Introduction to Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets are based on the therapeutic principle of Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation. They can be used for providing basic relief from a tiring day or for alleviating symptoms of specific mental and physical issues such as body pains and psychological disorders. They are made by stuffing blankets with plastic pellets, beads or glass pellets/beads. A large variety is available in the market; you need to buy the one that is most suitable for you according to your weight. Many Asian countries have been using traditional weighted blankets for centuries due to their therapeutic benefits and it is a regular bedding accessory for them during winters. We are listing down some of the health benefits of weighted blankets for you. This is in no way an exhaustive list of benefits, but those that are considered to be the most probable.
Therapy to Relieve Stress
Stress is one of the most common psychological and emotional challenges faced by people of all ages. If not addressed in its infancy, it can end up in serious disorders with everlasting effects. Weighted blankets are based on the therapeutic idea of Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation which is the application of adequate pressure on your body either through hands or a massage tool, resulting in improved blood circulation and relieving pain. This consequently ends up calming you down and reducing your stress levels.
Relief Against Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome
People with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome) may show a variety of uncommon symptoms but one highly common one is the lack of focus which results in the inability to complete any given task. Children find it hard to focus on their education and their daily assignments while adults face the same challenges at their workplace. Deep touch pressure stimulation has been found to improve focus in people with ADHD. Regular use of weighted blankets which provide the same therapy may result in calming such people and provide a soothing effect which could enhance your ability to focus.
Relief from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
People who have experienced a traumatic event in their life often end up reliving that tragic event long after it occurred. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is not just suffered by war veterans but also other people who have gone through traumatic events such as a serious car accident, a burglary incident or witnessed a murder, etc. Weighted therapy in the form of a weighted blanket can facilitate in relaxing such a person and help reduce hypertension and even pulse rate due to its calming effect.
Insomnia and Positive Effects of Weighted Blankets
Your body releases serotonin and melatonin .The former is considered to be a neurotransmitter which sends happy messages to your brain. The latter is a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycles or your natural body clock. Reduced levels of these can result in improper sleep functions and interrupted sleep. This can result in mild to chronic insomnia which has its own consequences including hallucinations. Weighted blankets will deliver deep touch pressure which could increase your melatonin and serotonin levels, thereby helping you get a good uninterrupted sleep.
Relief from Restless Leg Syndrome
This is a physical issue reported mostly in people who are more than thirty years old; it is considered to be a lifelong condition. Your leg muscles do not feel relaxed especially when you are lying down and often result in spasms that keep you up or wake you up in the middle of the night. Deep Touch Pressure Therapy, either through regular massage or using something more convenient such as a weighted blanket, has been found to relieve this syndrome when used regularly.
Effects of Weighted blankets on Fibromyalgia
Difficulty in focusing, fatigue and widespread pain are one of the few symptoms of fibromyalgia which in the long run can result in insomnia, memory issues and mood swings. Extreme cases of fibromyalgia result in affecting the pain signals that your nervous system processes and can seriously impair your cognitive ability. Stress reduction therapies such as deep touch pressure have found to be effective against relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Constant adequate pressure on your body has a lasting soothing effect on your entire body and thus eases your pain.
Relief from Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder
Your brain is a crossroad of sensory signals and when this crossroad gets overcrowded, your nervous system can develop sensory issues which may lead to anxiety attacks. This implies that your senses or one of them can become over sensitive and can also cause the opposite, that is, you may begin to require more stimuli to affect your senses. Usually, the most affected by this disorder are children. Adults suffering from SPD may have had these issues since childhood and a triggering event later in life could fuel the disorder. Various types of therapeutic treatments are recommended for addressing this disorder; one of them includes pressure treatment which can be easily delivered by a weighted blanket.
Post Workout Recovery
Getting sufficient and peaceful sleep is very important for athletes, gym enthusiasts, cross fit trainers etc. Your muscles need to recover from the strenuous workout you put them through during exercise.
Post workout recovery is highly dependent on three things: adequate sleep, intake of proper nutrients and proper blood circulation. Massage therapy would stimulate your muscles and improve blood circulation. But nobody has the time to get a massage every day or even use a self-massage tool. This issue can be addressed by using a weighted blanket every night while you sleep. Weighted blankets would provide non-stop pressure therapy throughout the night resulting in muscle stimulation and improved blood circulation. At the same time, this deep touch pressure therapy would also soothe your body and provide you with an uninterrupted good night’s sleep. Thus the usage of weighted blankets is very beneficial for you all that you need for muscle recovery.
Management of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD is another common disorder that affects a large population of the world and is considered to be as challenging as Autism. The symptoms may vary from person to person and so does the intensity. It results in obsessive thoughts that persist and result in abrupt behavior. It is considered to be linked with inadequate serotonin level. Massage therapy is considered to be one of the most effective relief methods that address the symptoms of this disorder. This can be achieved by using weighted blankets which work on the idea of Deep Pressure Stimulation.
Weighted blankets can be employed as an effective massage tool that works on the method of deep touch pressure. It can be used by anyone, from children to the elderly, for providing relief from anxiety and stress. It is extremely useful for relieving the symptoms of disorders such as Autism, OCD, PTSD, SPD and other psychological or physical conditions. Many different variations of weighted blankets are available in the market under different brand names. One of the best known brands is Quility. Its weighted blanket is available in a weight range of 5 to 30 lbs. It is a seven layered blanket with an external cover prepared from cotton/mink and stuffed with high quality glass beads. The Quility weighted blanket has received many positive customer reviews and is available at an affordable price.