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.
Those That Struggle With Sleep Disorders
As weve mentioned, weighted blankets are helpful when it comes to inducing sleep and improving sleep quality. For this reason, many people with insomnia find weighted blankets helpful. Studies show the use of a weighted blanket improves sleep in some children, and there is even a little evidence that it may improve sleep in adults.
Do Weighted Blankets Really Work
Yes experts advise there are real benefits to using a weighted blanket. “There is recent research suggesting they can help reduce or relieve anxiety,” shares Christine Rocchio Mueller, Occupational Therapist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Rocchio Mueller also says they can help people who may not consider themselves anxious, yet still suffer from insomnia or sleep disturbances: “A weighted blanket might provide just enough physiological calm that it helps them relax to fall asleep.”Many users describe the sensation of lying under a weighted blanket as feeling like a hug.
According to Mueller, “It is one of the most natural things to reach and hug a family member or friend when they are upset or anxious. While a hug might not solve all your problems, it often helps you feel better by calming your body which then allows you to think a little bit clearer.”Weighted blankets have been around for a while, but they’re now widely available with many options to choose from. Just keep in mind that they’re pricier than regular throw blankets most range from $100 to $200.
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Selecting The Best Blanket For You
All you need is some time and a quick browse on the internet to stumble upon the vast majority of options that are available for purchase online.
From cool weighted blankets, which help with temperature regulation and are especially useful for sleepers who struggle to get comfortable during bedtime, to hypoallergenic ones that are handy for those of us predisposed to the sniffles, theres something for everyone.
Its recommended that the best weighted blanket varies from person to person also due to their weight. Try purchasing a weighted blanket that lands around 10% of your actual body weight for the optimum level of sleep.
Another way to ensure youre finding the best weighted blanket for you is by finding one thats been engineered by experts in sleep. When it comes to finding a weighted blanket you trust, youll feel better knowing yours has been designed with better sleep as its top function.
For instance, how many people exactly recommend the blanket in question? Another useful tip is to do a deep dive of the company making your blanket – are they top-rated in other sleep products as well?
Usually, a company that produces multiple sleep products are likely to have understood the science of sleep, as well as engineered their products to work in conjunction with other sleep accessories so youre really achieving the optimum sleeping experience.
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.
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Improves Daytime Social Interactions
Weighted blankets have been found to improve social interactions during the day for users, mainly because they are able to get restful sleep the night before.
When a person isnt able to get a good nights sleep, it impacts every aspect of their life including social interaction and performance in other areas like school or work. When a person gets their sleep back, they often get their life back too.
Sensacalm Weighted Blankets For Adults With Anxiety And Panic Disorder
If you suffer from anxiety or panic disorder, a weighted blanket may help you sleep better at night and feel calmer during the day. SensaCalm custom weighted blankets are made in the U.S.A. and are available in a wide range of weights, sizes, colors and patterns. We also make ready-to-ship weighted blankets that go out the door the next business day after your order.
Questions? Were ready to help! Get in touch by calling us at 855-736-7222, or use our online contact form to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before undertaking any type of therapy or treatment.
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Weighted Blankets For Adults With Anxiety: 5 Tips For Managing Panic Disorder
Living with panic disorder doesnt have to mean being helpless or forever burdened by panic attacks that can strike at any time. There are plenty of strategies and techniques that can help you relax and banish anxiety including using weighted blankets to help you soothe yourself. Here are five tips for taking control of your panic disorder.
What Is A Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket is a heavy blanket usually one that weighs between 4 to 30 pounds thats used as a therapeutic tool to invoke calm and reduce stress.
Weighted blankets simulate deep pressure touch therapy , which provides the same physiological response people get when theyre hugged or held .
The blanket itself can be made from various materials, from cotton to bamboo to flannel, and the fill is usually micro-glass beads, although it can also be sand, grains, or steel beads.
Weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety in both children and adults, and theyre typically safe to use. They help many people achieve a relaxed state, allowing them to sleep more deeply.
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Weighted Blankets For Depression
Weighted blankets for PTSD have the same benefits as weighted blankets for depression in that they work to soothe your anxiety by boosting your bodys serotonin production. Once you get into the habit of using a weighted blanket, youll start to notice that it helps ease your mind and body in ways that boost your sleep levels at night, and energy levels during the day. When youre well-rested youll find that your mood gets a boost too.
How To Use A Weighted Blanket
Theres no right or wrong time to use it.
If youve had a difficult day at work, you may want to come home and spend an hour on the couch with your weighted blanket. If youre having trouble sleeping, you may want to use your weighted blanket all night.
What can matter, though, is the weight of your blanket. You might prefer a lighter blanket, while someone else may want theirs to be as heavy as possible.
Generally, most manufacturers recommend starting with a blanket that weighs approximately 10% of your body weight.
If youre considering a weighted blanket for your child, a healthcare or mental health professional can help you decide what weight is appropriate.
Using a blanket thats too heavy for a child could increase the chances of suffocation.
Certain health conditions might also prevent you from using weighted blankets for anxiety.
If you experience breathing issues, claustrophobia, or circulatory conditions, your healthcare professional may suggest alternative methods of DPT.
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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.
Are Weighted Blankets Worth It
Due to recent demand and increased popularity, many people have been turning to weighted blankets as an extra device of comfort. Whether they are anxious, stressed or looking for a way to ease symptoms of depression or Autism Spectrum Disorder, weighted blankets seem to be a great sleep tool.
However, weighted blankets don’t solve major anxiety, depression or sleep-related issues. If extreme anxiety or insomnia is constantly keeping you awake at night, speak with your doctor or a licensed therapist to create the best possible treatment plan. In addition, weighted blankets are an investment. Just like any other sleep accessory, good weighted blankets can be pricey.
If you think a weighted blanket could be useful to you, review these points before buying.
Consider investing in a weighted blanket if:
- You’re looking to improve your sleep and ease your mild to moderate anxiety
- You want to ditch your melatonin supplements and try a new way to fall asleep faster
- Your bed is missing an extra level of comfort
Spend your money on something else if:
- You live with sleep apnea or severe asthma, as a weighted blanket could be too constricting
- You already have too many sleep accessories cluttering your bed
- You’re a hot sleeper and like light layers at night
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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 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.
Do Weighted Blankets Help Anxiety
Weighted blankets may help anxiety. While more research is needed, 2020 research reported that weighted blankets may be helpful in relieving anxiety by helping with emotional and physical regulation.
In another study, 63 percent of participants reported lower levels of anxiety after using a weighted blanket.
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How To Choose The Right Weighted Blanket
Most people prefer a weighted blanket equivalent to about 10% of their body weight, though you should take your own preferences into consideration when looking for a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are sold in weights ranging from 7 pounds to 25 pounds, and they typically come in standard bedding sizes such as twin, full, queen, and king. Some manufacturers also make child- or travel-size weighted blankets.
Weighted blankets are more expensive than regular throw blankets, usually between $100 to $300. The more expensive models tend to be made with more durable materials and may offer better breathability or other features.
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Certified Sleep Coach
Danny is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with an in-depth knowledge of sleep health. He has tested hundreds of mattresses and sleep products.
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.
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Releases Serotonin And Reduces Stress
Weighted blankets are designed to provide the same effect as hugging. When we get a warm hug from someone, our body releases feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine while also decreasing our cortisol hormones. This process can allow you to feel more relaxed, which in turn, should help you doze off.
The Best Weighted Blankets For Anxiety On Amazon
Weighted blankets shouldn’t be a substitute for proven therapies for anxiety or insomnia, warns Solzand if you’re currently in treatment for a mental health condition, get the okay from your doctor or therapist before buying one. “For some, like people with panic disorders or agoraphobia, the sensation of a weighted blanket could have a counter-effect and make anxiety even worse,” she adds.
Ready to give them a try? Here, the 12 best-weighted blankets for anxiety, according to customer reviews.
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Weighted Blankets For Adults With Anxiety And Panic Disorder
June 22, 2018weighted blankets for adults with anxiety
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , about 2.7 million adults in the U.S. suffer from panic disorder. Panic attacks can come out of nowhere and can be a major disruption for people who experience them. Additionally, many people who have panic disorder also suffer from a co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety and depression.
If you suffer from panic disorder, weighted blankets for adults with anxiety might seem like yet another silly solution offered up by well-meaning but mildly annoying relatives yet, there is evidence that a weighted blanket can help you feel less anxious.
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.
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Best Lightweight: Luna Weighted Blanket
To buy:$45 to $149
What you’ll love: This lightweight weighted blanket is made of super-soft, 100% cotton and is filled with durable-yet-comfortable glass beads that are carefully woven into the blanket fibers for even weight distributionso you’ll never have a saggy corner. Plus, this blanket has more than 11,000 five-star Amazon reviews, so it’s a total no-brainer.
Keep in mind: Despite it’s lightweight, some users remarked that it made them hot while sleeping.
Rave review: “The weight has stayed evenly distributed. No worries about leaking beads, the edges of the blanket have a secure binding all around. The material is lovely, I have both a gel cooling bed and pillow as I am sensitive to excess heat, and I don’t find this blanket to hold more heat than the blanket it replaced,” said a buyer.
So Can Weighted Blankets Help
Technically the answer here is: yes. But is there scientific evidence that weighted blankets can help you feel more relaxed and sleep better, outside of a hospital setting?
Not yet, says Eron.
That doesnt mean there dont seem to be benefits, though. Becklund has no hesitation recommending their usewith the caveat that its important to talk to a physician about any medical concerns first, and to make sure not to get one thats too heavy.
All three of us either own a weighted blanket or have purchased weighted blankets for loved ones, she says, or both.