Can Weighted Blankets Help with Anxiety?

If you have had a bout of anxiety, you are not alone. Everyone gets anxious sometimes. But when the condition becomes chronic so that it goes on for months or years, it is known as anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are treated using a variety of methods, including medication and counseling. In recent times, claims have been made that weighted blankets can mimic a hug and help people suffering from anxiety. But, does a weighted blanket for anxiety really work? 

Can Weighted Blankets Help with Anxiety?

Yes, they are helpful. Weighted blankets are made with an evenly distributed weight that provides pressure and sensory stimulation to the user. They work for anxiety in the following ways.

1. Mimicking a Hug

A lot of people enjoy a nice warm hug. Hugging produces a hormone called oxytocin which relaxes and provides a soothing feeling. The blanket provides a gentle but firm pressure that goes in deep in the body to provide a protective feeling, very much like a hug. Even though there is no human connection involved, the weighted blanket for anxiety comes in pretty handy to provide pressure that will relax you in a similar way to a human hug.

2. Release of Serotonin

The effect of weighted blanket in the body catalyzes the release of serotonin, an important chemical that is released in both the brain and intestines to calm your nervous system. Serotonin is a mood elevator and produces a happy, relaxed feeling, which is the reason why serotonin has been called the ‘happy hormone’. Lack of serotonin in the body causes the opposite such as anxiety and depression.

3. Release of Melatonin

Weighted blankets also stimulate the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone). Melatonin helps to reduce insomnia and other sleep disorders. In addition, melatonin also induces relaxing sleep, relieving your anxiety.

More Usages of Weighted Blankets

The effect of weighted blanket for anxiety extends to depression, paranoia and trauma. Attention-deficit hyperactive disorders (ADHD), Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, bipolar neurological problems, post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD), cerebral palsy, sleep disorders, and autism are a broad-spectrum of anxieties. Weighted blankets can help with these conditions.

How to Choose Weighted Blanket

When choosing weighted blankets for the anxiety, consider the following factors:

1. Weight

Your weight plays an important role when it comes to choosing a weighted blanket. Your therapist can also help you to choose the right blanket for your needs. You need to buy a weighted blanket that is up to 10 percent of your total body weight. The same is recommended for children, although with an allowance of one to two pounds.

2. The Cover Material

Pick a blanket that is made from 100 percent cotton since it is a natural fiber. Synthetic fibers usually get too hot and may make you uncomfortable.

3. The Filling

Most companies that make weighted blankets use rice or barley which is good unless you have food allergies, in which case, it is advisable to go for filling material that will not cause any adverse reactions. There are some companies that use a mixture of cotton and polyester pellets that do not pose a risk of allergic reactions.

4. The Design

Important design points to consider:

  • Is the weight evenly distributed?
  • Is the blanket easy to wash?
  • Are the dimensions right for your bed? A weighted blanket should be smaller than your bed so that it doesn’t fall to one side of the bed.

Who Should Not Use Weight Blanket?

Weighted blanket for anxiety should not be used a person with the following conditions:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Temperature issues
  • Circulatory problems
  • Menopause

More Natural Ways to Help Relieve Anxiety

Before trying out weighted blankets for anxiety, it is imperative that you first seek medical advice, especially if you are dealing with an anxiety disorder or a condition that causes you to have anxiety. Below are other remedies to consider when dealing with anxiety disorders.

1. Healthy Diet

Your nutritionist will help you choose the right diet with the right balance of vitamins, minerals, healthy carbohydrates, and proteins. Avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol and make sure that you eat small portions throughout the day and don’t skip a meal.

Eat plenty of spinach, asparagus, almonds, oranges, salmon and avocados which are super foods that help to elevate your mood, increase folic acid in your body and prevent depression.

2. Exercise

The importance of exercising as a way of relieving anxiety cannot be over-emphasized. It is essential that you work out regularly. When exercising, the body releases hormones called endorphins which produce a positive vibration and significantly reduce anxiety.

3. Have Some Outdoor Time

Spend some time out in the sun and breathe in the fresh air. The sunshine helps the body to produce vitamin D which plays a part in reducing anxiety. The freshness of an open field and a scenic environment will calm your heart and mind and leave you feeling relaxed. When spending time in the outdoors, focus on living the moment.

4. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a great way to reduce anxiety. The use of natural plant extracts and oils to produce a pleasant scent that calms the mind and body has become a popular way for people seeking to ward off anxiety naturally. Lavender is especially popular since the scent triggers the body to release chemicals and hormones that relax the body and reduce anxiety.

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