Deep Pressure Stimulation

What is Deep Pressure Stimulation?

Imagine the serene and cozy feeling of waking under a heavy down comforter on a winter morning. That sense of relaxation isn’t just from the warmth; it’s a result of the weight of the blanket. The consistent and even pressure on your body affects your nervous system, a phenomenon known as Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS).

Deep Pressure Stimulation involves applying a firm yet gentle pressure to the body. This pressure activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This phenomena has been developed into a therapeutic tool that has been proven to foster a calmer, happier state of mind and can notably improve sleep quality.

Deep Pressure Stimulation can:

  • boost “happy hormone”‘ serotonin levels,
  • reduce the “stress hormone” cortisol, and
  • increase melatonin,  which is involved in synchronizing circadian rhythms, including sleep

Whether through holding, hugging, squeezing, or swaddling, DPS can make individuals feel more relaxed and ready for rest, enhancing their overall sleep experience. Initially designed to help individuals with sensory processing disorders like ADHD, DPS has now found broad applications in commercial products for the general populace.

DPS in Sleep Products: Weighted Blankets and Pillows

Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets are the most popular DPS products in the sleep industry. Designed to be 10-12% of your body weight, these blankets provide a distributed pressure across your body, offering the therapeutic benefits of DPS. Users often report feeling more secure and calm, leading to quicker sleep onset and fewer nighttime awakenings.

An unzipped buckwheat hull pillow
An unzipped Hullo pillow reveals its buckwheat hull filling.

Weighted Pillows

Weighted pillows are filled with dense materials like buckwheat hulls, offering both comfort and versatility. Ideal for both sleep and daytime relaxation, they bring a soothing presence to any space. Like weighted blankets, they apply an even and consistent pressure that can soothe tension when held close.

Additionally, buckwheat pillows excel in their traditional role as bed pillows.

The natural firmness and adaptability of the buckwheat hull filling conforms perfectly to the shape of your head and neck, providing personalized support that lasts all night. Buckwheat pillows’ unique characteristics help in reducing common issues like neck pain and stiffness.

the right pillow allows for a neutral sleeping position

Eco-Friendly and Natural Options

For individuals looking for natural and eco-friendly options to enhance their sleep, buckwheat pillows are a great choice. These pillows resonate with principles of sustainable living, making them a well-rounded, environmentally conscious option for improved sleep.

Embrace Restful Nights

Incorporating Deep Pressure Stimulation into your nightly routine with products like weighted blankets and buckwheat pillows can significantly enhance your sleep quality. As we become more aware of the essential role sleep plays in our overall health, turning to these innovative, natural, and eco-friendly solutions is a smart and effective choice for improving restfulness.

Hip Pain from Sleeping on Your Side

My wife and I stayed overnight at my sister’s house last weekend. My sister enthusiastically pointed to the new Casper mattress in the guest bedroom. “We just got this, let me know what you think!”

It seemed great at first, but late that night I woke up with an ache in my hip. Like most people, I’m a side sleeper, so I just rolled over to relieve the discomfort. Unfortunately after an hour or two, I woke up again with an ache in my other hip. All night I tossed and turned.

While lying awake, I wondered if I should try sleeping on my back. I’d tried to change my sleep positions before, without much luck. I gave it a go, but got a quick elbow from my wife. “You’re snoring!”

When I got home, I did some research. Why did this particular mattress make my hips hurt? It seemed perfectly comfortable when I went to bed that night.

After some reading, I learned that both firm and soft mattresses can cause hip pain. Nothing is ever simple…

Firm Mattress Hip Pain

Many prefer a firm mattress because they believe it offers better support. However, sleeping on an excessively firm mattress, especially if you’re a side sleeper, can lead to hip pain. The firm surface creates pressure points on your hips, restricting blood flow and causing discomfort. This pressure can often lead to pain, numbness, and tingling in the hip area. Fortunately, this type of discomfort typically dissipates quickly when you change your sleeping position or adjust your mattress.

Soft Mattress Struggles

On the other end of the spectrum, sleeping on an overly soft mattress can also contribute to hip pain. A soft mattress allows your hips to sink too deeply, causing your hips to flex outside of their natural range of motion. This deviation can lead to misalignment issues, which can result in pain and stiffness over the course of the night. Unlike pressure point pain, the discomfort caused by alignment issues may not become noticeable until you have slept for a few hours or wake up in the morning.

Hip pain from side sleeping can be resolved with a softer or firmer mattress.

I couldn’t tell if my sister’s new memory foam mattress was too soft or too firm for me. It felt great when I initially climbed into bed. Even when the ache set in, I wasn’t sure what was causing it.

When I returned home to my own supremely-comfortable mattress (a really old Kingsdown), it became evident that the Casper mattress was firmer, mostly b/c it was lacking the soft pillow top that my mattress had. Thus I had to conclude that my body needs a softer mattress type. That’s a good thing to know, b/c my wife just ordered a king-size frame and we’ll be in the market for a good mattress in a few weeks!

Finding the Right Balance

So, what’s the solution? Unfortunately it’s not a simple task to find the right mattress. There is no single type that’s just right for everyone. Here are some tips to help you choose the right one:

  1. Consider Your Sleep Position: Your preferred sleep position plays a significant role in determining the ideal mattress firmness for you. Side sleepers like myself often require a softer mattress to cushion the hips, while back or stomach sleepers might benefit from a firmer surface.
  2. Test Before You Invest: Before making a purchase, take the time to test out different mattresses in a showroom. There’s no substitute for trying it in person. Lie down in your typical sleep positions and gauge the comfort level to determine if it suits your needs. While many of the internet retailers will take returns, it’s often not easy and the mattresses often end up in a landfill.
  3. Pay Attention to Support: A mattress should provide adequate support to maintain proper spinal alignment (straight and parallel to the ground) while allowing your hips and shoulders to sink slightly for pressure relief. Look for a mattress that maintains this balance.
  4. Read Reviews: Online reviews and testimonials from other consumers can provide valuable insights into how different mattresses perform in terms of comfort and support.
  5. Consult with a Professional: If you’re experiencing chronic hip pain, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or orthopedic specialist who can offer guidance on the best mattress for your specific needs.

Hip pain from sleeping is a common issue that can often be traced back to the mattress you sleep on. Whether it’s the pressure points caused by a firm mattress or the misalignment from a soft one, finding the right balance is key to a restful night’s sleep. By considering your sleep position and testing mattresses before purchasing, you can make an informed choice that supports your hip health and overall well-being. Remember, the path to better sleep and less hip pain begins with the right mattress.