Weighted blankets are heavy blankets used for therapeutic purposes, such as relieving anxiety and stress.
Improves the Mood
Using a weighted blanket can lead to overall improvements in mood. This is because the pressure of a weighted blanket increases the production of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Combined with a decrease in cortisol (the stress hormone), this can have a significant impact on a person’s state of mind.
Induces and Improves Sleep
Findings show that people who use a weighted blanket often notice they stay asleep longer, have fewer disruptions during their sleep, and experience overall improved sleep. There have also been reports that a weighted blanket can help people fall asleep faster.
Serotonin impacts the sleep-wake cycle by regulating sleep stages and impacting the depth of sleep. Deep pressure touch has been shown to stimulate the release of serotonin, helping the user sleep more peacefully and soundly.
Decreases Nervous System Activity
When the autonomic nervous system is overactive, it can lead to anxiety, hyperactivity, and a slew of other issues. Weighted blankets can put your nervous system into “rest mode” — mitigating the effects of anxiety, such as shortness of breath or quickened heart rate.
Reduces Nighttime Movement
If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, having a weighted blanket on top of the body while sleeping can help reduce movement. Studies back up this claim — the ‘cocooning’ provided by a weighted blanket can reduce movements during the night, leading to a more restful sleep.
Helps With Fibromyalgia
People with chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, have found comfort from the use of a weighted blanket. The blanket can help ease symptoms while helping to break the cycle of anxiety and depression that often accompanies the illness.
Calms People With Sensory Disorders
Many parents of children with sensory disorders find that a weighted blanket is a good tool to have on hand. This is due to the feeling of comfort and security they provide. The therapeutic relief of a weighted blanket can also extend to those with other developmental disorders.