Anxiety Relief Tool: Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets are a relatively new anxiety relief tool that is quickly gaining in popularity. If you suffer from anxiety or insomnia, weighted blankets may be the answer to your problems. Weighted blankets have been shown to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation by simulating deep pressure touch (DPT), which has been used for decades as an anxiety therapy technique. In this article, we discuss how weighted blankets work and provide some tips on purchasing one for yourself!

1. What are weighted blankets and how do they work

Weighted blankets are special blankets with small pellets sewn into the fabric. The weight makes these blankets extra thick and heavy, which produces a calming effect on the nervous system by stimulating deep pressure touch (DPT). DPT is defined as a soft and firm touch that induces feelings of security and safety in anxious people. If you lie under a weighted blanket for 10-15 minutes your body will release serotonin and melatonin, feel more relaxed, go to sleep faster, have better quality sleep , and have less nightmares [1].

 

2. How to choose the right weighted blanket for you

Choosing the right weighted blanket for you depends on many factors, such as:

Size - Make sure that your weighted blanket covers your entire body, but does not hang over the edge of the bed/couch where you are laying. If your blanket is too small, it might make you feel claustrophobic and cause you to take it off quickly. It should fit snugly around all four sides of your body (including feet).

Weight - The amount of weight in a blanket will depend on how sensitive to pressure you are and how much anxiety relief you want from a blanket. We recommend starting with 16-20 lbs for adults or 10% of your total body weight, whichever is greater.

 

3. Benefits of using a weighted blanket

Weighted blankets deliver anxiety relief in several different ways:

 

1. Reduces anxiety by stimulating deep pressure touch (DPT)

DPT is defined as a soft and firm touch that induces feelings of security and safety in anxious people. By lying under a weighted blanket for 10-15 minutes your body will release serotonin and melatonin, feel more relaxed, go to sleep faster, have better quality sleep, and have less nightmares [2].

 

2. Helps clear negative thoughts/emotions

Weighted blankets are usually covered with satin fabric which feels smooth against the skin. The satin acts like an ice breaker because it allows you to experience minimal friction while still touching something physical; through this process you become desens towards anxiety-inducing thoughts and emotions.

 

3. Acts as a "security object"

The weight of the blanket may help you feel more safe or secure when anxiety attacks occur, calming your nervous system. This effect is similar to that experienced when using weighted vests for anxiety relief [3]. As such, weighted blankets are sometimes referred to as "anxiety blankets".

 

4. Promotes feelings of comfort, safety and security

Weighted blankets are very large, heavy and squishy, much like a mothers embrace. The weight of the blanket may simulate "the feeling of being held", one of the most effective anxiety therapy techniques [4].

 

5. Reduces anxiety during trauma

Weighted blankets were initially designed as a tool for anxiety relief in patients undergoing anxiety-inducing medical procedures (e.g. CT scans, MRIs), however they have been found to be equally beneficial with other anxiety problems such as PTSD [2].

 

 

Weighted blankets are a great way to relax and sleep better.  They come in many different sizes, shapes, colors, and weights so you can find the perfect one for your needs! If you don't have time to shop around or if this is all new information to you then we recommend you check out the following blankets!

 

 

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