Youre Not Using The Correct Weighted Blanket For Your Body
Weighted blankets are not a one-size-fits-all purchase its important to find the best option for your body. According to Schneeberg, it all starts with determining the correct weight. It should weigh about 10 percent of your body weight, she says. So if a person weighs 150 pounds, the blanket should weigh 15 pounds.
In this case, sharing isnt caring. If you have a sleep partner, you should each have your own weighted blanket, as they are built for individuals, Fish adds. Now thats one way to prevent your S.O. from hogging the covers.
Alleviates Some Forms Of Depression
Depression is a common symptom associated with insomnia or sleep disorders. While no studies have been conducted regarding the relationship between weighted blankets and mood disorders, they have been shown to support a feeling of calmness and peacefulness. The deep pressure touch simulated by a weighted blanket helps the bodys release serotonin and dopamine in the brain. When low to moderate pressure is applied to specific areas of the body , it changes the bodys chemistry. Specifically, it decreases cortisol, the stress hormone, and increases serotonin and dopamine. They are the brains neurotransmitters of relaxation, happiness, and well-being.
Who Shouldnt Use Weighted Blankets
Infants, toddlers, or very young children shouldnât use a weighted blanket. The pellets or glass beads can fall out and become a choking hazard. The heavy blanket could cover a childâs face while they sleep.
If you have sleep apnea, breathing problems, or any chronic health condition, check with your doctor before you use a weighted blanket. Ask your childâs pediatrician or therapist before letting your child sleep under one. They arenât safe for children with epilepsy, breathing or heart problems, skin allergies, blood circulation problems, or those who canât remove the blanket on their own.
Also Check: How To Know If I Have Social Anxiety
Best Overall: The Gravity Blanket
To buy: from $195
What you’ll love: This weighted blanket comes in 15-, 20-, and 35-pound versions, and measures 4 feet by 6 feet or 7.5 feet by 7.5 feet, depending on your preferred weight. While king and queen sizes are available, the company recommends the blankets not be shared by couples who might disrupt each other’s sleep, since using one is supposed to be a “grounding” experience. It’s made of breathable fabrics, and both the weighted inner layer and outer duvet cover are machine-washable.
Keep in mind: This pick is only available in heavier weights, so if you’re looking to just dip your toes into weighted blankets, you might want to opt for one with more weight options.
Rave review: “It literally feels as you’re being snuggled and it’s a pretty awesome feeling, to say the least,” . “I’m tickled that a friend recommended this item to me as I suffer from severe anxiety and panic disorder along with insomnia and this blanket truly helps with these conditions. I was in doubt when purchasing the Gravity Blanket due to the price but I have to admit it’s well worth the money spent.”
Best Weighted Blankets In 2022
Experts told us a weighted blanket should provide multiple weight options to fit the 10% body weight limit, feature a machine-washable and breathable cover and offer a return policy that lets you trial the blanket before committing to it. With this guidance in mind, we rounded up five highly rated weighted blankets that were tested and recommended by Consumer Reports engineers.
Don’t Miss: What Can Trigger An Anxiety Attack
How To Choose The Best Weighted Blanket For You
If you want to try a weighted blanket, read online reviews first and look for features that you think will help you relax, says Solz: Maybe material softness or breathability is important to you, or maybe you want a blanket with built-in aromatherapy to evoke a spa-like environment, for example.
Many of us carry around anxiety, which can cause trouble sleeping, so it’s important to have healthy coping habits you can turn to when you’re stressed, she explains. “You might do deep breathing or take a hot shower or cozy up in your favorite sweater, and a weighted blanket might be another part of that arsenal.”
You’ll also want to consider choosing a blanket that’s about 10% of your body weight: The authors of the 2006 study wrote that, in their clinical experience, patients preferred blankets that weighed at least this much.
Reduces Symptoms Caused By Autism
Occupational therapists have been using weighted blankets on children with autism for years. But now, gravity blankets for autism are mainstream and targeted at adults too. Multiple studies show that they reduce anxiety, OCD, and tension in people with autism. And, research has found that weighted blankets for autism encourage better sleep, which results in better functioning during the day.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Anxiety Diarrhea
Do Weighted Blankets Even Do Anything For Anxiety
If you have anxiety, you may have heard some bold claims about this or that thing having the power to relieve some of your worry. Exhibit A: weighted blankets, which have surged in popularity in recent years. Maybe you have a friend who swears by using a weighted blanket or have seen enough glowing reviews to wonder if these items can actually do anything for something as serious as anxietyor if this is just another trendy product with overblown wellness claims. We spoke to experts and dug through the research to find out.
What Does The Science Say
In case youre wondering, the soothing benefits of weighted blankets are backed by some research. In a randomized, controlled study, participants with insomnia reported significantly reduced insomnia, as well as reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
In another study, researchers asked 120 participants with anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders to sleep with either a light plastic blanket or a weighted blanket. The results showed that participants who used the weighted blanket reported reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to those who used a light plastic blanket.
You May Like: Do Pediatricians Prescribe Anxiety Medication
Weighted Blankets For Autism
Sleep problems and anxiety disorders are common issues for autistic children and adults. Weighted blankets can be very helpful tools for folks with autism spectrum disorder combating these problems. They offer soothing deep pressure touch , and are often used by occupational therapists.
Wondering how weighted blankets work, if they could be helpful for you or your childs needs, and which type to buy? Then youre in the right place! This article will help you decide whether or not to buy a weighted blanket.
How Weighted Blankets Can Help With Anxiety And Sleep
Blankets provide comfort and warmth when we need it, but did you know that specific kinds of blankets can provide more direct relief? Weighted blankets, which can weigh as much as 30 pounds, can be therapeutic in many ways, leading to relief from anxiety, autism, or insomnia. Children with ASD, attention disorders, autism, depression, and sleep problems can particularly benefit from the therapies mentioned below.
These conditions affect sleep so profoundly that some in the medical community advocate considering mental conditions like attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, and others as sleep disorders. Weighted blankets can offer several profound therapies for these conditions, as well as for those suffering from more generalized anxiety and insomnia. Read on to learn how weighted blankets can help, as well as how to choose one.
Recommended Reading: What Doctor Prescribes Anxiety Medicine
How Do Weighted Blankets Help With Anxiety
When youre feeling anxious or scared, your autonomic nervous system which unconsciously regulates bodily functions such as sweating, breathing, blood circulation and digestion prepares your body to keep itself alive by choosing to rest or to fight. This is known as the fight or flight response.
The pressure stimulation of the weighted blanket essentially puts your nervous system into rest mode, helping to lower your heart rate and breathing. This can make you feel more relaxed and provide an overall sense of calm.
An Cooling Weighted Blanket
This blanket from AN is great for people worried about the heat increase of sleeping under a weighted blanket. These blankets go up to 30 pounds but are 100% cotton, inlaid with natural glass beads to make them softer and more breathable. Theyre machine washable and best sellers on Amazon for a good reason. You wont break the bank getting a weighted blanket from AN, but you wont sacrifice quality either.
Don’t Miss: How To Relieve Physical Anxiety
Use A Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets work by applying continuous, firm and gentle pressure to the body. Made with about 10 percent of the users body weight, theyre like a full-body hug. If youve ever snuggled under a heavy sleeping bag or luxuriated under your down comforter on a cold night, you may have already experienced the positive effects of a weighted blanket.
Unlike regular blankets, however, weighted blankets are made with a type of therapy in mind. Known as deep touch pressure therapy or deep touch pressure stimulation, firm but gentle touching and massage has been shown to reduce anxiety in both children and adults. You can experience deep touch pressure therapy through massage or products like a weighted blanket, wrap or vest.
For years, parents of children with autism and sensory processing disorder have relied on weighted blankets to help their little ones rest easier and avoid meltdowns. As time has gone by, however, more and more people have discovered that weighted blankets arent just a therapy tool for autism, ADHD and related conditions.
Scientific studies have shown that weighted blankets have a real impact on anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders found that weighted pressure on the body helped study participants feel less anxious and more refreshed upon waking.
A Closer Look At Serotonin
Serotonin is a chemical produced by our nerve cells and acts as a transmitter, sending messages between the cells. Its mainly found in the brain and intestines, but its also present in our blood platelets. Since its located in these key areas of the body, it influences various psychological and bodily functions.
Serotonin works in conjunction with other systems to regulate our blood pressure, heart rate, and mood. This last part is critical, especially when it comes to mental health. Its considered a natural mood stabilizer, helping to control anxiety and promotes feelings of happiness. A pretty powerful chemical!
Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression, anxiety, and insomnia. DTP causes serotonin levels to spike, having a calming, soothing, serene effect.
Don’t Miss: What Does Anxiety Do To Your Body
Can A Weighted Blanket Help You Sleep Better Or Reduce Anxiety
If youve ever wondered if a weighted blanket can help you sleep better or reduce anxiety, this article will give you some answers. These weighted blankets were initially used as therapeutic tools for people with mental health conditions such as dementia and autism spectrum disorders. However, they have since found their way to the mass market. A weighted blanket may help you sleep better or reduce anxiety, depending on your chosen brand.
Weighted blankets may reduce anxiety.
Weighted blankets are popular comfort items for people suffering from anxiety. Unlike regular blankets, weighted anxiety blankets are heavier. Instead of polyester or cotton, they are filled with glass beads or plastic pellets. Some blankets even contain ball bearings. Weights can vary from three to thirty pounds. Weights vary according to the person, age and weight, but generally, weights should be about five to ten per cent of body weight.
In addition to helping the individual relax, a weighted blanket Australia can help treat pain, insomnia and other anxiety symptoms. Many of them are machine washable. However, some are spot-clean-only, making them difficult to clean if you have a pet or small children. Choose the type that fits your lifestyle. Weighted blankets can reduce anxiety and insomnia, and many swear by them. They can also be a great alternative to conventional treatments for anxiety.
They may improve sleep.
They can help people with ADHD.
They are durable
Calming Our Nervous System
The body is a complex structure, with systems in place to help us regulate our functions and navigate our world. Our autonomic nervous system regulates our body’s unconscious functions, such as breathing, heart rate, blood circulation, and certain reflexes. These are, essentially, the ways that our body functions every day without us having to think about it. For example, we can breathe without having to think about taking a breath. If we could only breathe when we intentionally think about it, we would never be able to get anything else done!
When we become stressed or alerted to a threat in our environment, our sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear and says “I’ll help you!” The sympathetic nervous system is what fuels our flight or fight response. It uses the information we are taking in and tries to help us quickly respond in order to survive that moment.
As helpful as this is for our survival, it is common for people in our modern society to be in constant fight or flight mode at work, at home, in our relationships, with responsibilities and obligations. Living under this constant pressure can cause our sympathetic nervous system to operate on overdrive and can lead to us experiencing things like:
- Accelerated heart rate
- Increased cortisol
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Anxiety Forever
What Is Panic Disorder
If you suffer from panic attacks, you already know how terrifying and disruptive they can be. In some cases, panic attacks are brought on by a triggering event, such as past trauma or anxiety. For some sufferers, panic attacks seem to strike as theyre just coming out of sleep. In other situations, however, they seem to appear for no identifiable reason. Because panic attacks can strike at just about any time, they can be difficult to manage.
People can experience panic attacks in different ways, but common symptoms include feelings of intense nervousness, a racing heart and a feeling of impending doom.
The good news is that panic disorder and the panic attacks that come with it is highly treatable. As the ADAA states, Many people dont know that their disorder is real and highly responsive to treatment. Some are afraid or embarrassed to tell anyone, including their doctors and loved ones, about what they experience for fear of being considered a hypochondriac. Instead they suffer in silence, distancing themselves from friends, family, and others who could be helpful or supportive.
If you experience panic attacks, you dont have to suffer in silence. Additionally, there are many drug-free and non-pharmaceutical options that may help you manage your panic disorder more effectively.
What Makes The Honeybird Stand Out
- The Honeybird distributes its weight evenly across the body.
- It offers concentrated weight to create a soothing cocoon
- The optional duvet cover is a comfy, yet cooling addition to the blanket.
- The Honeybird is very breathable and could be a good choice for hot sleepers.
Read the full Honeybird review
Don’t Miss: How To Naturally Heal Anxiety
How Do Weighted Blankets Work
Weighted blankets work by delivering a type of therapy called deep pressure touch stimulation.
In one study, researchers found that 63 percent individuals who slept with a weighted blanket felt less anxious. Additionally, 78 percent of people preferred the weighted blanket as a calming modality.
Far from being constricting or smothering, weighted blankets use gentle pressure that feels like being wrapped in a big hug. In fact, researchers have also found that hugging produces good chemicals in the brain, which can make you feel calmer and more relaxed.
With a weighted blanket, you can get a hug whenever and wherever you want. For teens who might rebel at the thought of hugging, a weighted blanket can help them snuggle without worrying about appearances or social judgment.
For teens who like to study while sitting up, a weighted lap pad might also help deliver the benefits of deep pressure touch stimulation. Here are 5 Ways a Weighted Lap Pad Can Help Your Child .
Your teen may also want to try a weighted wrap for relieving anxiety. At SensaCalm, our weighted wraps come in two sizes. Our three-pound wrap measures 12 inches by 36 inches, and our five-pound wrap measures 18 inches by 36 inches.
Our weighted wraps can be draped around the shoulders for watching television, reading a book, studying or just relaxing. As with our weighted blankets, our weighted wraps are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and designs.
Why Weighted Blankets Help
Weve scratched the surface of deep touch therapy in weighted blankets, but why does the comforting pressure of DTP work?
The power of the hug all circles back to the beauty of hormone regulation, specifically our stress and feel-good ones. Lets dive deeper into why these wonderful little hormones are so important.
Mostly, we want to praise our happy hormones, including oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine, and commend your weighted blanket on decreasing cortisol as well, a major stress hormone. Here are our major players:
Regulating these hormones is vital to managing anxiety and improving our overall health and well-being. DTP assists in this act when we just cant seem to get a grasp. The ultimate result of weighted blankets is the lowering of stimulation and arousal while simultaneously improving rest and relaxation. The hugging sensation that comes from weighted blankets lets the body know that its safe, increasing the release of these happy hormones and thus, creates a relaxed physiological response. Run, dont walk to the purchase button.
You May Like: How Can You Cure Anxiety Without Medication