Numerous people around the world are starting to enjoy the great benefits of a very popular product these days – the weighted blanket. The weighted blanket got its breakthrough into mainstream use in the past several years. Is it a modern invention? – No, it’s a rather very old concept. However, it turned out to be just the right thing a modern person requires. A harmless cure for “modern diseases” – anxiety and insomnia.
This simple and very smart idea dates back from the beginning of the 20th century. It’s a therapeutic tool invented and used in acute psychiatry. Originally, invented for children with disorders, today it’s applicable as a weighted blanket for adults that suffer from anxiety, insomnia, stress, and depression.
It’s a blanket, but not your usual one. So, let’s take a closer look at the concept, usage and beneficial effects of the weighted blanket for anxiety and insomnia issues.
The Concept of the Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket is a smart invention based on the concept of a hug or touch. Moreover, the fact has it that a little pressure onto the body caused by a hug or touch from another person is very beneficial for the human body. In fact, it results in a calming and relaxing feeling.
Taking this into consideration, psychiatrists designed a blanket that resembles a human touch or a hug that can calm a disturbed patient. Therefore, a weighted blanket is designed to weight 8-10% of the user’s body, which is more than a usual one. The additional weight is able to trigger positive changes inside a human’s body that can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and stress and depression also.
Modern products found on the market are designed for extreme comfort and maximum benefits. Usually, they are filled with glass or plastic-made microbeads that provide the additional weight. They can be customized with the right amount of weight a person needs, the desired fabric, and modern design.
What is it That makes the Weighted Blanket so Powerful?
As mentioned before, it’s science. Science has it, that a little pressure put onto the body by touch, another body or a weighted blanket, triggers serious changes in the nervous system. It’s the so-called deep touch pressure DTP stimulation that is performed during these states. Moreover, when put on the body, the weighted blanket triggers the nerve endings underneath the skin surface. This is where the DTP starts. These nerves trigger consecutive processes inside the body that lead to changes in the nervous system.
The nervous system uses hormones to control the body. The DTP is powerful enough to change patterns and secretion of hormones dictated by the nervous system. Therefore, DTP stimulates the secretion of the happiness hormones and puts the body into the resting state.
When using the weighted blanket, the body is relaxed, calm and the person is content and can easily fall asleep. This is due to the secretion of the following so-called “happiness” hormones:
- Melatonin (the sleep hormone)
Weighted Blanket for Anxiety
Anxiety is a very common problem these days. This is not a surprise due to the very stressful lifestyle we all participate in. In fact, anxiety is a prolonged state of nervousness. It arises when a person is under constant stress, which results in high levels of the stress hormone – cortisol. In cases like this, the body is stuck under the “fight or flight” state of the nervous system and it’s unable to switch to the “rest and digest” state. Moreover, the body perceives stress as a danger, and unless a person really finds a way to relax and stops stressing out, the body will be stuck with cortisol levels constantly arising. Moreover, a person will experience severe anxiety.
The DTP that the weighted blanket performs is like an instant switch. Once you put the blanket on your body, the DTP switches off the “fight or flight” and switches on the “rest and digest” state. This state releases happiness hormones that calm the body, promote relaxation and sound sleep. In this case, the level of stress hormones lowers and eases the symptoms of anxiety.
No worrisome thought is more powerful than a chemical reaction inside your body that promotes a happy and careless feeling.
Weighted Blanket for Insomnia
For a person to be able to fall asleep the body must be in the state of “rest and digest”, therefore calm and relaxed. Moreover, the levels of the sleeping hormone – melatonin should be high. People often suffer from insomnia due to prolonged stress, anxiety and disturbed sleep-wake cycle. If any of this is the cause of the insomnia issues the body will not be able to fall asleep.
As explained above the weighted blanket instantly switches the nervous system in the state of “rest and digest”. Therefore, it enables the body to relax. Due to the increased secretion of the happiness hormones, the body is calm and content.
One of the happiness hormones the – serotonin – is a precursor of melatonin and responsible for the re-establishing of the normal sleep-wake cycle. Meaning, higher levels of serotonin caused by the DTP, that the blanket provides, will improve the sleeping patterns. Moreover, the secretion of melatonin is also triggered when the body is in this state. Therefore, when the blanket is put on the body will easily relax and fall into a deep and undisrupted sleep.