Psychiatric, trauma, geriatric, and pediatric hospital units are using weighted blankets to calm patient’s anxiety and promote deep, restful sleep. I was curious and I am ALWAYS looking for sleep solutions and am obsessed with natural ways to increase serotonin. After researching that sleeping with weighted blankets be a solution to stress, anxiety, OCD and insomnia – I decided to order one, four weeks later my dark grey chenille 18 pound blanket arrived. I travel often and live between cities so I am not always with my blanket but have found it to be an excellent tool for meditation and it has provided me restful nights sleeps –
Why I use a Weighted Blanket
When I use my weighted blanket I wake up feeling more rested and refreshed. Weighted blankets are typically “weighted” with plastic poly pellets that are sewn into compartments throughout the blanket to keep the weight properly distributed. A weighted blanket molds to your body like a warm hug, helping relax the nervous system.
The weight of the blanket acts as deep touch therapy and acts on deep pressure touch receptors located all over your body. When these receptors are stimulated, the body relaxes and feels more grounded and safe, and clinical studies suggest that when deep pressure points are triggered they actually cause the brain to increase serotonin production.
Depression, anxiety, aggression, OCD, PTSD, and bipolar disorder have all been linked to low serotonin levels in the brain, which weighted blankets are reported to assist with. In addition, people battling with depression, mania, anxiety, trauma, and paranoia have been helped with the use of weighted blankets.The blanket mimics Deep pressure touch stimulation a type of therapy that is similar to getting a massage, pressure exerted over the body has physical and psychological advantages. According to Temple Grandin, PHD, “Deep touch pressure is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling. Occupational therapists have observed that a very light touch alerts the nervous system, but deep pressure is relaxing and calming.”
Typical Usage of a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets are used as part of occupational therapy for children experiencing sensory disorders, anxiety, stress or issues related to autism.
The weight of the blanket depends on your size and personal preference, typical weight for adults is around 15 to 30 pounds.
Experts recommend seeking the guidance of a doctor or occupational therapist if you have a medical condition. Warning Do not use weighted blankets if you are currently suffering from a respiratory, circulatory, or temperature regulation problem, or are recuperating post surgery.
One unfortunate point, these are single use blankets and only come in a size for one person- so if you are sharing your bed- order one for your partner or be prepared to hear some complaints.
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