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The therapeutic effect of Weighted Blankets

  • 21 April 2019
  • By Swajeet Khake

The popularity of weighted blanket has just been catching more and more momentum. It is the latest trend in bedding. So for the uninitiated, weighted blanket is a duvet like bed cover weighing from five to 25 pounds. It is said to prevent tossing and turning because of its weight and even make the user feel more secure and sleep more soundly.

While weighted blankets can be taken by anyone though not little children unless they have a disorder, they’re especially useful for restless sleepers. The blanket gently presses on the user with its weight, keeping them motionless and sleeping deeply till morning. This soft yet heavy weight makes it calming and the pressure reduces cortisol, the main stress hormone, regulating production of serotonin, a hormone that contributes to one’s well being and happiness.

Sometimes referred to as a gravity blanket, a study on them reveals that the “deep touch pressure” offered by one “gives the users feelings of safety, relaxation and comfort.” Other studies show how the use of weighted blankets reduced anxiety and stress levels in majority of the respondents. The many brands making them are also attempting to make them light and cool despite the weight and the main factor is of course that they keep it evenly distributed so it stays the same throughout the night.

Weighted blankets are known to alleviate symptoms such as insomnia, chronic pain conditions and restless leg syndrome. They are also good for those suffering from depression, loneliness or any sort of nighttime insecurities.

The concept is a long running one as heavy wraps have been used since long for its calming effect on children with autism, ADHD and other sensory disorders. It is also known to boost the ability to regulate their emotions and behavior. The elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s and fragile nervous system can also use one. Parents swaddle their newborns to give them the warmth and sense of security since ever. And the idea isn’t limited to humans. There are “ThunderShirts” or weighted vests to make pets feel secure during thunderstorms and fireworks when pet owners need to make their little ones feel peaceful.

Weighted blankets can be snug and many brands offer custom weighted blankets in a variety of patterns, colours and prints. There are also waterproof fabrics and a lot of eco-friendly offerings out there to choose from. What sets a weighted blanket apart from the normal kind is that it is stuffed with hypoallergenic, non-toxic polypropylene pellets. The pellets are sewn into self-contained small pockets that are evenly distributed throughout the blanket ensuring it stays evenly. These pellets add weight to the blanket that is around 10 percent of the owner’s body weight.

Another way weighted blankets differ from the ordinary ones is that they are made the owner’s person’s body and not their bed. The logic being that any other way and it may hang on the side with a chance of it coming off.

Since a weighted blanket is like hugging and the benefits of hugging and cuddling are well established, it is every bit therapeutic. Hugging after all is known to release the neurotransmitter Oxytocin that helps people feel loved, trusted and happy. So get a weighted blanket and boost your sense of well being!


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