You may have heard a lot of talk recently about weighted blankets and wondered if they were something that you could benefit from. There are a variety of reasons why someone may choose to use these. Like many types of therapy, some people will have great results with the treatment and others may be less than satisfied. They often work as one part of a treatment plan for issues such as anxiety.
You may be curious about what exactly a weighted blanket is. They are designed to evenly distribute their weight across the blanket. The weight of the blanket is determined by the size and age of the intended user. The blanket is used for warmth, like a traditional blanket, but also provides gentle but firm contact that is similar to the sensation of being held.
People are often surprised that the gentle sensation provided by the blanket can have such a dramatic effect on mood. Using these blankets often provides a positive sensation for individuals with a variety of sensory disorders as well as individuals who experience anxiety.
Weighted blankets provide the same comforting sensation as a hug. Your body releases oxytocin when you are hugged. This, in turn, helps lower blood pressure and heart rate and provides a deep sense of relaxation. Using one of these blankets also triggers the release of other beneficial substances in the body. Users may experience a boost of serotonin, which reduces stress while improving mood, as well as melatonin which enhances the sleep cycle.
The boost of melatonin, along with pressure from the blanket, provides an atmosphere very conducive to sleep. Burrowing under the blanket helps both the mind and body enter a stage that is well designed for quality sleep. Individuals with sleep issues often find it easier to fall asleep, as well as stay asleep, when using a weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets are used to treat a variety of conditions. They were originally developed for individuals with autism, however, their use quickly spread to other health-related areas. Individuals who suffer from certain disorders of the nervous system, sleep disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder often find relief for symptoms by sleeping under a weighted blanket. Also, many individuals with no diagnosed issues find sleeping under one of these blankets to be comforting and relaxing.
These blankets are remarkably safe and there is no downside to using one. If you believe you or someone you care about would benefit from the use of weighted blankets it makes sense to try them out. Some children may find the weight confusing or upsetting. If so, a lighter weight blanket may be an option. If they try the blanket and don’t care for the sensation, there is no reason to force the issue. You may find they come back to it on their own when using the blanket is their idea.