Weighted blanket therapy is effective for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition affects anyone who has experienced a traumatic event but is most closely associated with combat veterans. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress include insomnia, anxiety, and depression. While not a cure-all for these conditions, it is an effective way to treat the symptoms of these mental illnesses. In addition to relieving PTSD, weighted blankets can also reduce pulse rates and blood pressure.
Weighted blanket therapy is a form of deep-touch therapy.
The benefits of weighted blanket therapy are numerous. Its calming and grounding effect is a natural way to ease anxiety and stress and relieve chronic pain. Using a weighted blanket may even help break the cycle of anxiety and depression. Research has shown that this therapy may even reduce the risk of seizures. In addition, the benefits of deep-touch therapy have been proven to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and boost overall well-being.
People suffering from sensory processing disorder may benefit from weighted blanket therapy to reduce pain and anxiety. It applies firm pressure but does not force unwanted body contact. Many people with sensory processing disorder have difficulty identifying the right amount of pressure to apply. This therapy uses a blanket that is 10% of the patient’s weight, plus an additional one or two pounds. The blanket should be firm but not pressed too hard or too thin.
It helps regulate mood.
Weighted blankets have many therapeutic benefits. Children with sensory issues may benefit from a blanket. For example, children with ADHD or autism may find it difficult to process information. Those highly sensitive to stress may also benefit from the therapy. Weighted blankets promote relaxation and calmness by releasing serotonin, a neurotransmitter. Weighted blankets are also great for sensory seekers.
One way a weighted blanket therapy works is by mimicking the effects of a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation. This technique involves applying pressure to the body to help relax the nervous system, leading to relief of pain and anxiety. Studies have shown that DPS has a calming effect on the nervous system and may help regulate mood. Using a weighted blanket, however, mimics this effect without the physical contact of a human.
It reduces stress
In addition to its therapeutic benefits, weighted blankets are also beneficial for people suffering from post-traumatic stress, a common condition. The stress hormone cortisol is produced when the brain perceives it is under attack, affecting the immune system, blood sugar levels, and the digestive tract. Weighted blankets provide deep pressure touch, which helps promote restorative sleep and reduce cortisol levels.
Although research into weighted blankets is limited, a recent study found that they may reduce anxiety. Participants undergoing inpatient mental health care showed significant decreases in their anxiety levels. They reported feeling grounded, comforted, and safe, lowering blood pressure and pulse. Even the participants preferred using these blankets. Even mild anxiety disorders can benefit from using weighted blankets to calm down.
It helps with insomnia.
Studies show that using weighted blankets during sleep can help improve sleep quality and reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Weighted blankets are made of plastic pellets or glass beads. Some blankets have metal chains or alternative fabrics. Those who have insomnia may benefit from weighted blankets for mental health reasons. Some studies even show that these blankets can be helpful for people with depression or specific disorders, such as autism.
In one study, participants used a chain-weighted blanket for four weeks. Ten participants found the blanket too heavy and received a six-kilogram version. The control group slept with a 1.5-kg plastic chain blanket. The researchers recorded sleep and activity levels using wrist actigraphy. In both groups, weighted blanket therapy reduced the severity of insomnia. Overall, weighted blanket therapy improves sleep quality and reduces depressive and anxiety symptoms.
It helps with PTSD
Weighted blanket therapy creates touch pressure on the body to calm the nervous system. These factors play a significant role in the control of symptoms of PTSD. Good sleep is also crucial for dealing with the conditions of PTSD. According to some studies, weighted blankets have been shown to reduce cortisol levels, a hormone that causes anxiety when chronically elevated. So, how does weighted blanket therapy work for PTSD?
For people with PTSD, this pressure helps regulate sleep cycles and reduces anxiety. Weighted blankets regulate sleep cycles, and deep touch pressure soothes the nervous system. The weighted blanket also relieves symptoms of general irritability, which is a common symptom of PTSD. These individuals may also experience uncharacteristic outbursts of anger. These uncharacteristic outbursts are often caused by underlying anger from their traumatic experience.
It helps with autism.
A weighted blanket has several benefits for children with autism. Besides activating the sense of touch, it can help prevent distractions. A child with autism can stay on task and sit still for long. They will also feel more comfortable and may not fidget. In addition, weighted blankets have been shown to relieve stress and make children feel more positive and rewarded. This is why so many autistic children benefit from using a blanket.
Another benefit is improved sleep. The weight of a blanket can reduce anxiety, which can prevent sleep. When a child with autism is in a relaxed state, they are less likely to experience tossing and turning during sleep. A weighted blanket can also help the child adjust to transitions. It helps children cope with anxiety and improve their quality of sleep. However, this isn’t enough to recommend blanket therapy for children with autism as a cure-all. Researchers must conduct further research to determine if weighted blankets benefit children with autism.