Weighted blankets were originally designed for children. Psychiatrists that were helping children with severe disorders like ADHD, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder came up with the concept of the weighted blanket. It’s a rather old concept, invented at the beginning of the 20th century. Resembling the soothing feeling a hug or a touch provides, the weighted blankets were able to calm down children that were severely disturbed and hypersensitive in order to be touched by another human’s body.
Today, the weighted blanket has entered into mainstream use. The modern solutions and customized options have made the weighted blanket one of the most popular products for adults. 15 lb weighted blanket, with modern design and advanced solutions in manufacturing, are intended for adults with problems such as anxiety, insomnia, stress, depression.
Let’s look closely at the concept, the use and the benefits of the weighted blanket for adults.
The Concept of the Adult Weighted Blankets
A weighted blanket that is intended for adults, should weight 8-10% of the user’s body.
With today’s modern solutions the additional weight is provided by micro-beads that are sewed inside the fabric. They can be made out of plastic or glass and are equally spread onto the blanket’s surface.
The additional, exact amount of weight that is provided by the blanket performs what is called a deep touch pressure stimulation DTP. Psychiatrists were well aware of the beneficial effects the DTP has on the nervous system in humans. Moreover, the DTP stimulates the nerve endings in the skin surface and triggers changes in the functioning of the nervous system.
The changes that occur in the body under the influence of the additional weight put on the skin result in a feeling of relaxation, calmness and happiness. This is due to the hormonal changes that occur in the body. Moreover, the DTP stimulates the release of the so-called “happiness hormones”, here they are:
- and the sleep hormone Melatonin
The Benefits of the Weighted Blanket for Adults
The use of the weighted blanket on a regular basis is recommended for people that suffer from the following problems:
- Disrupted sleep-wake cycle
- Chronic stress
- Restless leg syndrome
- Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD
- ADHD and autism
In fact, the use of the weighted blanket is recommended for everybody, even those adults who are not facing these problems. The beneficial effects of the blanket are good for overall mental and physical health. Moreover, it helps in restoring the balance in the nervous system and this means the main functions in the body. Taking into consideration the chemical changes that occur in the body, the blanket has the power to improve the mood and enhance the cognitive abilities of a person. Therefore, it certainly is the best holistic approach to dealing with problems or improving life quality, with no side effects reported so far.
Let’s take a closer look at the main benefits that the weighted blanket provides.
Weighed Blanket Helps in Reducing Stress
Trying to survive in the hectic lifestyle that we are experiencing it’s hard to find a way to reduce stress levels. However, stress is a serious enemy to our health and well-being. In order to be productive and happy, we need to find an efficient way to deal with stress. But what is stress actually?
When experiencing a stressful situation our body is releasing the stress hormone cortisol and adrenalin. These chemicals are putting the body into the “fight or flight” state. Moreover, the body perceives this stressful situation as a danger and is ready to fight or help you avoid it. When we are in a prolonged state of stress the body is constantly stuck under the control of these hormones. Furthermore, this results in restlessness, panic attacks, insomnia and physical health issues.
Using a weighted blanket for this particular issue means that once you put the blanket on your body it acts as an instant switch. Moreover, with the release of the happiness hormones, the “rest and digest” state of the nervous system is activated. These will lower the stress hormone levels in the body, promote relaxation, calmness and satisfaction. Regular use of the blanket will help a distressed person bring the balance back and cope with stress more efficiently.
Weighted Blanket for Insomnia
With the power to trigger the change in the nervous system, the weighted blanket instantly activates the “rest and digest” state of the body. This is the only state in which a body is able to fall asleep. Moreover, the body is slowly relaxing and the hormonal changes will eventually lead to sound sleep.
Serotonin that is secreted under the influence of the DTP is known to be the regulator of the normal sleep-wake cycle. In fact, serotonin is also a precursor of melatonin. This means that it stimulates the secretion of melatonin – the sleep hormone. Once the melatonin levels increase the body is put to sleep. By the influence of the weighted blanket, the levels of melatonin are regulated during the night and this results in undisrupted, longer and peaceful night sleep.
Weighted Blanket for Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression can be a result of many different causes or problems. However, science has proven that when a person is in an anxiety state or depression the levels of the hormones serotonin, dopamine and endorphin are very low. Therefore, as the DTP, that the weighted blanket provides, increases the levels of these hormones they instantly alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
These are very powerful chemical reactions that can beat any worrisome thought or negative emotions.