Weighted Blankets for Anxiety and Stress
Did you know that roughly 40 million adults in the U.S. deal with anxiety? Whether you suffer from an anxiety disorder or deal with anxiety due to stress in your daily life, there are ways to deal with it that do not include taking medications or drastically altering your life.
One of these popular solutions to reduce stress and anxiety is blankets.
As strange as it may seem, weighted blankets can be a lifesaver when it comes to dealing with anxiety and stress. So keep on reading to learn why you need one to sleep easier and reduce your daily stress.
The History of Weighted Blankets
A weighted blanket was created to mimic Deep Touch Pressure Therapy (DTP) which is used for children with autism. DTP includes sensory input to the child's body, including a firm hug, swaddling, compressions, cuddling, and squeezing.
This was done to trigger a calming reaction in the child to reduce their anxiety and stress.
Think about it, when you become so emotionally overwhelmed, what often helps you? Most likely talking about it and a huge hug from someone you care about.
Because the idea of touch therapy became such a hot topic, people started creating ways to mimic the stimulation of touch. Due to this discovery, the hug machine was created.
The hug machine idea became so popular that many people searched for different forms of DTP to be implemented and that is where the weighted blanket was created. This interested people who suffered from other processing disorders and mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
Weighted blankets became a hit when people realized that they were convenient, inexpensive, and actually worked! They have been around since the 1970s, and their popularity is still on the rise.
The Benefits of a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets work by causing your heart rate and breathing to slow down, which results in your body going into rest mode. This allows your body to calm down and allows you to get a good night's rest.
Since your body goes through 4 stages of sleep, it is crucial to ensure you hit every stage while sleeping.
If you can fall asleep but toss and turn all night, you won't ever enter stages 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle (known as the deep sleep stages). If you do not hit these stages, you won't feel like you truly rested.
There is nothing worse than sleeping for 8+ hours but feeling like you stayed up all night.
This is where the blanket comes in. The weight of the blanket keeps you from moving too much while sleeping, which helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. This allows you to enter all stages of sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
These blankets also increase serotonin in the brain since it allows you to get a deep sleep. Serotonin is known for regulating your mood, improving memory, and increase learning.
If you are stressed out due to exams or work, improving your memory will be extremely beneficial.
If you are suffering from chronic pain or even a temporary injury, weighted blankets can help with that too. A mental illness does not always cause anxiety and stress; sometimes, it is a side effect of pain and lack of sleep.
If your life revolves around pain and it's impacting your life, a weighted blanket can help with that too.
How to Pick Out Your Perfect Blanket
No one wants to sleep under something suffocating you; that is why it is important to choose the right weighted blanket.
The blanket should be roughly 10% of your body weight, and if you have a preference for something heavier or lighter, you can always modify the weight.
For example, if you weigh 140lbs, you would want a blanket that is 14lbs; if your child is 80lbs, you would want a blanket that is 8lbs for them.
Another important aspect to look for is material. If it gets hot at night, you should look for breathable materials that will help keep you cool, so you do not wake up drenched in sweat.
Nothing ruins a good night's sleep more than waking up looking like you went swimming during the night.
However, you don't want something so thin that you end up freezing during winter. That is why having a blanket that has both a thin, breathable side and a thick, plush side will be perfect for all seasons.
The last important aspect of choosing the right blanket is material. You want to choose something comfortable but also lasts a long time. Plenty of materials will break as soon as you wash them in the washing machine, so finding something durable is significant.
The best fabrics would be cotton and polyester because they are durable, breathable, lightweight, and hypoallergenic! Hypoallergenic means that bacteria have a hard time growing on it, so it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction for users who deal with allergies.
Weighted Blankets For Stress and Anxiety Overview
In recent years, the rates of anxiety and stress have skyrocketed. Instead of taking daily medications that can have serious side effects, there are plenty of natural and safe ways to combat these daily stresses.
There is no universal cure for anxiety or stress, but many people notice positive results almost immediately when trying out these blankets.
If you are dealing with stress and anxiety, talk to a professional and try out these weighted blankets! Click here for more information!