Weighted blankets are gaining popularity as a way to ease anxiety and stress. Proponents claim that the comforting pressure of the blanket can help to relax the body and mind, reducing anxious thoughts and behaviors. But do weighted blankets really help with anxiety?
Studies have shown that weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. One study found that participants with generalized anxiety disorder who used a weighted blanket reported a decrease in anxiety and an improvement in sleep quality. Another study found that participants with autism spectrum disorder who used a weighted blanket experienced a decrease in anxiety and an increase in calmness and relaxation.
Weighted blankets work by providing deep pressure stimulation, which is a type of therapy that has been found to be helpful for people with anxiety. The pressure of the blanket on the body is thought to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation. This, in turn, can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Weighted blankets can also be used to practice grounding techniques, which help to regulate emotions and reduce anxiety. Grounding techniques involve focusing on physical sensations and paying attention to the present moment. By paying attention to the feeling of the weighted blanket on the body, it is possible to focus on the present and become more aware of bodily sensations, helping to reduce anxiety.
Weighted blankets are not a cure for anxiety, but they may be a helpful tool for managing anxious thoughts and behaviors. If you suffer from anxiety, it is important to talk to your doctor about treatment options. In addition to medication, lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and spending time with friends can all help to reduce anxiety. Weighted blankets may be an additional tool to help manage anxiety, but they should not be used as a replacement for professional treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ 1: What are weighted blankets and how do they work?
Answer: Weighted blankets are blankets filled with weighted material such as plastic pellets or glass beads. The weight of the blanket provides gentle, deep pressure stimulation, which can help to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and provide comfort.
FAQ 2: How much weight should I look for in a weighted blanket?
Answer: The amount of weight you should look for depends on your body weight and size. Generally, it’s recommended to look for a weighted blanket that is 10% of your body weight plus 1-2 pounds.
FAQ 3: Can weighted blankets really help with anxiety?
Answer: Yes, weighted blankets are believed to help reduce anxiety levels in some people. The deep pressure stimulation of the blanket helps to promote feelings of calm and relaxation, which can help to reduce anxiety.
FAQ 4: How long should I use a weighted blanket for?
Answer: It is recommended to use the weighted blanket for no more than an hour at a time. It is also important to take breaks from the weighted blanket if you start to feel uncomfortable.
FAQ 5: How do I clean a weighted blanket?
Answer: It’s important to consult the care instructions for your particular weighted blanket. Generally, weighted blankets can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent. It’s also important to hang the weighted blanket to dry and avoid machine washing and drying to prevent damage.