Using weighted blankets is a type of deep pressure therapy at home that helps calm the body, improve sleep challenges and alleviate anxiety symptoms. The use of heavy blankets can yield positive results for ADHD, autism, anxiety, and other health conditions. Anyone can use weighted blankets, but parents should consult pediatricians before their children use these blankets. Health practitioners recommend that people suffering from sleep apnea and chronic respiratory health conditions consult them first.
How weighted blankets can help you
1. Manage sleep and mood disorders
Serotonin and dopamine brain chemicals are responsible for a calming effect that combats anxiety and depression. Cortisol hormones cause stress, negatively affect blood sugar, digestion and also lowers immunity. Using a weighted blanket provides gentle, deep pressure stimulation of the body that promotes serotonin and dopamine while reducing cortisol. That will lead to better sleep and improve your mood too. A weighted blanket is a non-drug approach towards treatment of insomnia.
2. Pain relief
Research shows that weighted blankets can help manage pain caused by fibromyalgia, arthritis, and restless leg syndrome. The heavy blankets help to ground the body. Grounding the body helps calm it and promotes reduced productions of cortisol that leads to pain relief. Research shows that weighted blankets can help relieve muscle, tendon, and ligament pain and alleviate fatigue. This improves the quality of life for people suffering from chronic pain and other painful health conditions.
3. Helps manage anxiety, PTSD, and panic disorders
People suffering from anxiety can find relief in using the weighted blanket because of its therapeutic touch. Travel anxiety or anxiety caused by new environments are common challenges that one can combat using a weighted blanket. Trauma due to accidents or physical assault can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Using a weighted blanket helps ease the symptoms of such health disorders. It also improves the pulse rate and blood pressure. People vulnerable to panic attacks will find it refreshing and relaxing to use a weighted blanket. It promotes neurotransmitters and produces calming-hormones. These calms the brain and body for more relaxation.
4. Enhances mental focus
For children with sensory processing disorders such as autism or ADHD, using a weighted blanket at night helps them sleep better. These children may wear weighted vests or lap pads to help them maintain focus and concentration in class. The weighted vests or lap pads activate the sense of touch such that other sensory stimuli such as noise do not cause distractions.
Tips to choosing a weighted blanket
- Decide on the right size.
- Consider the type of material used to make it and the option of a removable cover.
- Consider the pellets and fill options. You may choose the plastic or glass pellet-filled weighted blankets. If you prefer a warmer weighted blanket, you should choose one with fiberfill.
- The weight of the blanket will depend on the end-user. Children’s weighted blankets should be lighter than those of adults.
Weighted blankets provide deep pressure stimulation to calm, soothe, and relax one to sleep. It promotes the production of calming neurotransmitters and hormones that leads to body and brain calming. They also contribute to pain relief to promote sleep and body rest. Therefore, choose these blankets based on your personal needs.