When I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, I knew I had to find a way to calm myself down. So I took to covering myself with several blankets, at times even five of them. Granted, they offered some relief as I would eventually drift off to sleep, but the heat they generated was disturbingly too much, especially during summer.
Then I got news of weighted blankets that relieve anxiety. You must have heard about them; they’ve become popular of late, and for a reason; they are weighty but do not heat you up as to be uncomfortable. Here are some of the many benefits you get from weighted blankets.
1. They Bring About Relaxation
Do you often feel like your brain is still highly active even when you’ve retired to bed? A feeling that you’re charged up ready for activity? That’s precisely what I would feel as a result of my condition. But not anymore, after I started using weighted blankets.
Research shows that weighted blankets can bring down the level of activity in your body’s nervous system. In one study, a third of the participants had reduced activity of the nervous system while more than half were shown to had reduced anxiety when using weighted blankets.
2. They Stop the Insomnia Associated With Anxiety
Anxiety causes the levels of cortisol-the stress hormone-to spike. Now, cortisol can make you lack sleep. The condition can become worse when night time has come and your thoughts are on the agony of sleeplessness you’re about to go through. This thought alone can aggravate anxiety and result in more of the stress hormone, cortisol being produced in your body.
Weighted blankets calm you down, helping to lower the levels of cortisol in your body. As a result, you get to doze off to a peaceful night.
3. They Help You Get Quality Sleep
If you, like me, had ever had to deal with insomnia, you know how devastating it can be to just lie there in your bed unable to sleep. You feel so tired and disoriented in the morning, something that can affect the overall quality of your life.
One study that looked into the benefits of weighted blankets found that participants got longer sleep intervals when they used the blankets compared to those who didn’t. It was also noticed that the participants who used weighted blankets moved less. These findings can be attributed to the calming effect of these types of blankets, especially the hush anxiety blanket, which offers great comfort.
4. They Improve Concentration
By helping your nervous system to be less active and bringing about relaxation, weighted blankets help you to become more focused. A study conducted on students proved this. The researchers used weighted vests which the students wore while their concentration on tasks was measured.
Results showed an 18-25% increase in on-task concentration. Based on these results, the researcher found weighted blankets could be used for people with attention deficit disorders to help improve their focus.
5. They Can Help With Several Other Disorders
Apart from offering relief from anxiety, weighted blankets do help fight the effects of other disorders such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic disorder. Research shows this is achieved by the calming effect of weighted blankets that helps to raise the levels of serotonin in the people affected by the disorders.
By imitating the feel of a hug, weighted blankets can also help autistic people, both children and adults, to calm down, improving their concentration levels.
With weighted blankets having so many benefits, you may want to get one for yourself or your loved one. These blankets come in different wights, and the one you choose to buy should have a weight that lies between 5-10% of your body weight for it to be effective.