Weighted blankets have gained significant attention in recent years, primarily for their potential benefits in managing anxiety and improving sleep quality. But what exactly are weighted blankets, and how do they work?
Weighted blankets, like the Weighted Blanket II from Sensory Assist, are essentially blankets that are filled with small objects, such as pellets, discs or beads of polypropylene plastic or glass, to add weight. They can weigh anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds, and the ideal weight for an individual is usually around 10% of their body weight.
The Science Behind Weighted Blankets
The science behind weighted blankets is based on a therapeutic technique known as deep pressure stimulation. This technique involves applying gentle, firm pressure to the body to stimulate the proprioceptive sense, which helps the body understand where it is in space. This stimulation can produce a calming and relaxing effect, helping to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
Research has shown that deep pressure stimulation can increase the production of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate mood, and decrease the production of cortisol, a hormone that is often elevated in individuals with high levels of stress. This can result in a feeling of calm and relaxation, making weighted blankets a natural solution for managing anxiety and sleep problems.
Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket
Using a weighted blanket can provide a range of benefits, particularly for individuals with anxiety, insomnia, or sensory processing disorders. Some of these benefits include:
- Improved Sleep: The deep pressure stimulation provided by weighted blankets can help improve sleep quality and duration. It can help individuals fall asleep faster and reduce instances of waking up during the night.
- Reduced Anxiety: Weighted blankets can help reduce feelings of anxiety by promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with anxiety disorders or those who experience high levels of stress.
- Better Focus: For individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), using a weighted blanket can help improve focus and attention.
While weighted blankets can be beneficial, it's important to note that they are not a cure-all solution and should not replace professional medical advice. If you're considering using a weighted blanket, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare provider or a therapist.
At Sensory Assist, we offer a range of weighted blankets, like our Weighted Blanket II, designed to provide the benefits of deep pressure stimulation. Explore our collection today and discover the difference a weighted blanket can make in your life.