6 Ways Weighted Blankets Can Help You!
A weighted blanket has been used by professional therapists who deal with people who struggle with stress, anxiety, and chronic insomnia. This product is exactly as it sounds – a blanket that is carefully weighted to provide a certain amount of pressure in specific areas that mimics deep pressure touch stimulation, or DPTS.
When you’re stressed, your heart beats too quickly. When this happens, lowering your heart rate can lead to overall feelings of calmness. Pressure calms you by activating your parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers your heart rate when you’re stressed. A lower heart rate leads to the overall feeling of calmness that the blanket provides.
A weighted blanket uses “pressure therapy” — using a calm-inducing amount of pressure on your entire body, similar to the feeling of being hugged, swaddled, stroked, or held. The right size and weight of a weighted blanket depend on the person’s needs.
Here are 6 conditions that weighted blankets can help children and adults with.
1. Help you sleep better
If you find yourself tossing and turning in bed every once in a while, you’re not alone. Some 20 million Americans have trouble falling asleep occasionally — and over 40 million people in the US have long-term, chronic sleep disorders.
Because the pressure from weighted blankets prepares your body for rest by calming your heart rate and breathing, they help your body to calm down enough to get the sleep it needs so you can wake up feeling refreshed.
2. A secure feeling
The weight distribution of the blanket helps to stimulate a person’s receptors which makes them feel relaxed and more secure. When this occurs, the person will feel soothed and their heart rate changes to a calmer rhythm which results in a safe and secure disposition.
3. The feeling that you get when you receive a warm hug from someone
When someone hugs you, your body sends out a hormone called oxytocin throughout your body. This hormone lowers your blood pressure and leaves you feeling deeply relaxed. Even though the human element is missing, the pressure provided by the weighted blanket mimics the same feeling as receiving a warm hug.
4. More focused cognitive functions
Anxiety, insomnia, and depression all interfere with your brain’s cognitive functions. You are unable to think clearly and make intelligent decisions. The calming feeling provided by the weighted blanket helps to put these issues at bay so you are able to focus on the issues at hand and leave your worries behind.
5. A feeling of happiness
When you are in a good mood, your brain is probably producing enough serotonin which is the hormone that makes us happy. It is transmitted to the brain as well as to your nervous system calming your entire body and resulting in a sense of contentment and relaxation. The weighted blanket is able to increase your serotonin levels and help keep your moods even, calm, and happy.
6. Help people with Autism.
The pressure from the weighted blankets can relieve stress for people with ASD and improve their ability to focus on the task at hand. It can also make them feel as if they’re being rewarded.
Individuals with ASD may also feel like sensory stimulations around them — such as noises and touch — are too intense. This can make activities like playing, working, and socializing more challenging. The pressure from a weighted blanket can actually help provide comfort from feeling over-stimulated and allow them to relax.
How to Choose a Weighted Blanket
There are a few factors that go into shopping for the best weighted blanket for adults. First off, you are going to want a weighted blanket that is about 10-13% of your total weight. Some people choose heavier because they want a stronger weight, but that is up to you. I am around 120 lbs and my weighted blanket is 15 lbs.
Second, consider the size of your weighted blanket. I have a queen size bed. But I ultimately opted for a twin sized blanket ( 48”x72”) for myself. If you want to share the blanket with your partner, I recommend getting a larger blanket such as a queen size(60”x80”).
Also you can find detailed instructions of weight & size on the weighted blankets websites, such as YnM blankets. Follow the instructions, you will get a right blanket.
Personally I recommend YnM Weighted Blanket 2.0, which is made from super-soft, 100% cotton-fabric blankets filled with thinner polyfill and premium glass beads. The price for the blanket is only US$70, the best budget-friendly heavy blanket on Amazon. YnM is one of the best sellers on Amazon, got 4.4 out of 5 stars and over 3000 customer reviews on Amazon.