabrics. Due to the blanket’s quilted pattern, the glass bead fillings stay in place so you don’t have to readjust it during the night. Lastly, with its larger size and range of weight options (12 pounds and 20 pounds), the blanket can potentially be shared by two people.
This weighted blanket prioritizes breathability, temperature control, and durability. A core of non-toxic glass beads and soft fabrics are covered with 100% cotton. It's hypoallergenic and Oeko-Tex certified as free of harmful chemicals.
Weights range between 5 pounds and 25 pounds, and a variety of sizes and patterns are available. No duvet cover is available, but the blanket is advertised as machine washable. Prices range between $45 and $140.
Glass beads tucked within six fabric layers bring real heft to these weighted blankets. Featuring an outer layer of Oeko-Tex certified cotton, they're designed to be used either alone or with a matching duvet cover. Shoppers can choose from a wide range of colors, sizes, and weights (from 5 pounds to 30 pounds).
The price tag for the blanket depends on its size and weight, but buyers can expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $190. Matching duvet covers are sold separately.
Night Guard And Weighted Blanket
High sleep quality is essential for wellness. However, getting it can be tricky, especially for those who struggle with sleep-related movement disorders like bruxism. Sleeping under the comforting heft of a weighted blanket can reduce stress, encourage relaxation, and allow you to sleep more deeply. For even better results, bruxism sufferers can wear a night guard while sleeping under a weighted blanket.
If you're searching for a comfortable, high-quality BPA Free night guard that won't break the bank, turn to Pro Teeth Guard. We make it easy to get custom-fit mouthguards online. Our affordable night guards are made in a professional dental lab using professional materials and processes. The quality is on par with the products you’d receive from a dentist, but the price tag is much lower. You'll also receive the comfort of our 110% money-back guarantee.