A lot of people wonder about the science behind weighted blankets while they are trying to decide whether to buy it or not. Do weighted blankets help with anxiety and stress? Are weighted blankets safe for kids and adults equally? Or is the science behind weighted blankets just a marketing gimmick to sell them a product that will end up disappointing them? These are some of the questions that run through the minds of people while they consider buying a weighted blanket.
Most of these people are unaware that weighted blankets got designed to calm down patients with mental health problems and help them sleep peacefully. They were created to simulate the effects of Deep Touch Pressure therapy that helps to release serotonin and melatonin in the brain and reduces cortisol. Studies have revealed that people with autism, anxiety, and sensory processing disorders have shown signs of relief after using them.
A weighted blanket should ideally look like a regular blanket. The Hush often receives positive reviews about how our weighted blankets look and feel exactly like regular blankets. But unlike a normal blanket, these weighted blankets are filled with hypoallergenic, non-toxic glass sand sewn into small individual pockets. These pockets are spread all over the weighted blanket and provide the weight. Weighted blankets are also different from regular blankets because people always buy the former according to their body weight as well, and not just the size of their beds.
Weighted Blankets Help People With Autism
The benefits of positive sensory affirmations like hugs and cuddles are well-known remedies for emotional turmoils. Studies have revealed that the human brain produces oxytocin on hugging or cuddling, which enhances a person's sense of emotional well-being. Oxytocin is also known as the hormone that enhances the feelings of human bonding and trust. That is why autistic kids and adults often seek Deep Touch Pressure sensations in the form of touch, hold, hugs, and cuddles.
However, kids and adults with autism may not always respond well to the touch of strangers. So hugs or cuddles from others can sometimes cause them further emotional distress and even pain. However, the results of using a weighted blanket for kids with autism have been far better. That is probably because a weighted blanket applies a gentler hugging sensation without the unwelcome contact with a stranger's body. The same results were observed for adults with autism as well.
Weighted Blankets Help Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorder can have two forms, hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity. Hypersensitive people feel overwhelmed by their senses, like noise or touch, and would tend to avoid hugs or touches. On the other hand, those who suffer from hyposensitivity seek them out. Medical therapists often prescribe weighted blankets because they work for both kinds of Sensory Processing Disorders. Since weighted blankets are objects, kids and hypersensitive adults do not object to them. Moreover, they can control the touch they want to experience from a weighted blanket. Therefore, they feel relieved by the deep touch pressure therapy provided by weighted blankets.
Weighted Blankets Relieve Stress and Anxiety
According to surveys, almost 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety-related disorders, which makes it the most common mental health problem in the country. Anxiety can cause several issues in a person's life, including lack of sleep. People who suffer from anxiety disorders often experience a snowballing effect of anxious thoughts when they try to fall asleep. According to a weighted blanket sleep study conducted for anxiety, more than 60% of the participants said that they felt relieved while sleeping under a weighted blanket. The research also showed positive effects of weighted blankets for PTSD and ADHD patients.
A Weighted Blanket Helps Insomnia
According to the national sleep foundation, almost 45% of the American population gets less than the stipulated amount of sufficient sleep. The studies have also shown that one 1 out of every 3 Americans suffers from insomnia. People who have insomnia know how frustrating it can be when they are desperately trying but feeling to fall asleep. Insomnia can have several underlying reasons, including depression, anxiety, stress, so on, and so forth.
Scientific research has shown that a weighted blanket can mimic the deep touch pressure stimulation, which increases the levels of melatonin in the human brain, which helps people to fall asleep. Researches have also noted the relieving effects of a weighted blanket for depression, stress, and anxiety, which can reduce insomnia resulting from them.
Weighted Blankets for Restless Leg Syndrome
Many people suffer from a creeping and tingling discomfort in their legs that amplifies when they lie down. To seek relief, they often try to position their legs in different ways and feel the constant urge to move them around. Since the symptoms occur when a person lies down, he or she can spend several sleepless hours tossing on their beds trying to fall asleep. Weighted blankets have been noted for their ability to apply even pressure on a person's legs that help to relieve the discomfort. The oxytocin released in the brain due to the Deep Touch Pressure therapy effects of the weighted blanket can also help in reducing the stress caused by the restless leg syndrome.
Weighted Blankets Relieve Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that can stay undiagnosed for several years. It is also often misdiagnosed and misinterpreted by medical professionals. The disorder presents a wide array of symptoms that includes an increase in sensitivity and pain in different parts of the body. Surveys suggest that more than 5 million Americans suffer from Fibromyalgia, but the real numbers are much higher than that because several of the patients are undiagnosed.
One of the therapies includes applying mild and steady pressure on the 18 pain points of the body. The use of weighted blankets has been noted to induce this therapy and provide relief to patients since they can apply steady pressure to all the pain points of the body.
As one can see, there are several scientific and medical benefits of using weighted blankets. That is why more and more people are turning to them to get proper and restful sleep at night.