Eight Proven Mental Health Advantages Of Weighted Vests And Blankets
If you are like a lot of people, you may have your doubts about whether a weighted blanket could have a significant impact on your well-being. As it turns out, however, these blankets provide real, proven benefits. Once you see how they can help, you may change your mind about how effective they are.
1. Less Anxiety
Weighted blankets can help alleviate stress, making it easier to relax deeply and this is why they’re used for therapy. In fact, researchers conducted a study where people were asked to wrap themselves in a weighted blanket that weighed 30 pounds. More than 65% of the people participating in the study found that the blanket helped them feel less anxious.
Other studies have shown a potential benefit for these blankets when used in situations that people find stressful. For instance, a study that was done on dental patients found that the addition of weighted blankets positively affected the responses of their nervous systems, keeping them calmer while waiting for their appointments.
Deep touch pressure (DTP) has been proven to have a calming effect, even when it is only applied for a short period of time. Based on that, you may be able to benefit by keeping a weighted blanket nearby to use during periods of increased stress.
2. Better Sleep
Did you know that a weight blanket may help you sleep better? Researchers studying patients with insomnia found that people who used weighted blankets were less restless and fell asleep more easily than those who didn’t.
The blankets have a natural calming effect that makes it easier to fall asleep. It is the same basic concept behind swaddling. Being comforted by a heavy blanket provides a sense of security, allowing the body to relax more deeply.
Interestingly, the use of weighted blankets has been linked to higher levels of serotonin. Within the body, serotonin and melatonin, the sleep hormone, are closely linked. Regulating your serotonin levels may also help improve the function of melatonin in your body, making it easier to sleep.
3. Alleviate Stress Before Bed
When your body experiences stress, it releases a hormone known as cortisol. If your body produces too much of this stress-related hormone, it can negatively impact your immunity. It can also affect your digestion and can cause increased blood sugar levels.
Interestingly, researchers found that sleeping with a weighted blanket help reduce the amount of cortisol produced by the body, promoting deeper relaxation and minimizing the chances of waking up feeling stressed out the following morning.
4. Causes The Body To Release Happy Hormones
DPT has been linked with an increased release of positive neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals both have a soothing effect on the body, helping to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression while increasing your ability to overcome stress. Using a weighted blanket for even a short period of time can positively affect your mood and emotions.
5. Supports Proper Nervous System Function
Interestingly, weighted blankets can help the body’s nervous system function more effectively. Wrapping yourself in one of these blankets can make you feel less restless and can give you a greater sense of calm.
6. Helps Children With ADHD In The Classroom
For kids with ADHD, trying to stay calm in the classroom is a constant battle. The use of weighted blankets may be able to help. Using these blankets has been shown to make it easier for kids to concentrate and has also helped improve their overall performance in class. In some cases, these blankets also help boost fine motor skills, making it easier for kids to master skills like writing. This is particularly true for children with autism.
Another option is to buy a weighted vest for your child. These vests are more portable and less obtrusive than a blanket but have a similar positive effect.
7. Provides OCD Sufferers With Relief
Boosting serotonin levels is a proven treatment method for dealing with OCD. Because weighted blankets naturally raise the body’s serotonin levels, they are an effective tool for treating OCD.
The benefit of the blankets doesn’t end there, either. They are also useful for treating other conditions related to inadequate serotonin production such as PTSD and bipolar disorder.
8. Has A Similar Effect To Hugging
Over the years, a lot of scientific studies have been done on how hugging affects the body. Interestingly, weighted blankets have a similar effect as getting a hug, causing the body to produce oxytocin. This hormone has a calming effect on the body, lowering blood pressure, reducing the heart rate, and promoting relaxation.