Do weighted blankets help with anxiety?

Do weighted blankets help with anxiety?

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A blanket that is weighted can be an effective tool to relax and aid in managing anxiety symptoms.

The weighted blanket is known for its soft, calming feel however, research suggests that these blankets, which are usually heavy, could provide more than just comfort.

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A blanket that is weighted is usually constructed from a soft material like fleece, cotton, or flannel, on the outside and filled with substances like steel beads or micro glass that aid in weighing it down. Due to the extra weight, they can alleviate certain symptoms of anxiety.

How do weighted blankets work?

Weighted blankets are available in various sizes. If you’re looking for a blanket that is weighted you should select one that’s about 10 percent of your weight. 1 Weighted blanket usually range from three to 30 pounds heavier blankets are more costly.

The weight of your blanket is crucial as it creates the feeling of deep pressure (DPT). DPT can help reduce anxiety and stress, reduce blood pressure, ease stress levels, and improve your mood. 2 Typically occupational therapists employ DPT techniques like hand holding, hugging the swaddling method, and squeeze methods to soothe hyperactive children as well as older adults. 3 4 Weighted blankets may be utilized as an alternative option to replicate the relaxing effect of DPT.

The reason why blankets with weights can help in the case of anxiety

Deep-pressure touch may help ease anxiety-related symptoms. The blankets that are weighted can offer DPT that can help those suffering from anxiety in these different ways. 6 6.

  • Reducing repetitive behaviors such as fidgeting or tapping your feet
  • Reduced impulsive behaviors, such as engaging in potentially dangerous activities
  • Concentrate and pay attention.
  • Improve the performance of tasks requiring fine motor control
  • Enhance the levels of oxytocin

A study that was published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine discovered that using weighted blankets caused an increase in anxiety among adults who were at an inpatient hospital. Patients who used a 20-pound or 14-pound blanket for at minimum 20 min reported that they felt less stressed and reported a decrease in their heart rate. 7

Another study tracked 120 adults suffering from depression or anxiety with insomnia. Researchers discovered an average of 92% of the participants reported improved sleep and less anxiety following the use of a blanket with weights for a month. 5

Are weighted blankets a good option for children with anxiety?

Researchers are still studying whether blankets with weights can be beneficial for children with anxiety. The studies on whether blankets with weights are beneficial for anxiety-prone children with autism are not conclusive however, some occupational therapists make use of the blankets to aid children in keeping at ease. 8

Similar to blankets with weights for adults, choose blankets that weigh around 10 percent of your child’s weight. This is to ensure the weight doesn’t get too heavy and creates a problem for your kid to breath and move around freely underneath the blanket. At first, when you’re trying out the blanket that is weighted, be sure to observe how your child’s body feels when you put the blanket on. If you feel uncomfortable with the weight it is best to swap the blanket with one that is lighter. 9

Blankets that weigh more than a pound are not advised for babies younger than one-year-old or used for children only after consulting their pediatric physician. 10

Other benefits of using an insulated blanket that is weighted

Alongside decreasing anxiety, research has demonstrated that blankets with weights can also aid in reducing other anxiety-related symptoms like fatigue and insomnia.

In one study, patients suffering from insomnia wore a blanket with weights to determine whether it could improve their sleep. Researchers discovered that weighted blankets made people fall asleep more quickly and stayed asleep through the time of the night. 5

The same study also examined whether blankets that are weighted could help improve the fatigue of the day. The anxious may struggle to fall asleep, which could influence how tired they feel throughout the daytime. The majority of participants who used blankets with weights to sleep reported feeling more alert throughout the day felt more energetic and were able to be active for longer lengths for longer periods. 5

People with chronic anxiety might also experience physical side effects, such as muscle aches and pains and aches, which research suggests DPT may help alleviate.

The study involved 94 people suffering from chronic pain and anxiety who were provided with a blanket that was either five or fifteen pounds. Both blankets that were weighted were beneficial but the majority of participants felt that the heavier blanket was more effective in alleviating chronic pain. 11

What to avoid when using the Blanket with a Weight

They are usually safe for everyone who is physically able to take the blanket from their bodies. However, people with asthma, claustrophobia or claustrophobia problems or low blood pressure, or sleep apnea may be advised to exercise caution before using a weighted bed. The weight of a blanket could limit airflow and worsen the medical condition. 12

If you suffer from one of these issues and still want to test a blanket with weights to reduce anxiety, talk with your doctor to determine if the blanket is suitable for you to use.

A Quick Review

If you’re comfortable with the additional heat and weight, then using a blanket with weights to help ease your anxiety might be worth considering. The weighted blanket can replicate the therapeutic effects of a technique known as deep pressure contact (DPT). Research has shown that DPT could help in reducing anxiety as well as related ailments like insomnia, and chronic pain. But, more research is required to know the benefits of blankets with weights.

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