A calming blanket may be just the thing you or your children need. You probably know how nice it feels on a cold winter day when you have several heavy blankets on you. It has a very calming, reassuring feel to it. The problem is however, it’s often not cold enough for that many blankets. Also, heavy blankets can be expensive and hard to come by.
Calming blanket are also known as weighted blankets, as they are basically a blanket which has been weighted internally. Manufacturers have found ways to make a blanket heavy without making it excessively thick or warm.
Why Do They Work?
It’s understood by science that pressure, cuddling, holding, and swaddling type touch is reassuring and comforting. Science calls it deep touch pressure therapy. While there have been a limited number of studies, the few that have been done show lowered anxiety levels, as well as lowered pulse and blood pressure. Weighted blankets have also been used to help calm those with mental health disorders such as ADHC, OCD, and Autism, especially with children. Blanket’s are the ideal form of deep touch pressure therapy because it encompasses the entire body and can be used in a way variety of situations including sleep.
A published study shows that 78% of people preferred a weighted blanket as the tool to relieve anxiety, over any other option. The study showed a whopping 63% had lowered anxiety.
How to Choose Your Calming Blanket
First off, it’s not going to be as cheap as a regular blanket. It takes quality materials and manufacturing to make the blanket heavy while also being soft, not too thick, durable, and has an even weight distribution. Buying a cheap one will be a waste of money if you don’t like it. Be sure to consider these four factors.
Weight distribution is important, to avoid excessive shifting of the internal materials that create weight. Be sure the seller is explaining how they achieve this, such as use of small beats.
Of particular importance is to choose the right weight and size. A Calming Blanket company from Australia has some good guidance on sizing in their blog. If not sure on the appropriate weight and size, contact the blanket seller for advice.
Dealing with anxiety and mental health issues is not the only reason to get one. It may also help with insomnia and sleep issues, whether for yourself or a child that has difficulty sleeping. There is also evidence that it can help with mood, due to creating the feeling of being held or hugged. Could it also help in releasing chemical neurotransmitters in the brain that raise mood, such as serotonin? What about lengthening the beneficial deep REM sleep? Again, there is evidence of this, but in the end, all that matters is whether it’s giving you positive results.
Also, use of these blankets don’t need to be limited to in bed while sleeping; you can use cover yourself on the sofa or a chair, or wrap it around your shoulders while watching TV.
Use caution with young children, do not use one that is overly large or heavy. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and monitor your child closely when first using it. Also be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on washing it. We also recommend understanding the return and warranty policies before buying.
Begin by researching places to buy a calming blanket. Compare features, quality and prices. Read up on the different weights and sizes. Start with buying just one to be sure it’s a good fit, before buying them for more family members or as gifts. If you’ve had positive results with a weighted calming blanket, please share your story in the comments below!
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