How weighted blankets help reduce anxiety
If you find that feelings of anxiety or stress are keeping you from focussing during the day, or that your mind spiralling at night keeps you from getting the restorative sleep you need then a weighted blanket can help.
Whether stress is an occasional issue for you, or you have persistent and consistent feelings of anxiety; these emotions can have a significant impact on out overall heath and long term wellbeing. This article explains the science about how you can benefit from a weighted blankets for anxiety, and how you can enjoy reduced stress under the satisfying weight of a heavy blanket.
What is a weighted blanket
Also known as an anxiety blanket or therapy blanket, a weighted blanket is a therapeutic tool to help improve mental health and achieve a deeper more restorative sleep. Originally used to treat people with sensory disorders and special needs; weighted blankets have recently become more mainstream as the deep touch pressure benefits which give them their anti-anxiety effects are universal.
By providing an even gentle pressure over a large area of the body a heavy blanket provides the same proprioceptive feedback as a hug, this triggers the body to have the same response:
Increasing levels of serotinin - the happy hormone
Serotonin is a hormone and an important neurotransmitter, that is involved in a range of processes, from mood and sleep to appetite, digestion, memory and ability to learn.
Low levels of serotonin have been linked to anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Many anti-depressants attempt to boost levels of serotonin by stopping it's reabsorbtion; weighted blankets also work by boosting levels of serotonin, but by increasing its production.
By increasing levels of serotonin anxiety blankets help to restore the right balance of homones in your body, helping your body to work as it should and reduce levels of stress and anxiety
Increasing levels of melotonin - the sleep hormone
Serotonin is naturally converted into melotonin by your body. Melotonin one of the hormones which helps keep your circadian rhythm on time; although everyone's rhythm is different, your body should increase levels of melotonin when it is preparing for sleep.
Unfortunately many of us have trouble maintaining a natural rhythm, in a modern world it is increasingly easy to disrupt our body's natural timekeeping. A weighted blanket can help you to reestablish and reapair a broken sleep cycle
Reducing levels of cortisol - the stress hormone
The level of cortisol in our bodies is heavily correlated with our level of stress. The hormone helps to prime our body to react, keeping it switched on and prepared for danger; this comes at a cost. Persistent and chronic stress prevents your body from ever reaching a relaxed state; by keeping you always primed for action it stops your body from taking time to heal and repair.
A weighted blanket helps to reduce levels of stress by simulating the sensation of being hugged; this provides your body with the feedback that you are in a safe environment and helps it to get into a state where it can lower it's guard, this leads to reduced cortisol and a reduction in feelings of stress
Is there any science backing weighted blankets for anxiety?
There is! Recent research has shown that the use of a heavy blanket for anxiety made patients undergoing chemotherapy feel less anxious. Here is a link to the study which was published in August.
The study's findings support the wide range of benefits of a weighted blanket for adults and children struggling from chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia or restless leg syndrome; as well as other disorders like PTSD.
Experts from the American Sleep Association, Harvard University, and The Cleveland Clinic also acknowledge the benefits of a weighted blanket for anxiety. Occupational Study in Mental Health published research revealed that two thirds of the test group experienced and reported reduced levels of stress after using a weighted blanket for anxiety.
We all love a cuddle
It's more than just science though! Curling up under a knitted weighted blanket brings a sense of security, warmth and comfort that can't be beaten. With many of us being starved of touch and not getting the human contact that is essential for our health, a weighted blanket bridges the gap.
The same concept of deep touch pressure is what keeps baby's happy when they're swaddled, weighted blankets just give you an easy quick way to boost your mood and speed towards a satisfying deep restorative sleep.
What makes a Sommio the best weighted blanket choice?
With so many heavy anxiety blankets out there it's never been easier to discover how a weighted blanket can help you feel better and sleep better, but not all weighted blankets are created equally!
At Sommio we make sure all our blankets provide the perfect even weight distribution that is essential for you to feel the beneficial effects, with no hot artificial padding, not leaky loose beads and organic breathable fabrics our therapy blankets are the best option out there.