Weighted blankets have long been used by doctors and occupational therapists to imitate deep pressure touch simulation. Deep touch pressure can cause the release of oxytocin and serotonin, helping produce a feeling of calm and relaxation and reduction of stress. The weight of your blanket mimics the security and warmth that a hug or being held provides. As a result, weighted blankets can offer an alternative way to help those with anxiety and sensory disorders.
As many as 1 in 3 Americans experience at least mild insomnia (according to the National Sleep Foundation). Insomnia can have a negative effect on psychological, physiological and social well-being. In a 2015 study reported in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, it was found that a weighted blanket can have a calming effect at night, thus improving the quality of sleep. The use of a weighted blanket was found to reduce nighttime agitation and movement during sleep. While sleep medications can be addictive and have negative side effects, weighted blankets are an innovative and drug-free alternative to achieving a restful night of sleep.
Weighted blankets can be used to manage the symptoms of:
- Sleep disorders or sleeplessness
- Restless leg disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Nervous system disorders
Related research articles:
- Positive Effects of a Weighted Blanket on Insomnia, Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, 2015. https://jscimedcentral.com/SleepMedicine/sleepmedicine-2-1022.pdf
- Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1518701.1518776
- Australasian Psychiatry: The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1039856212459585?journalCode=apya
- Exploring the Safety and Theraputic Effects of Deep Pressure Stimulation Using a Weighted Blanket. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J004v24n01_05