What Science Has To Say About Weighted Blankets And Why It Helps Those With Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses around the world. It often goes untreated as either the person isn’t aware, they have it and think they are just out of sorts, or they are afraid to seek medical advice as there is such a stigma surrounding mental illness.

There are several types of anxiety disorders and they can affect both children and adults.

Not everyone wants to be reliant on medication for their illness so they look for alternative ways to treat it.

Weighted blankets popularity is on the increase and can be purchased online, through TV advertising and can even be found in some Walmart’s.

Whilst they can be expensive to buy, they are being viewed by those that already use them as a good investment.

It is a simple concept that works on grounding the person who is suffering from anxiety, they can weight anything between 5-30 pounds as you purchase the right one according to how much you weigh. It should be 10% of your body weight.

Weighted blankets are also used in sensory integration therapy.

There have been quite a few studies completed on weighted blankets and one, in particular, that was published in 2008 stated that those who used a 30lb weighted blanket for at least 5 minutes did feel calmer after that short period of time.

19 of the 33 people who took part in the study said they felt more relaxed when using the weighted blanket. Only 3 people said they felt uneasy when they used the weighted blanket. Other studies have shown that when used under psychiatric supervision along with prescribed medication they felt a decrease in stress where those that only took medication still showed their current levels of stress.

Medical News Today wrote as follows in regards to how they work for some people to alleviate their anxious feelings:

Research has shown that hugs may make a person feel at ease. When people hug, the body releases the hormone oxytocin. This hormone helps reduce blood pressure, slows the heart, and provides a feeling of relaxation.

The weighted blanket essentially imitates the warmth and security that a hug provides. Both the blanket and hug use a gentle, firm pressure that goes deep within the body giving a sense of repose that allows the body to relax.

Researchers have found that pressure put on the body in certain areas triggers the release of chemicals in the brain, including serotonin, that triggers a reduction in stress while improving mood.

The science behind weighted blankets is simple and is referred to as deep touch pressure. A gentle pressure is evenly distributed all over the body which increased a sense of calmness.

The weighted blanket reduces the activity in our nervous systems which relieves the anxiety the person may be feeling at the time.

People who are suffering from PTSD find them extremely helpful at reducing their stress levels when triggered and giving them a sense of safety when using their blanket, it should be noted that it does depend on the trauma as to whether the weighted blanket will help.

The market is flooded with weighted blankets to choose from and there are a lot of fakes out there so do some research and purchase from a reputable seller who offers you a money back guarantee if you find it doesn’t work for you.

What it is made up of:

The inner weighted insert is made of 100% cotton with small sections which have glass microbeads which allows for even weight distribution. The outside of the weighted blanket is usually covered with a high-quality velvet.

If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, it might be well worth looking into.