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!
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