Studies Show Weighted Blankets Can Help Relieve Insomnia And Anxiety
A lack of sleep due to inconsistent sleeping patterns can throw off your normal functioning during the day. Concentration proves futile, productivity at work suffers, and mood irritations overcomes your senses.
Perhaps a Deep pressure touch stimulation (or DPTS) may help.
DPTS is a type of therapy that almost anyone can benefit from. Similar to getting a massage, pressure exerted over the body has physical and psychological advantages. According to Temple Grandin, Ph.D., “Deep touch pressure is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling. [sic] Occupational therapists have observed that a very light touch alerts the nervous system, but deep pressure is relaxing and calming.”
With a weighted blankets, DPTS is something you can experience on your own.
DPTS are used as part of occupational therapy for children experiencing sensory disorders, anxiety, stress or issues related to autism. “In psychiatric care, weighted blankets are one of our most powerful tools for helping people who are anxious, upset, and possibly on the verge of losing control,” says Karen Moore, OTR/L, an occupational therapist in Franconia, N.H.
So, How Does It Work?
The pressure from the weighted blanket helps relax the nervous system. It is an effective non-drug, non-invasive therapy for sleep and relaxation naturally. Psychiatric, trauma, geriatric, and pediatric hospital units use weighted blankets to calm a patient’s anxiety and promote deep, restful sleep. In a similar way to swaddling comforting an infant, the weight and pressure of an adult provide comfort and relief.
When pressure is gently applied to the body, it encourages serotonin production, which lifts your mood. When serotonin naturally converts to melatonin, your body takes the cue to rest.
Weighted blankets are called as such due to the plastic poly pellets that are sewn into the pockets throughout the blanket to properly distribute the weight. The weight of the blanket acts as deep touch therapy and acts on deep pressure touch receptors located all over your body. When these receptors are stimulated, the body relaxes and feels more grounded and safe, and clinical studies suggest that when deep pressure points are triggered they cause the brain to increase serotonin production.
Depression, anxiety, aggression, OCD, PTSD, and bi-polar disorder have all been linked to low serotonin levels in the brain. The increase in serotonin production assisted by a weighted blanket can provide relief to people battling with depression, mania, anxiety, trauma, and paranoia, or undergoing detoxification.
Weighted blankets have reportedly helped patients suffering from a lot of different diseases and disorders, from autism, to Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Restless Leg Syndrome, and even can help alleviate menopausal symptoms!
Next time you are shopping for a blanket, look for a weighted blanket.