Anxiety is a serious issue among adults in today’s world. It is is a general term but it also covers a number of disorders, like panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorders.
What is absolutely dramatic is that about a third of anxiety suffering adults never receive any kind of treatment!
The good news is that there are several natural treatments that do not require medication. The use of a weighted blanket is one of the most effective ones.
What are Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets are one of the unconventional treatments which have been proven helpful for anxiety patients in various scientific researches.
They are not your ordinary blankets. The weight can be surprising at first, but they are designed specifically to help patients with certain conditions.
Helpful for adults dealing with anxiety
According to Karen Moore, an occupational therapist in Franconia, weighted blankets are among the most powerful tools to help anxious people who are on the verge of losing control. They are designed so that the weight is evenly distributed in the blanket, and their power resides in the effects of "deep pressure simulation", which is a technical term to describe the feeling we get when we are hugged.
They are gaining in popularity very quickly, thanks to the benefits they can bring us on a daily basis.
According to a recent study, the use of weighted blankets resulted in 63% reduced anxiety levels among the patients along with 78% of the patients opting for a weighted blanket as a calming source.
Hug like feeling
Hugs produce a positive effect on the body. When we get a good hug, our body releases a hormone known as oxytocin, which is helpful in reducing blood pressure and heartbeat, instantly relaxing the body. The gentle pressure also stimulates the production of serotonin, which some researchers believe, is responsible for mood balance.
Weighted blankets provide the warmth and gentle pressure of a hug, and recreates similar effects in the body.
Deep Touch Pressure Simulation
Various scientific studies have proven the benefits of weighted blankets. According to a study carried out in 2012, deep touch pressure created using weighted blankets helped to lower the anxiety in dental environment and provided evidence of positive clinical effects of deep touch pressure.
This research proved the point that a physiological reaction occurs when the deep touch pressure is applied on the body. A group of searchers who published another study in 2008 reported that the majority of the patients who used weighted blankets reported having lower anxiety levels.
Lowering Anxiety levels in adults
During a study published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 30 patients suffering from anxiety were kept under a controlled environment to study the effects of weighted blankets.
All the patients were adults and the safety measures included pulse rate, blood pressure, and pulse oximetry monitoring.
According to the results, 60% of the patients showed a decrease in their anxiety level while using weighted blankets, which provides weight (pun intended) to the argument that those blankets can, and should, be used as a treatment for anxiety and sleep disorder.
Choosing the weighted blanket
Choosing the right weighted blanket is an important decision because it can be viewed as an investment. You must know that the weight and the material of the blanket are of great importance.
The weight of the blanket should be around 10% to 15% of the bodyweight of the user.
It is one of the main factors ensuring the desired outcomes of the use of the blanket. As the name suggests, the whole procedure is connected with the weight being exerted by the blanket on the body. The release of useful chemicals in the body is associated with the pressure being put by the weighted blanket.
Make sure that quality material has been used in the filling of the blankets. Different companies use different materials like rice and barley or plastic pellets for the filling.
That's not good.
You should make sure the blanket is weighted with glass microbeads (like our blankets) if you want the optimal experience and highest quality.
Weighted blankets can be a great at-home treatment to soothe anxiety.
Studies have shown that the use of these blankets can significantly lower anxiety level. Nothing is more precious than peace of mind and a healthy body, so you should definitely consider getting one.
However, do not hesitate to consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions, like respiratory, circulatory or temperature regulation issues.
If you have any questions about our blankets, please leave a comment and it will be our pleasure to answer!
Studies and references
- Anxiety disorders. (2016, March). Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
- Mullen, B., Champagne, T., Krishnamurty, S., Dickson, D., & Gao, R. (2006, November 2). Exploring the safety and therapeutic effects of deep pressure stimulation using a weighted blanket. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 24(1), 65-89. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233228002_Exploring_the_Safety_and_Therapeutic_Effects_of_Deep_Pressure_Stimulation_Using_a_Weighted_Blanket
- Novak, T., Scanlan, J., McCaul, D., MacDonald, N., & Clarke, T. (2012, October). Pilot study of a sensory room in an acute inpatient psychiatric unit [Abstract]. Australasian Psychiatry, 20(5), 401-406. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23014117
- Mullen, B., Champagne, T., Karishnamurti, S., Dickson, D. and Gao, R. (2017). Exploring the Safety and Therapeutic Effects of Deep Pressure Stimulation Using a Weighted Blanket. [online] Taylor & Francis. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J004v24n01_05 [Accessed 17 Sep. 2017].
- Yung Chen, H., Yang, H., Chi, H. and Chen, H. (2011). Physiological Effects of Deep Touch Pressure on Anxiety Alleviation: The Weighted Blanket Approach. [online] http://www.jmbe.org.tw. Available at: http://www.jmbe.org.tw/files/1961/public/1961-5094-1-PB.pdf [Accessed 18 Sep. 2017].