Why Do Weighted Blankets Work?

I'm sure you've heard of weighted blankets, and someone may have told you the magic of it. But you may still not understand why weighted blankets can be so powerful. It can effectively target insomnia, sleep disorders, anxiety and many other problems. Let's discuss it together today.

What is a weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets are similar to a duvet or comforter, but filled with glass beads or plastic pellets instead of down or fiberfill -- though some weighted blankets have both fiberfill and weights.

Most weighted blankets have many compartments full of beads or pellets to provide even weight throughout. Some come with a washable cover to make them easy to clean.


Why do weighted blankets work?

What is is about lying under a heavy blanket that makes us feel less stressed and more relaxed? It's all about deep pressure touch (also called deep pressure stimulation).

Deep pressure touch can take many forms, including swaddling (for babies), massage, hugs and pressure evenly applied to your body. It's been shown to reduce cortisol, the hormone our bodies release when stressed, and increase dopamine, serotonin and melatonin hormones that promote relaxation, regulate our mood and signal our brains that it's time to sleep.

It is also said to trigger our parasympathetic nervous system, which puts our body into a state of relaxation. It's the exact opposite of the sympathetic nervous system, where our bodies go into the "fight or flight" state.

Since most of us cannot get massages every day, and it's not practical to be swaddled as an adult (unless you're in Japan), a weighted blanket provides deep pressure touch anytime you want to relax.

They are celebrated as a medication-free way to manage stress and anxiety, but they are not a replacement for medication and other therapies prescribed by your doctor or other medical professional.

Can weighted blankets help with anxiety, PTSD or insomnia?

As weighted blankets grew in popularity, so did claims that they can help treat certain mental health conditions. However, weighted blankets generally fall under the FDA's guidelines for low-risk wellness devices, which means they should not claim to treat or cure any medical condition. They should only be marketed to support the well-being of someone living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns.

That said, studies have shown that people who use weighted blankets report feeling less anxiety. One such study had participants use a 30-pound weighted blanket, and 68 percent reported feeling less anxious.

For anyone who struggles with easily falling asleep, or stay asleep, there is some evidence that a weighted blanket might help. One study showed that adults who slept with a weighted blanket spent more time asleep and didn't wake up as often when compared with sleeping with their usual bedding.

While there is little research that weighted blankets can help manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they've been used in hospital psychiatric departments as a tool to help calm patients with a variety of mental health conditions. 

Do I need a weighted blanket?

Given that weighted blankets are pricey, they are not an obvious purchase for everyone.

Whether or not you should get one largely depends on your bank account and what you hope to get out of using one. They can be a soothing tool for helping to manage stress and encourage restful sleep, but they are not the end-all, be-all.

Personally, I like my blanket and use it to relax after a stressful day. It's easy to fall asleep under it, but I almost always push it off in the middle of the night. Do I need it? No, but it is one of many helpful tools I use to manage anxiety and stress.Beads and fill

Why Therapists Recommend Weighted Blankets

According to Sensory Integration Theory, deep pressure input has a calming effect on the nervous system. There has also been research to suggest that deep pressure input (i.e. from massage) can influence biochemistry by decreasing the release of the stress hormone cortisol, and increasing the release of serotonin and dopamine (Field et al., 2005). 

For many of the children we work with in occupational therapy, interaction with sensory input such as light touch, noise, smells, or movement can leave them feeling under or over stimulated. This difficulty with sensory processing frequently interferes with their engagement in childhood “occupations” such as learning, self-care skills, and social interactions.

Therapists will commonly recommend weighted blankets for children that have difficulty falling or staying asleep due to their sensory processing difficulties. You’ll also find weighted or compression vests, shirts, or backpacks used in a school setting to assist a child with attention or decreasing self-stimulation and sensory seeking behaviors. According to theory, if we provide a child with the necessary regulating stimulation through deep pressure input, then they won’t have to distract themselves by seeking it elsewhere by, for example, rocking in their chairs or walking around the room.

Why do weighted blankets work?I think now you should understand how weighted blankets work and how scientific they are. We are the manufacturer of weighted blankets. If you want to wholesale weighted blankets, you can leave us a message.You may be interested in the following article:

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