If you suffer from depression, you might be interested to know that a weighted blanket could help. Depression affects millions of people in this country and it can be triggered by a range of factors. If you don’t suffer from depression it’s likely that you know someone who does. The good news is that if you find a way to manage this condition you could find they have a positive effect on your life.
In addition to using medication and other forms of treatment, you could find that a weighted blanket can help you. Weighted blankets typically look like regular blankets, however, they are filled with pellets or beads. These pellets or beads made the blanket heavier and they can weigh from 3 to 20 pounds.
Those who manufacture weighted blankets often sell them as a solution for anxiety, insomnia, and the reduction of stress. Weighted blankets are also proving quite popular as more and more people are finding out that they make a real difference.
Behaviour Therapy and the Use of Weight
Weighted blankets have been used with children who have behavioural issues or autism., the weight of the blanket is a sensory tool and is used in many psychiatric units. Those who are distressed might choose a range of sensory activities to help them feel calmer. These activities can be anything from building things, holding something cold, and, of course, using a weighted blanket.
The blankets are thought to work in almost the same way as swaddling a baby. The swaddling helps them to feel secure. It also helps them to fall asleep quickly. This is because the weight of the blanket offers the same sort of feeling that you would get from a hug. In theory, the blanket can help you to feel less stressed which means you’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
A study that involved 32 adults who were suffering from anxiety showed that when they were given a weighted blanket their anxiety reduced. In fact, 63% of the participants had reduced anxiety. We do not know how heavy the blankets were or how long they were used for but this is a good indication that weighted blankets can help.
Working to Combat Anxiety
While there is no official scientific evidence to show that weighted blankets work to reduce anxiety, they are known to have a positive effect. However, many users have reported that blankets such as these do help.
If you’re not sure whether a blanket would work for you, simply place a lot of blankets on your bed. When you lay under it you might feel more secure and a little soothed. The more layers you add, the more soothed you could become.
Using A Weighted Blanket
If you have sleep apnea, other sleep disorders, or respiratory issues you should speak with your doctor before using a weighted blanket. This is because they have the potential to affect your breathing if you already struggle to take a breath.
While weighted blankets will not provide a definite solution to your anxiety or depression, they can help. Offering you that extra bit of comfort can make you feel safe and secure, and that’s a feeling you might not have experienced for some time.
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
Weighted blankets work to change the chemistry of your brain in a positive way. This is because the extra weight can help your brain to release serotonin. Serotonin is one of your body’s “Happy” chemicals and it can boost your mood. If you are suffering from depression you may well find that a weighted blanket can make you feel a little better.
While it is important that you do not assume the blanket will work very well, you should expect it to make a little difference to your mood and your sleep.
Using a Weighted Blanket for the First Time
When it comes to using a weighted blanket for the first time here’s what you should do:
- Ensure that you lay the blanket flat on your bed.
- Place it over your comforter or duvet
- Make sure that blanket covers your shins and your neck
- Ensure that the blanket’s weight is distributed evenly
- Ensure you can move around under the blanket
- Ensure that the blanket fits your body rather than the bed
Please note that there are different weights of blanket available. Some blankets weigh just 3 pounds whereas others can weigh as much as 20 pounds. It’s recommended that you use a weighted blanket that weighs no more than 10% of your body weight plus 1 pound.
Weights blankets can help to ease stress, anxiety, and depression. Using a blanket every night could help you to sleep more soundly and feel more refreshed when you wake.