If you are looking for a safe and non-invasive way to help manage your anxiety, then a weighted blanket may be the remedy you’ve been looking for.
In this article:
- Gives a Grounding Effect
- Simulates Deep Pressure Touch
- Improves Sleep Quality
- Works Well with Other Forms of Treatment
- Feels like a Hug
- Kids Can Use It Too!
- Comes in a Variety of Sizes
- Many Different Color and Texture Options
- May Be Covered by Insurance
9 Reasons to Buy a Weighted Anxiety Blanket
What is a weighted blanket? It is a heavy blanket that normally weighs anywhere between 4 to 30 pounds. It’s used to help promote better sleep and serves as an alternative or complementary treatment for certain psychological or developmental disorders.
1. Gives a Grounding Effect
When you first use a weighted anxiety blanket in bed, you’ll probably notice a downwards push, or perhaps a sudden increase in gravity. It may seem strange at first, but this is actually one of the blanket’s comforting features.
That gravitational sensation or the feeling of being weighed down is called grounding or earthing. Studies show that grounding may help regulate the levels of cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone that helps your body respond to stress. It is responsible for the fight or flight response when you think you are under attack.
An increased level of cortisol is linked to depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Grounding helps regulate that heightened state of arousal and promotes a calming effect.
2. Simulates Deep Pressure Touch
Aside from the grounding effect, these blankets also mimic the effects of deep pressure touch (DPT). DPT is a kind of therapy that works on the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
The ANS receives information from the environment and uses that information to regulate the body’s response. When the body receives DPT or firm tactile stimulation, it responds in two ways:
- Dopamine increase. Dopamine, or the happy hormone, regulates the pleasure center of the brain.
- Serotonin increase. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for mood regulation.
These hormones help fight against stress, depression, and anxiety.
3. Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep problems and anxiety go hand-in-hand. In many cases, it’s hard to tell which causes what, and it becomes a toxic cycle of losing sleep over anxiety and becoming overly anxious due to lack of sleep.
Sleep problems may be a symptom of anxiety, but they can also contribute to it as well. Poor sleep quality is linked to increased levels of negative mood states, such as general distress, anxiety, and depression.
Regardless of the cause, studies show that getting better sleep can help improve the quality of life for those with anxiety. With better rest, you’re more able to manage the symptoms of anxiety.
Using a weighted blanket can lead to better sleep quality as it offers the combined effects of grounding and DPT.
Grounding may help decrease the levels of cortisol, which then leads to deeper and longer sleep. High cortisol levels contribute to continued arousal and disrupted sleep throughout the night.
On the other hand, DPT may lead to an increase in serotonin levels. Serotonin produces the hormone melatonin. When the sun begins to set, melatonin begins its work and slowly helps the body get ready for sleep.
It influences the body’s circadian rhythm by slowly reducing arousal or brain activity and delaying cortisol production. This is why synthetic forms of this hormone are actually found in over-the-counter sleep aids—which you won’t need to resort to, since the weighted anxiety blanket helps stimulate your body into producing it naturally.
4. Works Well with Other Forms of Treatment
One advantage of using a weighted blanket is how well it complements other forms of treatment. Treatment for anxiety may involve prescription medication and some form of therapy.
As a non-invasive, alternative form of treatment, it can easily be incorporated into many treatment plans. It also works well with other natural sleep remedies and tools, such as white noise machines, blackout shades, essential oils, and sleep masks.
Keep in mind, though, a weighted blanket should not take the place of medication or therapy. Consult your doctor before making any major changes in your treatment plan.
5. Feels like a Hug
People often say that using a weighted blanket feels like being enveloped in a nice, cozy hug. In fact, some people even say that it gives them comfort and helps them cope when their partners are away for the night.
Even if you aren’t dealing with anxiety, the instant hug a weighted blanket provides is an easy way to brighten up your day.
6. Kids Can Use It Too!
For some parents, a great source of anxiety is naptime or bedtime. Some children may find it hard to remain still long enough to fall asleep, while others wake up constantly and have difficulty maintaining their sleep.
While many parents swaddle their infants to help promote longer and deeper sleep, this is no longer an option when you’re dealing with a toddler or older child. That’s where the weighted blanket comes in.
Children may respond well to weighted blankets if they:
- are very active
- have trouble staying still
- enjoy getting into tight spaces
- like using blankets or heavy sweatshirts
Just like adults, pressure helps children calm down and relax. It can help kids shift gears and prepare for sleep.
A weighted blanket is also useful in helping them calm down for other activities. You can use it to keep them warm and cozy while they’re doing their homework, playing board games, or reading a book.
Weighted blankets are also great tools for children who have unique sensory needs. Children who have an autism spectrum disorder or a sensory processing disorder can benefit from weighted blankets.
Tip: When introducing the blanket to a child for the first time, slowly roll the blanket from their feet to the top of their body. Ask them what they think, how they feel, and respect their decision if they want to remove it—you can always try again next time!
7. Comes in a Variety of Sizes
It’s important to get a weighted blanket that’s suitable for your weight. Weighted blankets come in three sizes:
- 10 lbs for those who weigh 95-135 lbs
- 15 lbs for those who weigh 135-185 lbs
- 20 lbs for those who weigh 185-250+ lbs
For optimal results, anxiety blanket for adults should be 7-10% of their body weight. For children, the weighted blanket should be 10% of their body weight with an additional 1 or 2 pounds.
8. Many Different Color and Texture Options
It’s important to choose a weighted blanket that’s visually and texturally appealing, especially if you’re using the blanket to help manage your anxiety. You don’t want to get a blanket that has a design that is overstimulating, or with a filler you find too noisy or distracting.
Sonno Zona’s weighted blankets come in two shades. A shade of grey on one side and, depending on the size, a choice of three or five colors for the other side.
The color options include:
- Tide (not available for the 20 lbs blanket)
- Rose (not available for the 20 lbs blanket)
Each blanket is made from soft and hypoallergenic fabric. It also features a unique texture on each side:
- Smooth texture on the grey side
- A dotted, sensory-sensitive texture on the colored side
A set contains a cotton blanket and cover. The weight comes from fine beads that are woven directly into the blanket.
9. May Be Covered by Insurance
A weighted blanket may cost a little more than your regular duvet, but don’t let the added cost stress you out yet.
Medical doctors and therapists agree that a weighted anxiety blanket is a useful tool in managing symptoms of anxiety. If your doctor or therapist recommends it and gives you a prescription, it may be covered by insurance.
Check with your insurance provider to see if it is covered. If not, you may want to check with your accountant to see if it’s a tax-deductible medical expense.
If you have a medical condition that makes you prone to circulation, respiration, or temperature regulation issues, make sure to consult with your doctor before using a weighted blanket. The added pressure and heat may aggravate your condition.
Otherwise, a weighted blanket is a safe, alternative treatment for anxiety and sleep problems that both adults and children can benefit from!
Are you thinking of getting a weighted blanket for anxiety? What features are you looking for? Let us know in the comments section.