5 Weighted Blankets Benefits | What Are Weighted Blankets Used For?
Weighted blankets, once a tool to therapists and psychiatry clinics, have now gone mainstream. The popularity of the blankets has skyrocketed recently as more people learn about the number of benefits of using them.
What Are Weighted Blankets?
The answer is in the name - a weighted blanket is essentially just a blanket with extra weight in it. While this sounds simple, there’s a lot of science behind the weighted blanket to back up its benefits. The magic of weighted blankets is – you guessed it – in the weight. The weight of the blanket offers deep touch pressure (DTP), or Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT) to the body, which release serotonin in the body, a hormone and neurotransmitter that helps regulate some brain functions. Serotonin is sometimes referred to as the “happy chemical” because of its role in regulating mood.
Weighted blankets come in a variety of sizes, weights, and materials. When shopping for a weighted blanket, be sure to find a fabric that you enjoy in the size that’s right for your body. The fill in a weighted blanket also varies. The most common fills you will come across are glass beads or plastic pellets. However, some may be filled with other substances like rice or millet.
5 Benefits of a Weighted Blanket
1. They reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, PTSD
Weighted blankets work by putting extra pressure and weight on your body, essentially “grounding” you in the space. Studies have shown that grounding can reduce levels of cortisol, a hormone emitted when your body is under stress. The pressure of weighted blankets can disrupt anxiety attacks, PTSD and other stressful experiences by promoting relaxation.
2. They help you focus
Weighted blankets are most often used at night; however, several studies have shown that they can also have a significant impact during the day. These studies determined that weighted blankets improve both attention to task and task completion speed. Although weighted blankets can help anyone focus, they are particularly useful for people with attention difficulties like ADD and ADHD.
3. They calm your restless body
Although it may be bedtime, sometimes our bodies feel restless and ready for action. Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a nervous system disorder that causes those afflicted to feel uncomfortable “pins and needles” sensations in their legs. Weighted blankets can help calm irritated nerves and painful sensations by providing steady pressure to the legs. Because these blankets also trigger the release of serotonin, people with RLS may feel calmer and less anxious throughout the night.
4. They improve sleep quality
We all know how sleep can play a huge role in our mood, energy levels, and mental health. If you often have troubles sleeping or wake up feeling not fully rested, a weighted blanket might be the answer you’re looking for. Studies have shown that weighted blankets increase sleep time and decrease movement throughout the night, resulting in a calmer night’s sleep. In addition, weighted blankets can help you settle down to sleep faster and feel more refreshed in the morning.
5. They are non-medicinal
Although medication is a completely valid and legitimate means of treating disorders,it may not be accessible for everyone. If that’s the case, then weighted blankets may be a viable path to help alleviate some symptoms of anxiety, RLS, insomnia, PTSD, and so on.
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