There’s nothing better than curling up with a warm blanket on a cold night. It’s perfect for settling down on your couch and watching your favorite TV show or reading a great book. And how often do you take that cozy blanket to bed with you to get a restful night’s sleep? It’s the best, right?
But for some people, a special type of blanket might mean much more. Here’s some information on weighted blankets and how they might provide more than just comfort for people suffering from stress and worry…
What is a Weighted Blanket?
As the name implies, a weighted blanket is simply one that is heftier than a traditional blanket. They’re designed in a way where the weight is evenly distributed throughout. It’s not only warm, it also applies a tiny amount of pressure. When you wrap yourself in a weighted blanket, it will feel a lot like a good hug. The type of blanket that will be right for you will largely depend on your body weight.1
Why Would You Want One?
These blankets are becoming more popular as people discover that it can help those suffering from a variety of emotional issues.
Weighted blankets work on the principle of deep touch pressure (DTP). One example of DTP is massage. Research indicates that DTP helps the body release a chemical in the body known as serotonin. And this can help provide a feeling of calm.2
In fact, studies show that people suffering from anxiety can benefit from the DTP provided through a weighted blanket. Researchers found that one-third of people using this type of blanket showed decreases in activity in the nervous system. And more than 60 percent of study participants said they had lower anxiety levels. Nearly 80 percent said they would use a weighted blanket in an effort to help relieve their anxiousness.3
Weighted blankets can also improve sleep quality, which can be a major problem for people suffering from an anxiety disorder. One study showed that people using this type of blanked reported deeper and more comfortable sleep, with far less movement during the night.4
But why is this the case?
One theory holds that a weighted blanket promotes better sleep because it gives people the feeling of being swaddled, as they were when they were small children. It also helps provide a feeling of security. These feelings help both the mind and the body relax, promoting restful sleep.
These special blankets have even been used for people undergoing occupational therapy. Some people who would have previously needed to be restrained no longer have to be when wrapped in a weighted blanket.5
Choosing the Weighted Blanket That’s Right for You
There’s a very good chance you’ll enjoy benefits from using a weighted blanket. This will be the case whether you’re involved in occupational therapy, dealing with an emotional issue or you just want to get a good night’s sleep.
A good rule of thumb is to find a blanket that weighs anywhere between 5 and 10 percent of your body weight.6 Most adults choose blankets that are between 15 and 30 pounds.7
Other Natural Remedies for Anxiety
There are many other ways you can find relief from anxiety without having to resort to powerful, potentially dangerous medications. Here are just a few.
- Laugh more – Laughing reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol. It might even help improve your short-term memory, according to one study.8
- Use essential oils – Essential oils like lavender could help give you a sense of calm. In one study, a group of women suffering anxiety before a medical procedure inhaled lavender. Another group participating in the study did not. According to the results, the women who inhaled the lavender reported a greater feeling of calmness.9
- Lemon balm – Lemon balm could also reduce excitability and nervousness – common symptoms of anxiety.10
One Last Note
A weighted blanket could be the exact thing you need if you’re feeling anxious or just want an added sensation of coziness on a cold winter night. It’s worth a shot if you’re not sleeping as well as you could be. And who needs another excuse to crawl into bed and try to relax?
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