Some people who experience anxiety may not find relief with medication alone or hesitate to try drugs. Other methods of managing anxiety, such as using a weighted blanket can help.
Anxiety is a normal part of life from time to time, especially before a big decision, during a change of life, or other moments of stress. However, anxiety disorders can cause paralyzing feelings of fear, worry or agitation.
There are many ways to manage anxiety disorders. A combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and other treatments can help limit the impact of anxiety and its symptoms. These blankets are an example of a treatment that can help.
What is a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are specially designed to be heavier than a standard blanket or duvet. These blankets typically weigh between 5 and 25 kilos. And often filled with natural materials or plastic beads, giving them texture.
This added weight adds warmth and soft pressure to the blanket, which mimics the feeling of being wrapped as you wrap it over you.
As a result, these blankets can improve people’s mood, fight anxiety, soothe sensory disorders such as autism, treat insomnia and more.
The sensation can have a positive effect on people’s mood. As a result, these blankets are gaining popularity as an alternative means of controlling anxiety and other sensory disorders.
5 Benefits of using weighted blankets
The weighted blanket can offer many benefits to the users. We all need a sense of physical connection. It is programmed directly into our nervous system. Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) is the technical term for the soothing sensation of a gentle weight and distributed against your body. For those who feel they do not get enough tactile attention every day, the DTP can help you feel better and help you feel calmer, healthier and more relaxed.
This deep touch pressure has a soothing and calming effect on people’s moods. In the same way, these blankets have shown similar effects in people with anxiety.
- Imitating a hug
Research has shown that hugs can make a person feel comfortable. When people kiss, the body releases the hormone oxytocin. This hormone helps lower blood pressure, slows the heart and provides a feeling of relaxation.
This blanket essentially mimics the warmth and safety a hug provides. The blanket and hug use gentle, firm pressure that penetrates deep into the body and provides a sense of rest that allows the body to relax.
- Releasing serotonin
The researchers found that the pressure on the body in certain areas triggers the release of chemicals in the brain, including serotonin, that trigger stress reduction while improving mood.
- Release of melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that helps sleep and help to regulate the sleep cycle. The hormone is linked to the production of serotonin, so the pressure that triggers this chemical will also lead to the production of melatonin.
- Improve sleep
The pressure of the blanket can be a comfortable environment in which a person can fall asleep.
Theoretically, it is thought that the blanket creates a feeling of swaddling, and the physical connection that the person feels with the blanket gives a sense of warmth and security. As a result, the mind calms down and the body can relax.
Other ways weighted blankets can help
These blankets were originally developed as a treatment for some of the anxiety patterns associated with people diagnosed with autism.
However, these blankets can be used to reduce or manage the symptoms of:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- sleep disorders
- disorders of the nervous system
Generally, there are no major risks with a properly used blanket. Before using a weighted blanket, a person should read the warnings provided by the manufacturer.
Additional precautions may be necessary when planning to use a weighted blanket on a child. This is because the pressure provided by the blanket can seem overwhelming if it weighs too much.