Do Weighted Blankets Help With Sleep and Anxiety? [on December 5, 2020 at 10:49 AM ]

Do Weighted Blankets Help With Sleep and Anxiety?    [on December 5, 2020 at 10:49 AM ]

Weighted Blanket For Sleep and Anxiety

I have been coming across a lot of people talking about the wonderful benefits of using a weighted blanket so I thought I would write up a post on them. Some research has shown that weighted blankets have a positive effect on those with autism, insomnia, and anxiety. Many people are using weighted blankets as a way to handle stress and ease themselves to sleep at night. Using a weighted blanket feels like you are wrapped in a cocoon or like someone is giving you a big hug, that is how many have described the sensations from using one.

You might be thinking that sounds great but what exactly is a weighted blanket? A weighted blanket is a blanket that weighs anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds. The extra weight is used to mimic a therapeutic, deep pressure stimulation. This technique helps to relieve anxiety, mood, and pain.

Who Benefits From A Weighted Blanket?

Insomnia – In an ADHD study, it was found that the onset of sleep and the number of awakenings during the night were reduced from the use of a weighted blanket.

In another study of parents and children of autism, it was shown that the weighted blanket was beneficial in improving sleep.

Anxiety – In one study of 32 individuals, it was found that 33 percent of the participants experienced less anxiety. Deep pressure stimulation can reduce automatic arousal, which is responsible for increased heart rate and anxiety. Anxiety was reduced further when individuals were laying down. It is thought that when laying down with the weighted blanket symptoms of anxiety are reduced further.

Chronic Pain – The extra pressure from the weighted blanket may help prevent the legs from moving and result in less chronic pain.

ADHD – Few studies have been done with weighted blankets and ADHD. One study using weighted vests found reduced hyperactive movements and improvement in attention. Individuals during this test experienced less fidgeting, leaving their seats, and were more focused.

Restless Leg Syndrome – If you experience tingling sensations in your legs a weighted blanket might be of some benefit to you. Many people with Restless Leg Syndrome use compression socks but these can be restrictive so a weighted blanket can be a good alternative.

Picking the Right Weighted Blanket

Now that you know what a weighted blanket is and who can benefit one, you might be wondering how to pick the right one for your needs. Weighted blankets come in various materials such as cotton, polyester, chenille, fleece, different fillers like plastic, poly, steel, or glass pellets. Some not all weighted blankets have a cover that you can remove to throw in the wash.

Another thing to consider when selecting your weighted blanket is to look at the weight of the blanket. The blanket works by using the heaviness of the blanket to put pressure on your nervous system. Look for one that is 10% of your body weight, plus a few extra pounds.

Some weighted blankets might be waterproof or water-resistant. Look for a weighted blanket made from cotton or wool if you want to stay cool at night.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/do-weighted-blankets-work#risks

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