Understanding Weighted Blanket Therapy: You Might Need One
What is weighted blanket therapy?
Weighted blanket therapy uses a therapeutic technique called deep touch pressure, or DTP, to relax the body and make the patient feel safe, guarded and secure, which calms their unease and helps their body go to sleep. The sensory compression methodology facilitates a positive change with the comfort the blanket brings to its user. The weight of the blanket stimulates the receptors on your body which then activates the neurotransmitters in your brain to bring a sense of happiness to the person. This is helpful for individuals who have sensory related disorders, such as children on the autism spectrum.
How does weighted blanket therapy work?
The therapy works by allowing your body to switch from sympathetic nervous system or SNS mode to parasympathetic nervous system or PNS mode.
The SNS’s main function is to activate the fight or flight reaction of the body, a natural psychological response to a threat, harmful event, or an attack that prepares your body for survival (either by fighting back, or fleeing to safety). The PNS is the opposite function of the SNS, as it helps slow down the heart rate and relaxes the muscles, calming your body.
When your body is perennially on SNS mode, you’re often stressed out, irritable, tired, and anxious, making you unable to reap the benefits of deep and restful sleep.
Weighted blanket therapy promotes the function of PNS more, giving you a sense of calmness and relaxation helpful for quality sleep.
Why do you might need a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets could offer many advantages to your health and no any side effects, please see below.1. Increased Relaxation: The grounding effect produced by weighted blankets brings down cortisol levels – the hormone triggered by stress. Having cortisol in your system at night can inhibit the production of melatonin, the sleep chemical, hence causing sleep problems.2. Releases Sleep Hormone: As the grounding decreases cortisol, it makes way for production of melatonin – the sleep hormone. Blue lights of our phones and laptops inhibit melatonin production and causes sleep problems. So weighted blankets have a significant impact on people with sleep problems.3. Releases Happiness Hormones: Hormones such as serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine keep your nervous system calm and keep you happy. Grounding with weighted blankets releases such hormones, allowing you to feel light-hearted and happy inside. As a matter of fact, grounding also releases oxytocin, the hormone released when we hug someone.4. Alleviates anxiety: Since weighted blankets help produce serotonin, they are able to reduce anxiety which is a common problem for people with sleep problems. Serotonin regulates our mood, controls how anxious we feel on a day-to-day basis, regulates heart rate, and keeps our blood pressure in check. In fact, due to the benefits of weighted blanket for anxiety, weighted vests have gained credence in the market as they can be worn on the go.5. Calms Down Nervous System Activity – Weighted blankets reduce activity in the nervous system by putting the sympathetic nervous system at ease, so that our fight or flight response is not triggered and switching to the parasympathetic nervous system, which basically activates our “rest and digest” response.
Therefore, weighted blankets could be enjoyed by everyone no matter if they have specific conditions such as ADHD, insomnia, RLS, Aspergers,.etc.
How to pick the right weighted blankets?
The rule of thumb while buying a weighted blanket is to pick 10 percent of your body weight. Obviously, you may not find the exact ten percent, but pick the weight that is closest to it. So if you are 160 lbs., you should choose a blanket that weighs 16 kg. But most companies make 15 lbs. blankets, and not 16, so 15 is what you should go for.
Where can you get weighted blankets?
The blankets are often not well-stocked in local stores. Instead, they can be ordered online through individual company sites or, even easier, through Amazon. But there were so many to choose from. YnM Cooling Weighted Blankets are the most commonly recommended blanket for children and adults.
The YnM Cooling Weighted Blanket has a breathable SMART Fabric and Moisture Wicking technology, providing year-round comfort especially for hot sleepers who want to stay cooler and drier or cool sleepers who want to stay cozy. This blanket is cold to the touch and is made of bamboo fabric and glass beads with high heat capacity, making you feel cool all throughout the night as if you are sleeping in a 5-star hotel. And the vendor, YnM, is one of Amazon Best Sellers, got 4.5 out of 5 stars and over 3000 reviews.