6 Mental Health Benefits of Using Weighted Blankets

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Mental health treatments use a variety of therapeutic approaches, techniques, medications and tools. One such tool that has recently gained acclaim for its mental health benefits is the weighted blanket.

A weighted blanket is a blanket designed to apply light pressure to our body while we sleep or curl up comfortably while we rest. These blankets weigh between five and thirty pounds with materials like plastic pellets, glass beads, and ceramic beads giving them extra weight.

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The use of weighted blankets is based on the principles of deep pressure stimulation. This stimulation of pressure comes from being held, hugged, swaddled and caressed. The applied pressure switches our body from its sympathetic nervous system to its parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for putting our body into fight or flight mode to deal with certain situations. Problems arise when we stay in this mode too long, resulting in stress, irritability, anxiety, and fatigue. People with mental health conditions such as autism spectrum disorders are often forced to operate in this mode.

On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system allows us to relax and brings calm to our minds and bodies. It helps slow your heart rate, produce endorphins and relax your muscles.

Weighted blankets allow us to experience the benefits of deep pressure stimulation without the help of another person or pet.


Mental Health Benefits of Using Weighted Blankets: Reduced Chronic Pain and 5 More

Weighted blankets have been shown to have many benefits for various types of people since their popularity. Many of the benefits of the weighted blanket revolve around improving our ability to cope with various mental health issues.

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1) Reduces Anxiety

The main benefit of using a weighted blanket is that it reduces our level of anxiety. Everyone experiences anxiety in one form or another at times. The problem arises when the anxiety is present in an uncontrollable way and occurs frequently.

According to studies, using a weighted blanket can help reduce anxiety levels because it activates our parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces symptoms of anxiety such as excessive sweating, digestive issues, and heart rate. high.

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2) Improves sleep

Poor sleeping habits have a negative impact on our mental health, so it is essential to get enough and regular sleep. According to a study, weighted blankets are great tools that can help us get the amount of sleep we need because they help us stay asleep longer, have less disruption during sleep, and fall asleep faster. The weight of the blanket reduces our nocturnal movements, which results in better quality sleep and relief from restless leg syndrome for those who use it.

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3) Facilitates positive hormone balance

Weighted blankets are able to influence the type of hormones our body produces. The deep pressure stimulation provided by the weighted blanket increases serotonin production in the body, which has many uses like mood regulation and brain-body communication.

Additionally, using a weighted blanket increases our body’s oxytocin levels, which makes us feel safe and comfortable. A weighted balance is used to increase melatonin, which helps with sleep regulation while lowering cortisol levels, which affect how much stress we experience.


4) Reduction of chronic pain

Using weighted blankets along with other pain relief techniques has been shown to be effective in reducing various pain conditions. Research on the subject shows that deep pressure stimulation helps us loosen tight muscles and joints, which helps us relax and stay calm.

When we use it to help us deal with chronic pain, the weight of the blanket sends signals to our brains that it’s time to relax.

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5) Helps Manage Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptoms

Weighted blankets help people on the autism spectrum process various stimuli they encounter, which they often struggle with. These people struggle with stimuli like movement, sound, and light, which cause several personal issues.

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Weighted blankets help these people cope with the high levels of anxiety they feel due to sensory overload. These people frequently suffer from insomnia and use weighted blankets to speed up the process of falling asleep and improve the quality of their sleep.


6) Helps Manage Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) experience a number of negative mental health symptoms. According to studies, weighted blankets provide these individuals with several positive mental health outcomes, including better quality sleep patterns, improved well-being, increased relaxation, and less anxiety.

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Weighted blankets are not a panacea that will cure you of all your mental health problems, but they have been shown by research to be very effective for many mental health problems that people of different ages commonly face. .


Steve George Verghese is a Psychologist by training with a Masters in Counseling Psychology from the Indian Institute of Psychology and Research.


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Richard V. Johnson