Did you know that there are more than 40 million people in the United States alone who suffer from an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety can be hard to deal with, especially since everyday life can be so naturally stressful. You might be familiar with the more traditional ways to relieve anxiety, such as by taking medication and going to therapy, but did you know that weighted blankets can actually reduce stress?
You might be wondering how some heavy blankets can have anything to do with reducing stress anxiety. As it turns out, the sensation of deep pressure can actually do wonders for reducing stress. Keep reading and learn more about the benefits of weighted blankets below.
What Are Weighted Blankets Exactly?
Weighted blankets are much heavier than the average blanket you might sleep with at night. Specifically, weighted blankets can way anywhere from 4 to 30 pounds. This might seem excessively heavy for the blanket, but the extra weight that this kind of blanket carries is what makes it so effective.
A weighted blanked features other aspects that go beyond weights as well. For example, certain weighted blankets are made of very comfortable materials such as cotton. Of course, some are made of polyester, which can also be comfortable, but you should keep in mind that polyester blankets can get quite hot.
You might be wondering how heavy a weighted blanket should be. Is there such a thing as a blanket that is too heavy? There is actually, and there is a rule of thumb that you should follow when buying this type of blanket.
In particular, you should aim to choose a weighted blanket that is no more than 10% of your body weight. If you choose a blanket that is heavier than this, you may find the excess weight of the blanket to be uncomfortable. On the other hand, if the blanket is too light, it might not provide its usual benefits.
You should also keep in mind that weighted blankets can get quite hot, especially if they are made of polyester or other materials that do not breathe very well. This may not be a problem if you like the feeling of warmth. But if you often overheat and don’t like the feeling of being too warm, a lighter-weighted blanket may be better for you.
You can also choose what kind of weight you want inside the blanket. For example, some weighted blankets are weighed down with heavy stuffing or glass beads. Other types of blankets may be specifically made of yarn that is very dense and heavy.
Whatever blanket you choose, its goal will be to put extra weight and pressure on your body which can reduce your anxiety and even increase your quality of sleep.
The Psychological Benefits of Weighted Blankets
Most people know that stress and sleep don’t go well together. If you are under a lot of stress, it won’t be surprising if you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. But a weighted blanket might be able to help with that.
Weighted blankets are specifically able to provide something known as deep pressure stimulation. Deep pressure stimulation involves putting firm, constant pressure on your body. This pressure should not be so firm that it’s painful.
Instead, it should bring about a feeling of calmness. By using a weighted blanket to provide the benefits of deep pressure stimulation, you may find that you will become much calmer than before. Because the blanket is so large and heavy, you may feel protected and secure.
By feeling protected under the blanket, your fears and stresses that you may be holding onto should fade away. The reason why weighted blankets work so well maybe because they mimic the way mothers swaddle their newborn babies. The weight of the blanket and the pressure it provides is very similar to the blankets that swaddle a baby and help it go to sleep.
As a result, many people find that they are able to fall asleep faster when they use weighted blankets, and they are able to stay asleep for a longer period of time. This is important if your stress levels often interrupt your sleep schedule.
Serotonin And Weighted Blankets
Serotonin is a hormone produced in the brain, and it is very important when it comes to healthy brain function. In particular, it is known as a “feel good” hormone, meaning that it helps to boost your mood and make you feel happier and calmer. People who suffer from depression and anxiety tend to have problems producing enough serotonin to keep them relaxed and happy.
That’s where weighted blankets come in. Through the power of deep pressure stimulation, weighted blankets have the ability to make your brain produce more serotonin. As your brain produces more serotonin, your mood will increase, and you won’t feel as stressed out.
In addition to that, deep pressure stimulation is also able to reduce the levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone and can contribute to feelings of anxiety. Finally, weighted blankets can promote the production of melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that is specifically important for creating a feeling of sleepiness. As your brain produces more melatonin, you will find it much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Reduce Stress With Weighted Blankets
If you want to reduce stress but don’t know where to start, weighted blankets might be the perfect solution. By using the power of deep pressure stimulation, weighted blankets can reduce your stress levels and make it much easier to fall asleep.