Weighted blankets are therapeutic type of blankets that are created to be heavier than regular blankets. Usually, they weigh somewhere between 4 and 30 pounds and contain natural materials or plastic beads.
According to manufacturers, these blankets imitate the effects of deep touch pressure therapy and thus, increase the serotonin levels. Consequently, this helps reduce anxiety and may also be of aid for other health problems too.
The Importance of Serotonin
Serotonin is a chemical which is known to promote relaxation in our bodies. Weighted blankets have become quite popular among anxious and depressed individuals because of the claims that they raise the serotonin levels.
These specialized blankets have also been put forward as potential useful therapy for autism, ODC, bipolar, PTSD, etc.
What Does Science Have to Say?
Newest study, published in the journal Sleep Medicine and Disorders, found that these blankets, by imitating the effect of deep touch therapy, encourage a calming effect which can be of aid for anxious and depressed people.
This therapy has already provided amazing results in anxious children.
According to some experts, they may also be of aid for elderly with depression and dementia.
This heavy blanket may also be helpful for those battling with insomnia- according to some evidence, sleeping under a heavy blanket may speed up the process of falling asleep.
In a case-control study, weighted blankets reduced ADHD symptoms in children with this condition. They were able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Also, the researchers point out that their attention span elevated and their behavior improved.
Should You Buy a Weighted Blanket?
If you want to give this blanket a try, you need to opt for a quality one from a reputable company and one made from cotton. Even though its effects are still under debate, a lot of users have been giving positive feedback.
In order to reap this blanket’s benefits, you need to purchase the right weight. According to experts, the blanket should weigh around 10 percent of your body weight. To illustrate, if you weigh 120 lb, a 12 lb weighted blanket should be okay.
There are also smaller options available for children.
However, these blankets aren’t cheap- the most popular type known as the Gravity Blanket costs somewhere around $250. But, there are cheaper versions available. Moreover, you may need additional storage space available as they’re much bulkier than traditional duvet covers.
Important to note:
Weighted blankets may need to be avoided by people with health problems. There’s the risk of circulation and breathing restriction, poor temperature regulation, and low movement.