BENEFITS OF WEIGHTED BLANKET THERAPY
You’ve probably heard the term “weighted blanket” many times and might have thought, “it’s just a heavy blanket, right?”. Though you wouldn’t be wrong, as weighted blankets do indeed have a weight to them, they are far more than simply a warmer option with which to cover yourself.Studies show that weighted blanket therapy can be beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep quality and even treating conditions such as PTSD.Testimonials from adults who have used weighted blankets for years prove that curling up under the comforting embrace of a weighted blanket can be beneficial in a number of ways for just about everyone.
How much benefit you’ll receive depends on your personal needs and use for the weighted blanket. This will vary from person to person.
HOW DOES A WEIGHTED BLANKET WORK?
Weighted blankets are made by sewing a grid of pockets of hypoallergenic BPA free pellets into the fabric, evenly distributing the increased weight across the entire blanket. When draped naturally and evenly across your body, or part of your body, it provides just enough gentle pressure to reduce cortisol, a stress hormone, and release a few different chemicals into your system: oxytocin, melatonin, and serotonin. Collectively, these chemicals relax the body, reduce stress, and induce a general feeling of happiness and security.
So that’s the scientific explanation. Now, what does this mean for you?
Essentially, weighted blankets feel like a hug, and come with all the same benefits. The sense of happiness, well-being, and security you get from being hugged is why weighted blankets have been known to help people with anxiety, Autism and a wide range of other health conditions such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Restless leg syndrome
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
In fact, the weighted blanket was originally used in therapy to help treat such conditions until it’s more recent widespread popularity.
HOW A WEIGHTED BLANKET CAN BENEFIT YOU
Weighted blankets are by no means a medical device or meant to cure or even treat the symptoms of medical conditions. Many weighted blanket owners, both adults, and children have benefited from its calming effects. Weighted blankets have been known to:
✓Improve Your Sleep Quality
- Many people find weighted blanket therapy helps their chronic insomnia, allowing them a good night’s sleep
✓Help You Relax
- Weighted blankets have been shown to decrease both general anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder
✓Reduce Your Stress
- Studies have shown that weighted blankets help reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels
✓Relieve Your Discomfort
- Symptoms of disorders such as restless leg syndrome have been shown to improve with the use of weighted blankets
✓Encourage Your Well Being and Mental Health
- Weighted blankets can help to reduce anxiety and blood pressure along with increasing serotonin levels
THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF WEIGHTED BLANKETS
The gentle pressure of a weighted blanket makes it an effectivedeep pressure stimulation tool, a treatment used to help alleviate the symptoms of many conditions. A weighted blanket is not meant to replace any kind of therapy or medical treatment, but there are specific conditions that have seen improvements by adding it to their therapy. A few of these conditions include:
With anxiety disorders on the rise, more and more studies are being conducted on the effects of weighted blankets to help treat the symptoms, which can be extremely debilitating. Most of us have experienced some form of anxiety from things like delivering a best man’s speech to 500 people, big life changes, before major surgery, etc. But those with anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, suffer from severe anxiety symptoms that come on suddenly, without warning, and with seemingly no cause. The gentle pressure of weighted blankets releases chemicals in the brain that are known to relax the body, slow your heart, lower your blood pressure and can have a calming effect that helps relieve chronic anxiety symptoms.
Sensory Processing Disorders
While you should always consult your doctor first before introducing any kind of new therapy for your child with Sensory Processing Disorder, there have been many cases in which children have benefited from deep pressure touch stimulation. This technique has been used to help children for years, well before weighted blankets went mainstream.
Insomnia and sleep disorders
Most of us have had those nights where we’ve tossed and turned for hours with no sign of sleep, and when we finally fall asleep, we still wake up tired, groggy, and unrefreshed. But for the average person, this isn’t every night. If you have a sleeping disorder like chronic insomnia, you probably can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep. Conditions like these are not just frustrating, they’re extremely debilitating. Weighted blankets have been known to help with this as well. Studies show that those suffering from insomnia were able to sleep better, more comfortably, and wake up feeling more refreshed after sleeping under a weighted blanket. How many can say that after taking sleep medicine?
ADD/ADHD Spectrum Disorder
If you have a child with this type of disorder, then you know treatment is never as simple as prescribing medication. Every child struggling with ADD/ADHD is different and responds in a variety of ways to treatments. The calming effects of weighted blankets have made them a helpful tool for many occupational therapists treating children with ADD and ADHD, even before the blankets went mainstream. Weighted blanket therapy can be a safe and comfortable way to help your child manage their hyperactivity and insecurity, and help improve their focus.
Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Trying to explain what a child with autism is going through rarely does the disorder any justice. It’s a complex condition that can be particularly hard on families, as many of the symptoms of autism mean that children don’t always respond well to physical acts of love and affection, yet they still need it nonetheless. So how do you help your child feel safe and secure without touch? This is where weighted blankets have been used to help children with autism. Research has shown that they can help children with autism sleep, reduce their anxiety, and improve focus.
Post-Traumatic Stress disorder
Adults and children alike that suffer from post-traumatic stress have found weighted blankets to be a helpful tool. PTSD can be caused by a variety of traumatic experiences such as military combat, natural disaster, disease diagnosis or a violent assault. Emotional disturbances, whether they be recent or in the past, can be disrupting your sleep pattern. The stress-reducing effects of weighted blankets have been associated with restorative sleep and the stabilization of mood swings in those suffering from post-traumatic stress.
BENEFITS OF MOSAIC’S WEIGHTED BLANKETS
We’ve been making our customized, personal weighted blankets since 2011, designing them with every customer’s individual needs and preferences in mind. From full-size weighted blankets to lap and neck weighted blankets, you can choose exactly what kind of blanket would suit your needs best. If you need help determining what kind of weighted blanket to get, check out our Choosing a Weighted Blanket article for a step by step guide, size guide, and details to consider.