In this Article
- What Are Weighted Blankets?
- Where Do You Find One?
- Why You Might Try a Weighted Blanket
- How Do They Work?
- Do They Work?
- Who ShouldnвЂ™t Use Weighted Blankets?
- Before You Buy One
Should you tuck into bed with a weighted blanket? These trendy blankets are heavier than normal ones. The weight of the blanket puts pressure on your body as you sleep under it, almost like a warm hug. Weighted blankets may have health benefits, too.
What Are Weighted Blankets?
These blankets have extra heft. They may be made of heavier materials or layers of fabric filled with tiny glass or plastic pellets. They can weigh anywhere from 3 pounds to more than 20. It feels like the lead apron your dentist places over you when you get an X-ray.
Where Do You Find One?
Weighted blankets are sold at drugstores, department stores, or online. You can even make your own.
Weighted blankets arenвЂ™t cheap. They often cost between $65 and $200.
Why You Might Try a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets are used as an alternative therapy for several conditions:
Occupational therapists (OTs) sometimes use weighted blankets as part of therapy for children with sensory issues like anxiety or ADHD.
How Do They Work?
The theory behind these blankets is that the pressure of the weight provides some therapeutic value. ItвЂ™s almost like a babyвЂ™s swaddling blanket that soothes it as it sleeps. Weighted blankets can:
Calm your nerves. Pressure from the blanket may trigger nervous system responses that lower your heart rate and breathing when youвЂ™re anxious. This can help you calm down and sleep. Weighted blankets could also help you stop tossing and turning in bed, so you lie still and go to sleep.
Trigger natural chemicals. The pressure could trigger your brain to release a chemical called serotonin, which helps your mind and body calm down. Serotonin can keep your mood steady and help with sleep.
Pressure may help your body release oxytocin, which may improve your immune system response, ease pain and stress, and help you sleep.
Sensory therapy. Weighted blankets may help some people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or ADHD who are overstimulated by noise around them. At bedtime, the blanketвЂ™s pressure may help them feel safe and protected. They calm down and get some rest.
Do They Work?
ThereвЂ™s no solid proof that weighted blankets treat health or sleep problems. One study found that college students who slept under weighted blankets for one semester had lower anxiety and better-quality sleep. People who had dental treatments with a weighted blanket placed over them said the pressure reduced their anxiety.
Weighted blankets donвЂ™t improve sleep for kids with autism, according to one study. Children who slept with the blankets didnвЂ™t fall asleep faster, sleep longer, or wake up less often.
If you have insomnia, try using a weighted blanket along with a good sleep routine, like going to bed at the same time each night or turning off your phone. You could also try proven techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you sleep better.
Who ShouldnвЂ™t Use Weighted Blankets?
Infants, toddlers, or very young children shouldnвЂ™t use a weighted blanket. The pellets or glass beads can fall out and become a choking hazard. The heavy blanket could cover a childвЂ™s face while they sleep.
If you have sleep apnea, breathing problems, or any chronic health condition, check with your doctor before you use a weighted blanket. Ask your childвЂ™s pediatrician or therapist before letting your child sleep under one. They arenвЂ™t safe for children with epilepsy, breathing or heart problems, skin allergies, blood circulation problems, or those who canвЂ™t remove the blanket on their own.
Before You Buy One
Select a blanket that weighs no more than 10% of your body weight, and check the washing instructions first to see if itвЂ™s easy to launder at home. Make sure you or your child like the way the fabric feels and are comfortable with how much it weighs. You donвЂ™t want to feel hot or trapped by the blanketвЂ™s weight.
Harvard Medical School: вЂњAnxiety and stress weighing heavily at night? A new blanket might help.вЂќ
Penn Medicine: вЂњMore Than Just a Fad: 4 Ways Weighted Blankets Can Actually Help You.вЂќ
Understood.org: вЂњWeighted Blankets and ADHD: What You Need to Know.вЂќ
Gillette ChildrenвЂ™s Specialty Healthcare: вЂњWeighted Blankets Bring Calm and Comfort.вЂќ
Oxford Health/National Health Service: вЂњGuidance on the Use of Weighted and Compressing Products.вЂќ
National Sleep Foundation: вЂњWill a Weighted Blanket Help You Sleep Better?вЂќ
Endocrine Society: вЂњWhat Is Serotonin?вЂќ
Illinois Wesleyan University School of Nursing: вЂњEffects of Weighted Blankets on College StudentsвЂ™ Anxiety.вЂќ
Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering: вЂњPhysiological Effects of Deep Touch Pressure on Anxiety Alleviation: The Weighted Blanket Approach.вЂќ
Pediatrics: вЂњWeighted Blankets and Sleep in Autistic Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial.вЂќ
Feeling anxious? Can’t sleep? Originally Intended for people with mental health conditions and children with autism, it was not long before mainstream society discovered weighted blankets for anxiety and insomnia.
While the idea might appear arbitrary and completely new, the concept behind using a pressure blanket to help with stress has existed since the beginning of human existence. For example, Palaeolithic humans swaddled babies to not just keep them safe but to also help them feel secure.
What Exactly Are Weighted Blankets?
As the name suggests, it’s a blanket that has been weighed down with objects. The first prototypes typically had rice, beans, corn, stone, and other small, curved items. But challenges arose when the food-based items began sprouting. It was also difficult for manufacturers to locate things that were adequately dense enough to offer the ideal quantity of fat in such a restricted surface area.
The other difficulty they encountered was finding a way to distribute the weight evenly, as they soon found that irregular pressure had limited advantages.
Today’s weighted blankets for anxiety and insomnia utilize either plastic pellets or glass beads. This makes the materials easier to preserve and come with two bits: the anti-anxiety blanket itself, and also a covering that is typically a duvet cover.
Can It Actually Assist People with Anxiety and Insomnia?
These weighted blankets have been utilized to help people with a variety of neurological and mental conditions, such as anxiety and insomnia. The way these things work is by simply mimicking the feeling of a reassuring hug.
There’s more to it than that though. The weight of the fabric also gives an effect similar to deep pressure touch (DPT). This sort of treatment involves applying pressure gently to the body and extremities. The byproduct of DPT is an increase in serotonin production, which aids with both stress relief and reseting your circadian rhythm for quality sleep.
How Heavy Should It Be?
Utilizing the ideal amount of fat is crucial. If it’s too mild, it will not have the desired result. On the flip side, versions that are too heavy could boost nervousness, not reduce it.
As a general rule, it must be roughly 10 percent of your bodyweight plus a few pounds. Meaning, if you weigh 150 lbs, your weighted blanket needs to be 15 to 17 pounds.
Other Useful Advantages
Weighted blankets can help improve both the quality and quantity of your sleep. An analysis published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders discovered that the calming effect of this weight caused patients to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly throughout the evening. In addition, they reported feeling much more refreshed in the afternoon.
When the body produces serotonin, it transforms into melatonin. This hormone is what’s responsible for making us feel exhausted, and it peaks at night when it’s time for bed.
Along with the sleep-inducing attributes of serotonin, additionally, it makes sense that it is easier to unwind while being in a pleasure filled state. This keeps the amygdala which is responsible for our fight or flight systems tamed.
Higher Comfort Levels
Our nervous system consists of 3 components: The parasympathetic, sympathetic, and enteric systems. We won’t get too much into the science here, but it is important to notice that the parasympathetic system is responsible for regulating bodily functions like digestion, blood pressure, and heart rate.
This is where I believe weighted blankets for anxiety and insomnia can be quite helpful as a sidekick.
When we’re anxious, our parasympathetic nervous system isn’t able to execute correctly. However, DPT raises the activity within this component of the nervous system, helping people relax.
Anxiety causes a “fight or flight” reaction, and this triggers action in another region of the body: the sympathetic nervous system. If this system is activated, adrenaline and cortisol (a stress hormone) proceed through our veins, which prepares us for a battle or a sprint. It’s like being chased by a tiger, except there is no real imminent danger around.
As you can imagine, once the sympathetic nervous system is overly busy, we feel greater anxiety, and insomnia is an almost certain fate. Happily, a deep pressure signature (or a heavy swath of cloth that duplicates the impact of it) stimulates the other portion of the nervous system, promoting calmness and relaxation ( these 5 teas will also help).
Weighted blankets can also help improve attention and concentration. Both children and adults who sat using a weighted blanket in their lap during an activity like reading or studying reported that they’re better able to concentrate and focus.
In Reality, one study showed that kids with ADHD had an 18 to 25% improvement in remaining on task when they had one of these things on them.
Pharmaceutical drugs are costly and have a long list of side effects. If you’re looking for a more natural approach to ease anxiety and get superior sleep, then a gravity blanket is a more drug-free alternative. Of course, weighted blankets for anxiety and insomnia are just sidekicks to a program that can help resolve the root causes of your inner distress.
Deeper sleep issues
Each one of the roles in the body are related to one another, and by throwing one off-balance it tends to cause other unintended effects. Insomnia affects nearly one-third of the population, and also the consequences of sleep deprivation range from obesity to diabetes.
Many people find that once they encounter a night or 2 of sleeplessness their emotions take a downward spiral. They run into health anxiety (here’s my personal story on YouTube ), and feel the need to monitor all their physical symptoms . Among the key advantages of this weighted material, in my view, is the fact that it can help break the cycle of insomnia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are weighted blankets successful for adults?
While a lot of people have directly observed how well they work for kids, they still wonder, “do weighted blankets work for adults?” It’s a sleep aid, so we must treat it as so and not overly judge the results instantly instead giving ourselves more time to adjust. But I have a few adult friends that love it.
Is it safe for infants and toddlers?
Yes, it’s safe, but make sure that the blanket is not too heavy or big.
Can I make my own weighted blankets for anxiety and insomnia?
It’s possible to create your own version at home when you’ve got the patience and you’ve also learned how to sew. I personally don’t have the patience to make a weighted blanket, but if you do or did already, comment below and let me know!
Imagine getting targeted advice daily from me for 16 weeks which will lead to your freedom from anxiety. Learn more about the Inner Circle program today Here (Option 4).
Sleeping with a weighted blanket (also called a gravity blanket) is like receiving a hug all night long. The gentle pressure of a weighted blanket helps relax and calm the body, allowing you to slip into the perfect slumber.
If anxiety, insomnia, or stress impacts your sleep, it’s the perfect night time companion to help you achieve the deep sleep you’re longing for. If you’re not sure how to use a weighted blanket, the tips below will guide you to make the most of its calming benefits.
Using a Weighted Blanket: Tips + Guidelines
A weighted blanket can be used similarly to any other blanket. How you choose to use it will depend on your preferences and personal sleep habits.
Think about what your goals are for sleep, then consider these general tips to use a weighted blanket in your nighttime routine.
- Test it out for comfort: There’s no right or wrong time to use your weighted blanket, however many people choose to use it overnight. Tailor it to your sleep routine, ensuring it’s cozy and calming.
- Replace your current comforter or use both: A weighted blanket can replace the comforter or duvet you currently use, or you can use them both. If you choose to use both, the weighted blanket can be placed either on top or below your bedding. It’s all about your preference!
- Cover your entire body: For full relaxation, cover your entire body from your shoulders down to your feet. If needed, you can use just half of the blanket (over your legs) for the first few days to let your body adjust. Lying on your back can help evenly distribute the weight, but by no means is it required.
- Use the blanket consistently over time: To achieve the long-term benefits, make it a regular part of your routine.
- Track improvements in your sleep patterns: Consider tracking your energy levels or sleep cycles as your body and mind adapts to using the blanket.
Can You Use a Weighted Blanket All Night?
The amount of time you use your weighted blanket is up to you. Some sleep consultants recommend using it for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, while others sleep with it overnight. As you test it out, decide based on your preferences and what you find is most comfortable.
How Long to Use a Weighted Blanket
The light pressure will help you feel instantly more relaxed, so there’s no specific time frame on how long to use a weighted blanket. For long-term benefits, it depends on how often you use it. Some people may need consistent use over time to develop healthier sleep patterns. We’re all wired differently, so just like with any other habit — consistency is key.
Are Weighted Blankets Good for Side Sleepers?
Sleeping with a weighted blanket can offer benefits no matter how you like to sleep. If you’re a side sleeper, consider purchasing one on the lighter side since the weight won’t be as evenly distributed if you were to sleep on your back.
Who Should Not Use a Weighted Blanket?
When used properly, weighted blankets are safe for most adults and kids. While there are very few risks, below are a few groups and exceptions to consider.
- For young kids: Weighted blankets can pose a safety hazard for small children under the age of three or that weigh less than 50 pounds. Always consult with your pediatrician for their recommendations and use adult supervision.
- For pregnant women: Weighted blankets can be helpful during pregnancy if you’re having trouble getting a good night’s rest. Check with your doctor for any risk factors specific to your pregnancy beforehand.
- For seniors: When it comes to sleeping as you age, a weighted blanket may offer relief for sleep problems. If you have any health conditions, always consult your doctor before use.
- For those with health concerns: If you have sleep apnea, respiratory issues, or other concerns, err on the side of caution and confirm with your doctor that it’s safe to sleep with a weighted blanket.
How to Choose a Weighted Blanket
No one wants to feel overheated or trapped by a blanket in their sleep. To find the perfect fit, consider these factors when shopping for a weighted blanket.
- Weight: For optimal comfort, your blanket should be the correct size for your body weight. The ideal size is what’s closest to 10 percent of your body weight. Usually, a weighted blanket should be between 10 to 20 pounds for adults.
- Fabric: The fabric should be both breathable and comfortable. Casper’s cotton cover helps circulate air away from your body, keeping you comfortably cool.
- Construction: The material in the blanket that makes it weighted (such as Casper’s microbead fill) should be evenly distributed.
If you feel like you can’t move under your blanket, look for one that is lighter. What’s most important is your comfort, so feel free to test out different sizes to find the perfect fit.
Can a Weighted Blanket Be Too Heavy?
Yes, it can be too heavy if you don’t use the correct size. Aim for one that’s 10 percent of your body weight or read the manufacturer’s guidelines. When testing it out, think about the Goldilocks principle. It should be heavy enough to exert gentle pressure, but not too heavy that it’s uncomfortable or restricts any movement — it should feel just right!
Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket
If you’re a cozy blanket person, the benefits of a weighted blanket are tenfold. The weighted blanket uses deep pressure stimulation (DPS) to hug your body and help you relax. The light pressure is known to calm the nervous system, trigger the release of natural chemicals like serotonin, and reduce stress.
Because of the amazing benefits, weighted blankets are a popular alternative therapy solution for people with anxiety, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, ADHD, or autism. Think of it like an aid to help you fall (and stay) asleep, achieving a better night’s rest.
Choose a weighted blanket that promises a better night of sleep all year round. When using a weighted blanket, it can be helpful to include cozy sheets to complete the perfect, dreamy sleep set.
Weighted blankets are becoming more popular, and some people have even begun to construct their own at home. With downloadable patterns and several types of stuffing to choose from, you can personalize your anxiety blanket to suit your taste and style.
If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to make your own weighted blanket at home, check out these design ideas.
Tie-up Blanket for Kids
Before crafting your anxiety blanket for a young person, you should know that the final product should only weigh up to 15% maximum of your child’s body weight. You want the final product to be comforting, but also safe. For this project you will need the following:
1 pair craft scissors
4 yards micro-fleece fabric (in your choice of design)
Sewing thread (the same color as your fabric)
Scrap fabric from old curtains or sheets
1 sheet white paper
100 oz. or 10 cups poly-fil beads
Sewing needle or sewing machine
To begin, you will want to create a small template which you will use to form bean bags. These bean bags will be sewn into the blanket, so you want them to be uniform. On your paper, using a ruler and your marker, draw a long rectangle; this rectangle will be traced again and again onto your scrap fabric until you can cut out ten identical rectangles. Each rectangle can now be sewn into pockets with one side left open. 1 cup of poly-fil beads goes inside of each rectangle, before the final side is sewn closed.
Now it’s time to form the blanket; cut your microfleece fabric into two identical squares or rectangle. You can base the shape and size on the needs of the child it is being made for. Remember that once it is tied, it will lose about two inches on each side, so make it too big, rather than too small when cutting.
On the inside of one microfleece square tack your beanbags into place by distributing them evenly across the fabric. Sew down a stitch or two on each corner and one in the middle to hold them firmly in place. If you want to be precise with your distance measurements, you can use your ruler to place them evenly, but as long as they look fairly spaced, the blanket will work.
Once bean bags are sewn in, lay your two squares of microfleece on top of each other, so that the bean bags are inside and both outer facing pieces of fabric are facing out. Cut small strips into the sides, approximately 2 inches deep and ½ -1inch apart, and tie them each strip together so that the two layers are joined. Use strong double knots so that the blanket doesn’t come apart.
Adult Weighted Quilt
For a modern adult sized weighted quilt style anxiety blanket you will want the blanket to be approximately 10% of the weight which is deemed healthy for your height. You will also require a sewing machine, as this blanket will require more sewing than the tie blanket above. Before you begin, you will need:
Cotton material (two new bedsheets work well for full sized blankets)
Thread (same color as fabric)
Chalk pen (you can buy these at fabric stores)
14 cups Poly-fill beads
1-2 bags stuffing (found at craft stores)
In this blanket, there will be no bean bags, instead you will put the beads into quilt patches as you sew. Begin by trimming the sheets so that they are two equal squares, and lay them on one top of the other. Now, using your ruler and a chalk pen to mark out 7 rows of 7 squares. Next, sew each column, leaving the ends open for stuffing. Stuff each section, one at a time as you begin to sew the horizontal columns into your blanket. Use one cup of beads and a handful of stuffing for each square you stuff.
You should notice your blanket coming together as equal pouches, and beginning to resemble a quilt. When the blanket is finished, you should see 49 squares, each packed with weighted beads and soft stuffing.
For more information on anxiety blankets, visit our main website at www.anxietyblanket.com. Keep an eye on our blog for more interesting facts on weighted blankets, and how they can benefit your life.
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Weighted blankets hit the mainstream as an aid to those suffering with insomnia or anxiety. But what exactly are they and who are they good for? Here’s what you need to know
By Carrie Marshall Last updated 2021-06-10T17:29:23Z
Weighted blankets are having a big moment right now, but what exactly are they and how do they work? Before you invest in one of the best weighted blankets, it helps to have a bit of background knowledge. This article is here to help answer all the questions you might have about this much-praised anxiety and insomnia aid.
The market for weighted blankets is an interesting one right now. It began as a niche market for people with anxiety and sensory issues, but it really began hitting the headlines in 2017 with the incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign for the Gravity Blanket: in just a year it racked up sales of $15 million. When TIME magazine called weighted blankets one of the best inventions of 2018, sales of Gravity blankets went into orbit.
Gravity may have popularised the weighted blanket, but now there are all kinds of models in all kinds of fabrics at all kinds of prices. Many of the big brands behind the best mattresses have got on board with their own incarnations. So how exactly do they work, and who are they good for? Read on to find out.
What is a weighted blanket?
A weighted blanket is just like a regular blanket, but it has tiny weights inside. These are typically in the form of tiny glass beads, evenly distributed throughout the blanket to provide a gentle, even pressure on the user’s body. It may weigh as much as 11kg or more, the equivalent of five heavy woolen blankets. Like normal blankets they come in a range of fabrics, and some have removable, washable covers so you don’t need to worry about getting the whole thing into the washing machine. They might be used occasionally, like a regular blanket, or as an alternative to one of the best duvets.
- Hosting? These are the best sofa beds, on a range of budgets
What are the benefits of a weighted blanket?
The main one is better sleep quality. A weighted blanket uses the same principles as baby swaddling or the wraps that have helped people with ADHD, autism and similar sensory issues: by limiting movement without being uncomfortable, it can help us feel more secure and help us sleep more soundly for longer.
Many people with insomnia or general trouble sleeping say they’re life-changing. Some people find that weighted blankets also help with anxiety and other mental issues by helping them relax and feel safe. In general, they can be an aid to reduce restlessness and promote relaxation.
So do weighted blankets really help you sleep better? Thousands of people say that yes, weighted blankets really do help you sleep better. But you need to consider the wider environment too: your room lighting, its temperature, ambient noise and other factors that may negatively affect your sleep.
How does a weighted blanket work?
The best weighted blankets are made from a mesh of little sealed pockets filled with tiny beads or pellets. That means the weight is consistent across the whole blanket. The weight is enough to make you feel secure but not so heavy that you’re uncomfortable. The weight creates something called Deep Pressure Stimulation, a similar sensation to being hugged.
How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
This is really down to personal preference, but as a rule of thumb for adults the weight of your blanket should be about one-tenth of your body weight. We wouldn’t recommend going lower than around 7 per cent of your body weight or above 12 per cent. Weighted blankets aren’t suitable for children aged three or under, and for children above that age err on the side of caution in terms of weight.
You’ll find that some retailers and manufacturers offer a wider range of weights than others.
Are weighted blankets safe?
For most of us, yes. But there are some circumstances in which weighted blankets shouldn’t be used. If you have respiratory issues or a chronic medical condition you should speak to your doctor first, and you should never give a weighted blanket to children under three.
If you have an anxiety disorder or know someone who does, then you probably know how difficult it can be to deal with on a regular basis. Sometimes, anxiety is triggered by a phobia or a traumatic event, while other times it seems to come out of nowhere. Anxiety can take on many different forms, and all of them can make your life miserable in some way or another.
Fortunately, that’s where weighted throw blankets come in . Designed to mimic the feeling of a gentle hug, these soothing blankets use a technique called deep pressure touch stimulation to promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
If you’re looking for a natural way to ease anxiety symptoms, a weighted throw blanket could be the therapy tool you need to get things under control. Below, learn more about weighted blankets and how to use one for anxiety.
How Do Weighted Blankets Help with Anxiety?
When you’re feeling anxious or scared, your autonomic nervous system — which unconsciously regulates bodily functions such as sweating, breathing, blood circulation and digestion — prepares your body to keep itself alive by choosing to rest or to fight. This is known as the fight or flight response.
The pressure stimulation of the weighted blanket essentially puts your nervous system into “rest” mode, helping to lower your heart rate and breathing. This can make you feel more relaxed and provide an overall sense of calm.
What Does the Science Say?
In case you’re wondering, the soothing benefits of weighted blankets are backed by some research. In a randomized, controlled study , participants with insomnia reported significantly reduced insomnia, as well as reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
In another study , researchers asked 120 participants with anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders to sleep with either a light plastic blanket or a weighted blanket. The results showed that participants who used the weighted blanket reported reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to those who used a light plastic blanket.
How to Find a Weighted Blanket for Anxiety
The first step is to find a weighted blanket that best suits your needs. These days, there are many different types of weighted blankets available, from weighted throw blankets you can use on the couch to cooling weighted blankets that help regulate body temperature.
Everyone has different preferences in a weighted blanket. If you’re planning to sleep with yours, we recommend choosing a weighted blanket that will fit the entirety of your bed. However, if you’re using your weighted blanket to calm down during the day, go for a smaller option — like our popular Gravity Weighted Blanket in single size — that you can use on the couch or your favorite armchair.
As a blanket rule for everyone (pun not intended), choose a blanket that is around 10 percent of your body weight. If the blanket is too light, you won’t feel the effects. If it’s too heavy, you’ll feel trapped, which could make your anxiety worse.
How to Use a Weighted Blanket for Anxiety
When it comes to using a weighted blanket for anxiety, there are no hard and fast rules. What works for someone with trauma-related anxiety may not work for someone with generalized anxiety disorder.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you get the most anxiety relief from your weighted blanket:
- Keep your blanket in an easily accessible spot . When you’re experiencing a panic attack, the last thing you want to do is run all over the house to find your weighted blanket. Keep it in a designated spot — like the couch or the bed — and keep other comforts nearby, such as reading books and essential oils.
- Cover your body from the neck down. Covering your body from the neck down will ensure that the blanket stimulates multiple pressure points on your body. However, some people with anxiety feel better with the blanket below their chest. Play around to find what works best for reducing your anxiety symptoms.
- Try a weighted eye mask . Weighted blankets aren’t the only option. If you’re looking for something else to experiment with, try a weighted sleep mask instead . Like weighted blankets, these soothing masks use gentle pressure to ease stress and provide relief from tension headaches.
- Wrap yourself in a cozy, weighted robe . If you suffer from chronic anxiety, you might try lounging in a weighted robe . Perfect for all-day comfort and relaxation, these soothing robes are especially useful for people with long-lasting anxiety symptoms.
Get Better Rest and Relaxation with Gravity Blankets
If you’re looking for natural ways to manage your anxiety symptoms, try a weighted blanket from Gravity Blankets. Whether you’re cuddling with your weighted blanket on the couch or using it to get a peaceful night’s sleep, you’re bound to feel more relaxed.
A bed cover to ease anxiety and help you feel better? A weighted blanket has been proven to be beneficial for sleepers. And while most of the talk about sleeping centers around what one sleeps on, not under, it turns out the two should be discussed in harmony. To fall asleep on and under the right conditions will make you a dreamy blanket sandwich. A weighted blanket will help with this. Learn more about the benefits of weighted blankets by reading the list below.
Here are 5 benefits of weighted blankets:
1. Improves and Promotes Restful Sleep
Through the deep pressure touch of a weighted blanket, receptors become stimulated similar to swaddling an infant. This helps the body to relax, feel more grounded and safe.
Furthermore, weighted blankets trigger the release of serotonin in the body, which is a neurotransmitter known as “the calming chemical.” (1) Clinical studies suggest that when these pressure points are triggered, the brain releases serotonin. It also has other useful benefits, such as maintaining memory. Some people buy supplements for serotonin, so the blanket is like a pill bottle, and you are the pill, at no additional cost. Because of this calming effect, weighted blankets also help those who suffer from insomnia.
2. Improves Focus
There are a number of studies that show how weighted vests, a similar concept to weighted blankets, can increase of focus in the classroom. One study, for example, found that while wearing a weighted vest, children with ADHD improved their in-seat behavior, attention and task completion. (2)
Benefits of weighted blankets also extend to issues with sensory overload. Studies show how weighted vests can help diminish self-stimulating behaviors, such as fidgeting or stimming. (3) While there are many reasons why one might engage in this behavior, the most common is because of sensory overload. Weighted blankets can help with this issue. The extra weight can enable one to feel where their body ends, which is often an issue for those who struggle with sensory overload.
3. Reduces Anxiety
Out of all the benefits of weighted blankets, this is, perhaps, the central reason. (4) Weighted blankets can reduce anxiety, which lends itself to helping with a variety of other afflictions. For example, they can help with depression, trauma, paranoia, PTSD, detoxification and so on. This covers a broad spectrum, which is why the weighted blanket trend is picking up steam.
One study in particular focused on how the benefits of weighted blankets include calming dental patients. If you experience a lot of anxiety while at the dentist, you may want to give a weighted blanket a try. In the study, researchers found that the weighted blanket caused physiological changes on the patients’ nervous system, which helped them feel a sense of calm while at the dentist. (5)
In 2014, findings appeared in the journal Pediatrics. 63 children – ages 5 to 16 – slept with either a weighted blanket or a non-weighted, look-alike blanket for 12 to 16 weeks. After this first phase, the two groups switched blankets and used the other blanket for approximately two weeks. It showed that sleep did not improve significantly for either group. However, most of the children and parents reported preferring the weighted blanket. (6)
Additionally, benefits of weighted blankets include alleviate anxiety from obsessive-compulsive disorder. (7) They may also help with Parkinson’s disease as well as cerebral palsy.
4. Calms Meltdowns
If you have a child with special needs, such as autism, or a child who struggles with frequent meltdowns, you should consider try using a weighted blanket. In a sense, a weighted blanket gives a hug, which can help calm intense feelings of anxiety and frustration. This can dampen the meltdown, or perhaps prevent it from happening altogether.
In a related study, researchers found that benefits of weighted blankets include reducing distress in psychiatric patients. Researchers found that those patients who “used the weighted blanket reported significantly greater reductions in distress and clinician-rated anxiety than those who did not.” (8)
5. Eases Transition Times
Some special education teachers have already utilized weighted blankets to help their students. This especially applies during transition times, which can be jarring for some children. Whether it’s coming in from recess or changing to a new activity, the change is what can be distressing for some children.
You can enjoy the benefits of a weighted blanket at home, as well. For example, you might use a weighted blanket for when your child returns indoors after playing outside and is overly excited or upset.
HOW TO USE
The weight of the blanket for adults should be around 15 to 30 pounds. Seeking the guidance of a doctor or occupational therapist is a good idea. Those suffering from respiratory, circulatory and other conditions should not use a weighted blanket.
DIY (Do It Yourself)
Here is an excellent tutorial video. There are others, so search around!
In regards to sleep and sleep systems, no discussion would be complete without a mention of “grounding” or “earthing” the other natural way to improved sleep and anxiety. Let’s say you decide to use a weighted blanket, well it would make sense to do the weighted blanket on top and then the grounded bed or sheet on the bottom. Over a dozen peer-reviewed studies have been conducted on “grounding” or “earthing” over the last ten years. These studies indicate that over time, grounding normalizes cortisol, reduces inflammation, calms left brain activity, improves muscle soreness recovery, and helps protect the body from electromagnetic (EMF) pollution especially in the low Hertz range.
Numerous people around the world are starting to enjoy the great benefits of a very popular product these days – the weighted blanket. The weighted blanket got its breakthrough into mainstream use in the past several years. Is it a modern invention? – No, it’s a rather very old concept. However, it turned out to be just the right thing a modern person requires . A harmless cure for “modern diseases” – anxiety and insomnia.
This simple and very smart idea dates back from the beginning of the 20 th century. It’s a therapeutic tool invented and used in acute psychiatry. Originally, invented for children with disorders, today it’s applicable as a weighted blanket for adults that suffer from anxiety, insomnia, stress, and depression.
It’s a blanket, but not your usual one. So, let’s take a closer look at the concept, usage and beneficial effects of the weighted blanket for anxiety and insomnia issues.
The Concept of the Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket is a smart invention based on the concept of a hug or touch. Moreover, the fact has it that a little pressure onto the body caused b y a hug or touch from another person is very beneficial for the human body. In fact, it results in a calming and relaxing feeling.
Taking this into consideration, psychiatrists designed a blanket that resembles a human touch or a hug that can calm a disturbed patient. Therefore, a weighted blanket is designed to weight 8-10% of the user’s body, which is more than a usual one. The additional weight is able to trigger positive changes inside a human’s body that can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and stress and depression also.
Modern products found on the market are designed for extreme comfort and maximum benefits. Usually, they are filled with glass or plastic-made microbeads that provide the additional weight. They can be customized with the right amount of weight a person needs, the desired fabric, and modern design.
What is it That makes the Weighted Blanket so Powerful?
As mentioned before, it’s science. Science has it, that a little pressure put onto the body by touch, another body or a weighted blanket, triggers serious changes in the nervous system. It’s the so-called deep touch pressure DTP stimulation that is performed during these states. Moreover, when put on the body, the weighted blanket triggers the nerve endings underneath the skin surface. This is where the DTP starts. These nerves trigger consecutive processes inside the body that lead to changes in the nervous system.
The nervous system uses hormones to control the body. The DTP is powerful enough to change patterns and secretion of hormones dictated by the nervous system. Therefore, DTP stimulates the secretion of the happiness hormones and puts the body into the resting state.
When using the weighted blanket, the body is relaxed, calm and the person is content and can easily fall asleep. This is due to the secretion of the following so-called “happiness” hormones:
- Melatonin (the sleep hormone)
Weighted Blanket for Anxiety
Anxiety is a very common problem these days. This is not a surprise due to the very stressful lifestyle we all participate in. In fact, anxiety is a prolonged state of nervousness. It arises when a person is under constant stress, which results in high levels of the stress hormone – cortisol. In cases like this, the body is stuck under the “ fight or fligh t” state of the nervous system and it’s unable to switch to the “ rest and digest ” state. Moreover, the body perceives stress as a danger, and unless a person really finds a way to relax and stops stressing out, the body will be stuck with cortisol levels constantly arising. Moreover, a person will experience severe anxiety.
The DTP that the weighted blanket performs is like an instant switch. Once you put the blanket on your body, the DTP switches off the “ fight or flight ” and switches on the “ rest and digest” state. This state releases happiness hormones that calm the body, promote relaxation and sound sleep. In this case, the level of stress hormones lowers and eases the symptoms of anxiety.
No worrisome thought is more powerful than a chemical reaction inside your body that promotes a happy and careless feeling.
Weighted Blanket for Insomnia
For a person to be able to fall asleep the body must be in the state of “rest and digest ”, therefore calm and relaxed. Moreover, the levels of the sleeping hormone – melatonin should be high. People often suffer from insomnia due to prolonged stress, anxiety and disturbed sleep-wake cycle. If any of this is the cause of the insomnia issues the body will not be able to fall asleep.
As explained above the weighted blanket instantly switches the nervous system in the state of “ rest and digest ”. Therefore, it enables the body to relax. Due to the increased secretion of the happiness hormones, the body is calm and content.
One of the happiness hormones the – serotonin – is a precursor of melatonin and responsible for the re-establishing of the normal sleep-wake cycle. Meaning, higher levels of serotonin caused by the DTP, that the blanket provides, will improve the sleeping patterns. Moreover, the secretion of melatonin is also triggered when the body is in this state. Therefore, when the blanket is put on the body will easily relax and fall into a deep and undisrupted sleep.
And other sleep questions to consider.
Published on August 16, 2019
No matter what you’re stressing about (your never-ending to-do list? that tense message from your BFF?), it’s all too easy for our worries to creep up on us at the end of a long day, making it virtually impossible to get a good night’s sleep. That’s where weighted blankets come in.
“Weighted blankets are popular because lying under them provides pressure that can feel very calming,” explains Lynelle Schneeberg, sleep psychologist, author, and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Many people do like the feeling of pressure against their body and find it to be quite relaxing.” Weighted blankets reportedly increase your serotonin (the body’s “happy chemical”) and melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep) levels, while decreasing your body’s level of cortisol, a stress hormone. Translation: Once you throw on a weighted blanket, you’ll gradually become calmer and sleepier.
Using a weighted blanket seems easy enough. But believe it or not, there’s a good chance you’ve been misusing your blanket this entire time (or at least not to its best effects). Here are the mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
You’re Relying On Your Weighted Blanket Too Much
Sure, using your weighted blanket on a regular basis can help you get into a better sleep cycle if you suffer from insomnia. but there’s always the risk that your weighted blanket will turn into a crutch and you’ll become dependent on it. “They can become so strongly associated with falling asleep that a person might eventually have a hard time falling asleep without the weighted blanket,” says Schneeberg. “This is similar to how some people fall asleep with the television on each night and soon have trouble falling asleep without it.”
While being dependent on your weighted blanket may not seem like a big deal when you’re sleeping at home, you’ll likely run into some issues when you’re traveling or staying over at a significant other’s place. After all, a weighted blanket is too heavy to throw in your carry-on. To strike a balance, use your weighted blanket on those nights when you really , really need it.
You’re Getting Overheated
No two snoozers are alike. While some people run very cold while they sleep, others wake up in a pool of sweat. Common knowledge, right? Well, what you may not have realized is that your sleep temperature can play a serious role when using a weighted blanket.
“If you tend to get very hot during the night, then most weighted blankets might not be a good fit, as they tend to get hot,” explains Terry Cralle, a clinical sleep educator and Saatva sleep consultant. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to opt for a weighted blanket made specifically for hot sleepers—otherwise you might find it even harder to destress .
You’re Not Using the Correct Weighted Blanket for Your Body
Weighted blankets are not a one-size-fits-all purchase; it’s important to find the best option for your body. According to Schneeberg, it all starts with determining the correct weight. “It should weigh about 10 percent of your body weight,” she says. “So if a person weighs 150 pounds, the blanket should weigh 15 pounds.”