As humans, we need connections and physical intimacy, and there is little that can replicate that feeling better than a good big duvet or blanket.
Whether you are looking for a natural way to deal with your anxiety, a simple solution to soothe a child with autism, or just to explore a better way to help you and your baby, a weighted blanket could provide the solution you are looking for.
What you will learn
- What is a weighted or weighted blanket?
- The benefits of deep tactile pressure
- The 8 benefits of weighted blanket
- Who shouldn’t use a weighted blanket?
- What weight should I choose for my weighted blanket?
- Ready to relax? Try a weighted blanket to get the benefits of Weighted Blanket today!
What is a weighted or weighted blanket?
As you might expect, weighted blankets are specially designed to be heavier than a standard blanket or quilt.
These blankets typically weigh between 5 and 25 kilograms, and they are often filled with natural materials or plastic beads, giving them a texture similar to that of baby toys.
This extra weight adds warmth and gentle pressure to the blanket, which mimics the feeling of being wrapped up when you wrap it on top of you.
Therefore, weighted blankets can improve people’s moods, fight anxiety, soothe sensory disorders like autism, treat insomnia and more.
The benefits of deep tactile pressure
We all need a sense of physical connection – it’s programmed right into our nervous system.
Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) is the technical term for the soothing sensation of a soft, even weight against your body. For anyone who feels like they’re not getting enough tactile attention every day, DTP can provide relief and help you feel calmer, healthier, and more relaxed.
This gentle pressure acts as a calming force that can reduce activity in sections of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) so as to increase your endorphin production and decrease your heart rate.
The process also releases calming neurochemicals like serotonin and dopamine into your bloodstream to boost your mood.
In this way, DTP is an effective natural remedy for anxiety disorders, chronic stress and sleep insomnia.
You can also enjoy the benefits of DTP with a gentle massage, hugs, body cushions or a weighted blanket.
In fact, weighted blankets were originally invented and developed to reduce the stress level of children and adults with sensory impairments.
The 8 benefits of weighted blanket
Still skeptical that heavier coverage will make a difference to your quality of life? These advantages might convince you otherwise.
1. Reduces anxiety
Regardless of your age, a weighted blanket is a sure way to lower your stress levels and help you reach a state of relaxation.
A study Investigating the effectiveness of 15-pound weighted blankets found that two-thirds of participants reported lower anxiety levels after wrapping themselves in this blanket.
Research shows that weighted blankets can be particularly useful during stressful events, such as a visit to the dentist.
Another study has shown that these blankets produce physiological changes in the nervous system of dental patients, causing them to calm down before their appointment.
Since the research shows that even short periods of DTP can calm you down, consider keeping a blanket handy when you need quick relief.
2. Fights insomnia
You may be skeptical that better coverage will improve your sleep, but the facts show that it is certainly possible.
A study of insomniac patients found that those who tried sleeping with a weighted blanket experienced less restlessness at night and easier to fall asleep in the first place.
The calming effect of a weighted blanket can create a more comfortable environment for falling asleep by mimicking the feeling of being swaddled tightly in bed. This close physical bond provides a feeling of warmth and security, which makes it easier for the body to relax.
Weighted blankets are also known to increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is partly responsible for your body’s melatonin levels, which is the chemical that tells your body when it’s time to go to sleep.
3. Reduce stress before sleep
Wrapping yourself in a weighted blanket before relaxing can reduce your production of cortisol, a stress hormone that usually triggers the “fight-or-flight response” in your body.
Too much cortisol production adds stress to your immune system, increases your blood sugar levels, and reduces the efficiency of your digestive system.
However, studies show that leaving your body soothed while you sleep with a weighted blanket can reduce cortisol production while you sleep, which facilitates high-quality relaxation and decreases your risk of waking up stressed, tired, or in pain. morning.
4. Triggers the release of feel-good hormones
Touching under deep pressure triggers the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which are two major feel-good hormones for the brain.
These two beneficial compounds can fight stress, depression and anxiety, leaving you with an emotional uplift after a brief session of cuddling.
5. Calms the nervous system
In addition to the neurochemical changes they create, weighted blankets also improve nervous system function, which means covering yourself with a blanket is an effective way to calm yourself physically and reduce restlessness.
6. Improves classroom behavior
Children with the behavioral disorder often find it difficult to sit in their chair during the school day, but adopting DTP in the classroom can dramatically improve their focus and attention.
Further research show that providing children with the safety of the extra-sensory stimulation of a weighted blanket can also improve fine motor skills such as writing, especially for children with autism.
For a more portable solution, consider letting your child try wearing a weighted vest to school. You might be amazed at the difference this makes.
7. Soothes obsessive-compulsive disorder
One of the most effective ways to relieve the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder is to improve serotonin production, either through medication or through natural methods. Weighted blankets are a proven way to boost your serotonin levels, which means they can calm your mind to free you from your compulsions.
Best of all, weighted blankets work well in combating all conditions caused by low levels of serotonin, including bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and aggression.
8. It’s like a big hug!
The medical benefits of the regular embrace have been discussed many studies, and a weighted blanket can give you similar feelings.
Hugs and heavy blankets can trigger the release of oxytocin, a hormone that slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and promotes relaxation.
Who shouldn’t use a weighted blanket?
Despite their impressive health benefits, weighted blankets aren’t for everyone. Since most models will keep you warmer than a regular blanket, they can pose health risks to those sensitive to temperature changes for whatever reason.
If you have chronic heart disease, circulation problems, breathing problems, temperature regulation problems, or menopause, it is best to discuss this with your doctor before trying a weighted blanket.
What weight should I choose for my weighted blanket?
The best weight for your weighted blanket depends on several factors. Some blanket manufacturers recommend that adults choose blankets that weigh between seven and ten percent of their body weight, while children may benefit from blankets that weigh around ten percent of their body weight.
How you plan to use your weighted blanket and the severity of your symptoms will also make a difference in the size you need. For example, some people get great benefits from relatively light overlap blankets, while others need heavy full coverage to feel better.
If you are not sure which type of weighted blanket is best for your needs, be sure to consult a doctor or occupational therapist for expert advice.
Choosing the right weighted blanket
Ready to try a weighted blanket for yourself? These covers can be a bit of an investment, so it’s best to do your research ahead of time so that you are purchasing the right type for you.
When buying a blanket, it’s often best to choose one made from all-natural fibers, such as a 100% cotton blanket.
Polyester and other man-made fibers often don’t breathe as well, but they can work well for smaller blankets that aren’t meant for night use, like this weighted notebook. If you’re feeling smart, you can also sew your own weighted blanket and fill it with plastic Poly Pellets at your preferred weight.
As for the size, it is best to choose a blanket that is slightly smaller than your bed so that it sits directly on top of the bed. Otherwise, you risk knocking it off the side.
The quality of the filling material is also important. Many companies use natural materials like rice or barley, but these plant-based substances can break down over time and trigger allergies in some people.
One popular option is to choose a blanket filled with a plastic filling (make sure it is BPA free) that won’t trigger your allergies.
In order to help you choose the ideal product, we spent nearly 29 hours comparing 12 models of weighted and weighted blankets and analyzed nearly 169 consumer reviews to make our comparison which you can find here.
Ready to relax? Try a weighted blanket to get the benefits of Weighted Blanket today!
No matter how heavy the blanket you choose to use, you’ll likely be surprised at how quickly it works to calm your heart rate and allay your anxiety. Millions of people can attest to this, once you start using a weighted blanket for stress relief, you can’t live without it!