Weighted Blankets - Do They Work?
There is nothing better than a nice warm snuggly bed to help you relax. Research suggests that if you really want to reduce anxiety, de-stress, self sooth or sleep better then you should try a weighted blanket. As the name implies, a weighted blanket is a blanket made heavier using fillings to evenly distribute the weight across the surface thus adding extra kg to its weight . The recommended guideline is to use a blanket weighing between 8-12 percent of your body weight however it is down to personal choice. It isn't suitable for unsupervised young children and one should seek advice from your doctor if you want your child to try one.
A study in 2015 showed that after 32 adults used a 30 pound blanket, 63% reported lower anxiety and 78% preferred the weighted blanket to calm down.
Weighted blankets do have a very long history of use with occupational therapists called Sensory Integration Therapy. This treatment is sometimes used to support people with autism or other disorders to focus on sensory experiences, with many experts agreeing that it can boost the individuals' ability to regulate their emotions and behaviour.
The changes to nervous system activity that come from this are also accompanied by a number of hormonal changes contributing to help lower anxiety and provide feelings of calmness and are really beneficial for sleep.
Can Enhance - one hormone that’s involved in regulating our sleep-wake cycles. A 2017 study found that these during sleep can increase sleep time and sleep quality.
Increase Serotonin - the feel good hormone which helps to stabilise mood, regulates energy levels and can contribute to better sleep-wake cycles. A lack of this hormone can lead to depression and anxiety hence keeping levels healthy is very important.
Can Decrease Stress - Stress hormone is an alert hormone that plays an important role in the body stress response. Research suggests Deep Pressure Stimulation reduces levels of stress hormone and the gentle pressure of a weighted blanket may help with suppression of this hormone.
Which blanket should I buy?
When choosing your weighted blanket, you do want one that’s heavy enough to exert the pressure you need, however not one that excessively restricts your movement or feels uncomfortable. This would be counter productive and would not be beneficial. Using the 8-12% of body weight guideline, compare our snugcosy weighted blankets available.
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