When you’re battling depression or anxiety and your thoughts are racing wildly at night, or you’re in a dream state, and you’re constantly being chased around, your recharging time in sleep hours isn’t a recharging at all. 70% of Americans struggle to fall asleep at least one night per week, and this contributes to the over 40 million people in the U.S. that deal with anxiety on a daily basis. But what can you do about it?
The big craze in the past few years has been meditation and mindfulness techniques, but not everyone has the time or wants to take the time to practice on a consistent basis. However, there has been a tool to combat this issue for a long time now, and it’s weighted blankets. Yes, you read that right, weighted blankets.
Medical professionals have been using weighted blankets for years. If you haven’t noticed during your hospital visitation or stays, weighted blankets are given to patients to reduce anxiety and promote restful, deep sleep. Occupational therapists use them to calm children in distress, as well as those with autism, sensory disorders, and more.
So you’re probably wondering, is this real, or is this some infomercial mumbo jumbo? And the answer is, yes it’s real, and there’s real science behind the calming effects of the weighted blanket.
The pressure of the weight gives your body proprioceptive input, also known as “deep touch pressure stimulation” (DTPS). DTPS, a well-known therapeutic modality, activates certain pressure points on the body that help relax your nervous system, improve your mood, and enhance sleep.
It’s a gentle, steady pressure on your body that stimulates the production of serotonin, which lifts your mood. And serotonin does more than just make you feel better: it naturally converts to melatonin. Thus, similar to how swaddling a baby calms it and helps it sleep, a weighted blanket comforts adults and helps them sleep better.
One study found that 63% of participants reported weighted blankets significantly reduced their levels of anxiety.
Also, because weighted blankets help make up for low levels of serotonin in the brain, they can be used to fight more than just anxiety–they can help with ADHD, depression, OCD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s, cerebral palsy, Restless Leg Syndrome, and more (even menopausal symptoms).
Yes, a weighted blanket has this effect, and it’s not something you have to remember to do or make the time to practice. All you need to do is go to sleep and have it cover you. It’s idiot proof, and for many in society, it’s exactly what we’re looking for.
There are some rules when it comes to purchasing a weighted blanket though. It should be around 10% of your body weight and if you’re recovering from surgery, suffer from respiratory or circulatory problems, or have trouble regulating your temperature, do not use a weighted blanket unless approved by your doctor.
So there you go, a way to sleep and reduce your anxiety without doing anything. Maybe this is an infomercial after all. However, the results will make you a more rested human being, and your mental health will be much stronger for it.
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If you or a loved one you know has suffers from mental health issues, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.