The heavy, drowsy feeling of a weighted blanket is more than just an illusion. Weighted blankets are designed to provide deep pressure touch stimulation, which can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that the weight on our bodies triggers serotonin release, making us feel calmer and happier. It’s no wonder why this type of therapy has been around for centuries. A weighted blanket provides comfort in both physical and emotional senses.
What Is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is usually a heavy down blanket that is used on the head to help with sleep and to reduce stress and alleviate anxiety. At first, the weighted blankets were originally used as therapeutic aids to help people with autism spectrum disorders, depression, and other mental health conditions. But now, they have become a well-known commodity, used by everyone from grandparents to children.
A weighted blanket contains some sort of weight, which is always intended to be applied uniformly over the area of the person’s body underneath it. It is very important how to pick the best thread count for a weighted blanket. The weight usually isn’t enough to cause harm or discomfort if the blanket were simply sitting on a table, but when used with a proper layer of bedding it will create an even distribution across most of the person’s body, providing deep pressure touch stimulation. This deep pressure tactile sensory input can help promote restful sleep and general relaxation by reducing stress levels and lowering blood pressure.
Weighted blankets have become quite popular with parents for several reasons. Their unique method of providing warmth and cozy comfort sets them far apart from normal blankets. While some weight-blend blanket manufacturers may claim health advantages through their use, you must always consult your physician before use especially if you currently have an underlying medical condition. Always be sure to let your doctor know of any existing conditions such as heart conditions or asthma as these may be aggravated by the blanket weight.
A normal blanket works by drawing body heat up through your body and out of the air in which you breathe, but a weighted blanket works differently as it draws body heat through a series of plastic pellets that is arranged in such a way that the pressure change provides a more even warmth. It is this unique thermal pressure that provides therapeutic effects. Most weight-blend blankets are made using hypoallergenic plastic pellets that are specifically dyed to prevent allergic reactions and irritations. The plastic pellets are then heated up in your electric heater so that they generate heat through friction when you lay your head down on them.
Unlike a traditional swaddled blanket that provides only comfort, how do weighted blankets work? A hugger is typically used for infants who are very sensitive to touch and must be held close while being comforted. This blanket was designed to prevent suffocation by drawing the body’s weight toward the central area of the hugger. Many people utilize a hugger to provide comfort after being ill for a long time, whether through sickness or simply because they are uncomfortable holding their body temperature. As noted above, weight-blend blankets often utilize polyethylene plastic pellets that are specifically dyed to prevent irritation and allergic reactions.
Advantages Of Weighted Blanket
Calming Pressure: A weighted blanket is designed to provide calming pressure and a soothing weight that helps you relax, similar to swaddling an infant.
Deep Relaxation: Weighted blankets can cause a natural release of calming neurotransmitters like serotonin & dopamine, which improve mood and induce deep relaxation for many people. The weighted blanket is a heavy sheet to protect from cold.
Help with Insomnia: Weighted blankets help with sleep by triggering pressure points on your body which turn off the “fight or flight” response. This process is called Deep Touch Therapy.
Better Concentration: Some say that weighted blankets force you to stay still, eliminating distractions and helping people focus on one task at a time which may lead to better concentration levels.
Anxiety: It may be comforting for those who are dealing with anxiety or are experiencing PTSD- the deep pressure provided by the weight helps soothe one out of heightened emotional states, can serve as a grounding touch during panic attacks, and offer sensory input when confronting triggers.
Overheat: One drawback of the weighted blanket is the fear that it will overheat your body and cause swelling. Another drawback, argued by skeptics, is that despite its potential health benefits, regular use of a bed may discourage children from getting out of bed to perform tasks they need for school or decrease their mobility within their bed due to increased feelings of sweating and heat.
Neck Pain: Weighted blankets can constitute a sleep interruption as opposed to a sleep aid. Weighted blankets may also cause discomfort and neck pain for those who do not have neck disabilities or problems.
A person experiencing grief, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or any condition causing chronic stress could be at higher risk for not being able to sleep due to the pressure exerted on the chest from a weighted blanket leading them away from restful sleep instead of towards it.
High-End Mattresses: Weighted blanket sleepers should invest in high-end mattresses, fitted sheets that won’t slip off if they start tossing around in bed, and pillows that will cushion their chin from digging into their chest while they sleep. Also, consider draping some extra sheets over the edge of your mattress so that you’ll have fewer tussles when pulling them back up after rolling away.
Weighted blankets are a great way to combat anxiety, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. They also help with sensory integration problems in children on the autism spectrum. If you suffer from any of these conditions or know someone who does, then it’s time for your weighted blanket.
And no need to worry about these heavy blankets weighing you down! The weight is evenly distributed across the surface area of the blanket so it feels like being wrapped up with a light lovey security blanket or quilt rather than feeling pinned under something heavy.