What Are Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets are very simple in their design. At their core, they are traditional blankets that are heavier than normal. But the scientific reasoning is more in-depth than that. Weighted blankets were first exclusively used as a part of sessions provided by rehabilitation professionals called occupational therapists .
Occupational therapists can help people of all ages, but their treatments with children often incorporate the use of weighted blankets to address sensory sensitivities. Therefore, in a therapeutic sense, weighted blankets can be used with kids who have a range of needs, from autism spectrum disorder to attention-deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
Outside of the therapy world, weighted blankets require very few special instructions so they became an easy at-home remedy for kids with these health concerns. However, their use has also extended to adolescents and adults to help address:
- Sleep disorders like insomnia
- Mood concerns such as depression
- Chronic pain
Weighted blankets may even benefit people who are living with symptoms of restless leg syndrome. The interesting part about weighted blankets is that their mechanism is broad in nature. This means the blankets are effective for helping with a range of symptoms that result from several different health concerns.
What Are The Benefits Of A Weighted Blanket
First, there aren’t a lot of studies to back up weighted blanket claims. Most of the research on these products has been on people with developmental disorders, like children with autism, Solz explains. “From those studies, we’re finding that there aren’t significant differences in terms of objective measures like how quickly kids fall asleep and the total time they spend asleep,” she adds.
What those studies do show, however, is that participants who use weighted blankets seem to like it better than a regular blanket, she points out. “It can feel nice and luxuriouslike a big hugand that may be helpful for some people.”
A few small studies have looked at the effect weighted blankets have on anxiety and insomnia in adults. A 2015 study in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, for example, found that participants’sleep time increased and nighttime movement decreased when they used weighted blankets, compared to regular blankets. They also reported that it was easier for the study participants to settle down to sleep with the weighted blanket, and that they felt more refreshed in the morning.
RELATED: This New Diet Is Supposed to Help Your AnxietySo I Tried It
How Heavy Should A Weighted Blanket Be
Your doctor or an occupational therapist can help you to decide which weighted blanket will be the most comfortable and efficient for you.
Your own weight should help you determine the weight of the blanket. The general recommendation is to choose a blanket thats 10 percent of your body weight, adding or subtracting a pound or two depending on your preference.
Its also a good idea to choose a blanket thats made from a natural fiber, such as breathable 100 percent cotton. Polyester and other synthetic fabrics are typically much hotter.
Weighted blankets arent for everyone, since they may add some heat as well as weight. Before using a weighted blanket, you should discuss it with your doctor if you:
- have a chronic health condition
- are going through menopause
Recommended Reading: Can You Go To The Er For Depression
Other Benefits Of Using A Weighted Blanket For Depression
Still not sure if you should try a weighted blanket? Here are some other benefits that may make you change your mind:
- Wont interact with other medications. Unlike supplements and other natural remedies for depression, weighted blankets wont cause unwanted side effects or interfere with your prescription medications. This advantage makes it a low-risk way to manage your symptoms of depression.
- Can be used in tandem with other coping strategies. Depression is a complex beast that often requires a multipronged approach. Whether you manage your symptoms by talking with a therapist, journaling or watching a funny movie on the couch, a weighted blanket is a great addition to your primary treatment.
- Encourages a basic self-care routine. Establishing a basic routine and one that emphasizes self-care in particular can be extremely beneficial for people with depression. Weighted blankets are easy to incorporate into your daily routine because they dont require you to do anything except relax under their comforting weight.
Best Removable Cover: Quility Weighted Blanket
To buy:$30 to $130
With more than 31,000 perfect 5-star Amazon reviews, this is truly a weighted blanket to beat. It’ll keep you surprisingly comfortable while you sleep, and it also includes a removable cozy cover you can use if you want added warmth in the winter.
“The weight is very evenly distributed so that it sort of cocoons around me without my feeling constrained or confined. The ‘minky’ cover feels great but I get too hot under it so I ordered the smooth cotton cover. I sleep more soundly under this blanket and my restless leg symptoms are dramatically reduced,”wrote one customer.
Recommended Reading: Postpartum Depression In Teenage Mothers
Why Would A Weighted Blanket Help With Anxiety And How
Anxiety is all about your nervous systems response to stress.
When youre experiencing anxiety, your brain tells your body theres a threat it needs to prepare for. This kicks your sympathetic nervous system into gear, and youre ready to survive whatever comes next.
Sometimes, though, anxiety doesnt go away. It can linger, or you may never fully disengage from whats causing you significant stress.
This constant state of nervous system arousal can begin to wear on your body.
Weighted blankets might help you break the cycle, allowing your parasympathetic system to take over at least for a little while.
Research supporting their use has been very promising.
A randomized controlled study on weighted blankets for insomnia and psychiatric disorders found they were effective and safe for conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder.
Anxiety reduction was also witnessed in a study evaluating patients receiving chemotherapy treatments and research following adults during inpatient mental health hospitalization.
A recent systematic review, which looked collectively at eight studies of weighted blankets, agreed there appeared to be benefits for their use in helping with anxiety.
Experts conducting the review noted, however, that only limited research is currently available on the subject.
Where Can You Buy A Weighted Blanket
If youre wondering where to buy a weighted blanket, Amazon is the perfect place! There are hundreds of different weighted blankets available for purchase on Amazon. You can also find them in many stores throughout North America and Europe.
In this post, well cover six reasons digital marketing is important to your business. Keep reading to learn more about why its time for your business to adopt an online marketing strategy!
Digital marketing is crucial to your business growth because it provides you with potential customers and opportunities through search engines like Google and social media. In fact, 89 percent of marketers say methods, like search engine optimization , are successful. Additionally, methods like pay-per-click advertising increase brand awareness by as much as 80 percent.
With digital marketing, you can target your audience more precisely than traditional methods. You can input important information about your audience and use that information to shape your digital marketing campaigns. It makes it easy for you to reach the right people.
Also Check: I Feel So Empty And Depressed
How Can A Weighted Blanket Help My Anxiety
Anxiety can bubble up when were stressed, going through major life changes, or are just burned out. It can also lead to insomnia, which perpetuates a cycle of sleep deprivation and more anxiety. Its neverending! A weighted blanket can temporarily calm the user, grounding them using DPS.
A 2008 study published in the Occupational Therapy in Mental Health Journal found that 63% of participants who used weighted blankets reported lower anxiety and 78% felt more relaxed. The pressure from weighted blankets can also decrease cortisol, the stress hormone, leading to a more peaceful rest.
Weighted Blanket For Depression: Connecting 3 Common Symptoms To Expand Treatment
A weighted blanket for depression would alleviate the mental health concerns of most Americans. We have found a link between anxiety and depression meaning…
While mental health and physical health are interlinked, some people do not link the effects the mind may have on the body or visa-versa. Up until recently, mental health professionals and physicians did not collaborate when managing their patients care the fields were considered separate.
This article will discuss the links between pain, depression, anxiety, and sensory defensiveness, which are some of the most common presenting symptoms that physicians and mental health professionals see. New research has linked mood disorders with on name transdiagnostic mood disorders. This new understanding has provided clinicians with a new way of viewing presenting problems and providing treatment. Before reading the article, I encourage you to think about how you perceive these conditions to be related. Understanding how these are related will help us determine how a weighted blanket for depression can be prescribed in treatment settings.
Likewise, sympathetic nervous system activity also increases with pain. Furthermore, physical symptoms are often reported by people with depression and/or anxiety. Thus, physical processes that mediate depression, anxiety, and pain, as well as sensory defensiveness are all interwoven and overlap.
Read Also: Moderate Depression Vs Severe Depression
How Heavy Of A Weighted Blanket Should You Use
Manufacturers typically recommend adults use a blanket thats equal to 10% of their body weight. As for thickness, thats determined by the kind of filler. The glass beads used in weighted blankets are tiny, much smaller than the plastic pellets, making those blankets typically thinner than the plastic pellets blankets.
If sleep temperature is a concern, there are a wide range of options. From blankets that use bamboo as a cover material for cooling to weighted blankets with some extra filling for warmth, there are options for you wherever you fall on the sleep comfort scale.
Studies Reveal Weighted Blanket Benefits
Since doing clinical studies on children is difficult, most of the studies on weighted blanket benefits have been conducted with adults. Also, weighted blankets have a long history of use in a type of occupational therapy called sensory integration therapy. Since occupational therapy is typically done with adults, the primary subjects of these studies are adults. Still, the results can be translated to teenagers and adolescents.
In a study published in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of weighted blankets on more than 30 adults with anxiety issues or stress complaints. Before and after sleeping with the weighted blanket, each participant underwent a series of tests. Researchers measured several of the physical manifestations of stress and anxiety, including blood pressure, pulse rate, and electrodermal activitythe electrical activity on the surface of the skin.
Subsequently, the study found that 63 percent of participants reported lower anxiety after using the blanket. Moreover, 78 percent of study participants enjoyed the calming quality of the weighted blanket. With a weighted blanket, subjects found it easier to let go of mental stressors and fall sleep peacefully.
Based on the success of the study, researchers concluded that weighted blankets for anxiety are useful as a non-invasive tool. As a form of therapy, a weighted blanket promotes feelings of safety and security.
Recommended Reading: Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Depression
How Do They Work
In a general sense, weighted blankets work on the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for easing the body into a natural state. When the body enters this relaxed state, it experiences a boost in digestion, decreased mental health concerns such as anxiety or depression, an even heart rate, and relief from difficulty breathing.
Weighted blankets are effective due to what is called deep pressure stimulation, which offers input that has a calming effect on the body and provides a sense of comfort. If you know a child who often likes getting a big hug, its quite likely that they will also like weighted blankets, since they both offer the same type of deep pressure.
This type of input is significantly more impactful when it works on large areas of the body, such as the torso, arms, and legs. This is because pressure on a larger scale causes a surge in dopamine and serotonin, which are natural feel-good chemicals in the brain.
- Dopamine is responsible for providing feelings of reward, motivation, and happiness.
- Serotonin helps keep our mood level and contributes to feelings of pleasure.
- Melatonin not only helps people get to sleep more quickly, but it also helps them stay asleep for longer.
- Oxytocin is another feel-good chemical in the brain that surges in response to input from weighted blankets. The release of oxytocin causes feelings of happiness and is commonly known for being present when people are in love.
Weighted Blanket For Depression
Depression is used synonymously with âSadnessâ although the term has a wider meaning. In simple terms, depression can be referred to as a feeling of negativity and disinterest in the surrounding people and activities. Depression is a feeling many of us experience at some point in time in our lives. It can be due to the loss of loved ones or an ongoing low phase in your personal and professional life. You cannot limit the concept of depression to just a few words. The general symptoms of depression as mentioned above can be easily understood. However, if the symptoms go untreated for a prolonged period of time one may need clinical help. Depression can have a negative effect on one’s sleep and the ability to function effectively at home and workplace.
A person with depression may have a lower level of serotonin and melatonin production than those without depression. There may be a need for deep pressure therapy to help induce the production of serotonin which increases melatonin present in the brain.
The Magic Weighted Blanket has two-fold benefits-
- The Magic Weighted Blanket can be used as a form of deep pressure therapy. Using the weighted blanket for depression several times a day can help enable the production of serotonin.
- Using our best-weighted blanket for depression at night can assist you in sleeping peacefully. The Magic Weighted Blanket assists the body in transitioning into a comfortable and restful state. This state encourages the brain’s usage of melatonin.
Also Check: Will I Have Depression For The Rest Of My Life
What To Know Before Getting A Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets are sold in a wide range of places, including department stores, chain drugstores, and online specialty stores. Here are a few things to know if youre thinking of buying a weighted blanket.
They can be expensive. The price of a weighted blanket is typically based on weight, size, and quality. The average cost is $100 to $300, according to Sleep Foundation.
The right weight is a matter of preference. Some people with ADHD prefer blankets that are heavier than youd expect, given their own weight. But no matter what feels best, the blanket must be light enough for the person under it to easily move it.
They can be a safety risk for younger kids. Its important to inspect the seams regularly to make sure theyre secure so no pellets or beads will fall out. Pellets and beads can be a choking hazard around infants and young children who might put them in their mouths.
Fabric can be a big factor. Cotton is lightweight, for instance, and linen is medium weight. Consider the texture of fabric, too. Sensory seekers might love the fuzziness of chenille. But people who are sensitive to touch may find it unbearable.
They arent right for everyone. A weighted blanket only works if it feels good and is relaxing. Some kids and adults dont like the feeling of heaviness on them as they try to relax. And others may get overheated or feel claustrophobic under the weight.
Anxiety And Sleep: The Big Picture
So whats the bottom line? If youre willing to shell out acouple hundred bucks for a weighted blanket, it might be worth a try. But ifyou have significant anxiety or sleep difficulties, a blanket alone isntlikely to fix it, Dr. Bea says.
You still have to practice good sleep habits. Dont watch TV or look at your phone in bed, he says. Turn your clock away, so youre not watching the minutes tick by. Create a soothing bedtime ritual.
And if you experience ongoing problems with anxiety, its agood idea to see a mental health professional. They can help you developlong-term strategies to manage stress and keep anxiety in check.
Were a culture that wants a quick fix. Its tempting toclick add to cart and hope that a weighted blanket will fix everything, Dr.Bea explains. But if youre pinning your hopes on a blanket, it may be time toconsider addressing your anxiety in other ways.
Recommended Reading: Do You Have To Be Sad To Have Depression
How Do Weighted Blankets Work
Today, researchers and scientists are showing correlated studies on the role of weighted blankets to help with anxiety and depression. Lets get to know more about this.
Weighted pressure is the primary feature of a weighted blanket that links to its healing property. Studies show that such attributes can help both children and adults deal with attention deficit disorders, distress, anxiety, insomnia, and sensory over-responsivity.
Sometimes called gravity blankets, weighted blankets boost serotonin and melatonin while reducing cortisol, which is a stress hormone. As a result, weighted blankets produce peaceful and calming effects. They also improve cognitive functioning among people of all ages.
More importantly, these properties make weighted blankets helpful in reducing anxiety and depression alike. The good thing about it? They are typically safe to use and helps people achieve a more relaxing state and therefore, better sleep quality.
Typically, weighted blankets push your body downwards, thereby helping ground it. That process is called earthing or grounding.
Grounding the human body while sleeping synchronizes cortisol secretion with its 24-hours and normal circadian rhythms as hinted in the previous paragraph. That applies primarily among women. The finding relates to a report in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Trusted Source.