Can you switch your mind off as soon as your head hits the pillow? Not if you’re anxious! Sleep eludes you as your brain works overtime. Perhaps you should consider weighted blankets for anxiety?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, almost a fifth of the population in the USA suffers from an anxiety disorder every year, which is around 40 million adults. Anxiety often prevents them from “turning off” when they stagger to bed, exhausted but with things still churning around on their minds. Sleep is a long-sought but ever evaporating phantom.
There are effective treatments for anxiety. Alongside these, or on its own, many people find weighted blankets for anxiety to be a great sleep aid. But how does it work?
Weighted blankets – how do they work?
Aricove weighted blanket helps you to sleep by the “magic power” of Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation on your body. This produces an outpouring of calming hormones and a reduction in cortisol. It also acts directly on our nervous system, relaxing our muscles and balancing an active state of alertness with a resting state. This balance is perfect for sleep.
Cortisol – the stress hormone
Cortisol has many functions including looking after our blood sugar levels, inflammation, metabolism, and memory. Cortisol is also a stress response hormone. It enables our bodies to deal with challenges, usually called the flee, fight, or freeze response. Our bodies respond by increasing the heart rate and increasing respiration to send extra oxygen to our muscles ready for action. Once the danger has passed, then our cortisol levels should reduce to normal levels. But that doesn’t always happen! This can have serious health consequences.
If your cortisol level remains high when you need to relax and sleep then it will be hard for you to switch off and settle down. A calming weighted blanket can help to reduce the cortisol level and will make it easier for you to go to sleep. It has long been known that a hug reduces a feeling of pain and fear. The deep pressure applied by weighted blankets for anxiety in a form of a tender hug is non-invasive and comforting.
Serotonin – the calming hormone
The deep pressure of a weighted blanket for anxiety makes our bodies release serotonin and dopamine. These are two neurotransmitters, which act on the brain making us feel calmer and more ready to sleep. They help to lower our blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and enhance our mood.
Also, serotonin is needed for our bodies to make melatonin. Melatonin increases during the hours of darkness and prepares our minds for sleep. When your melatonin levels are too low, then sleep is more difficult.
Deep pressure reduces your body's nervous system responses to stress and can be important in reducing anxiety. Wisdom tooth surgery is an invasive dental procedure associated with high-stress levels. A research study carried out in Taiwan looked at the effects of deep pressure in alleviating the stress. They took measurements including heart rate to check how the nervous system responded. It was found that deep pressure does help reduce anxiety during wisdom tooth extraction. Researchers noted that this was especially important in patients with high anxiety levels or with special needs.
How to use your weighted blanket
For many people, a weighted blanket for anxiety or a weighted blanket for PTSD becomes a part of our bedtime routine. Welcoming and inviting, we quickly and comfortably settle under it and the worries of the world can be left, until we wake up ready to sort them out in the morning, after a wonderful night’s sleep.
Another great way to use your weighted blanket is when you are trying to relax on the couch, just drape it around your shoulders or snuggle under while you watch television or read a book.
Many anxious people do see their doctor – and you should if your anxiety is interfering with the quality of your life, and most especially if you feel depressed. And very often the best weighted blankets make a great complementary therapy for you, to be used alongside any treatment your doctor might advise.
Learn more about the benefits of cooling weighted blankets for adults here.
Will weighted blankets work for everyone?
Stress is a normal part of life but how we deal with it makes all the difference to our health. A weighted blanket for adults is a useful resource for those who want to get a good night’s sleep – and then be sharp and alert during the day.
So, do weighted blankets help with anxiety? The answer is – yes. For those people who are anxious, or who suffer from PTSD, a weighted blanket will help you to relax and get the vital sleep you need. The deep pressure helps to calm your senses, and stimulate the release of hormones that aid your sleep in a solely natural way.
Curious if a weighted blanket is a safe option for you or your loved one? Read on When a Weighted Blanket is Not Recommended!