It has become very common for people to consider that sleeping with anxiety blankets would make them feel better and improve comfort. For a number of people, these blankets have become a part of their daily routine and they have become dependent on the use of these blankets.
But the question now is that whether these blankets work as magically as they claim to. It is not only said that they are effective for anxiety, but they have also made claims that in different conditions such as autism and insomnia along with anxiety, these blankets can prove to be effective.
To understand this, let’s move forward by knowing that what are basically these blankets made up of. These blankets are considered to be very cosy. This can be because different weighted blankets are made up of different materials in order to provide the comfort they are supposed to offer. It is also crucial to understand that it is not only the weight of the blanket that affect its purpose. But also, the materials, the layers and the stuff it is made up of. These blankets can play different roles for hot and cold sleepers and the material inside them plays an important role to select one for yourself. It is estimated that anxiety blankets are between 5 to 25 pounds in weight and they are expected to put a certain amount of pressure on the human body, which is a therapeutic technique known as “Deep Pressure stimulation”.
It’s also advised by experts that a person interested in buying an anxiety blanket should consider a weight that should be about 10% of their to their body weight.
These blankets have gained popularity within the last few years. Before these blankets, you might have heard about weighted vests. Which were also very popular among people suffering from autism and related conditions. The idea of getting a weighted vest was very popular among parents of such children to put their children at ease or deal with certain kinds of disturbances in their daily life. Due to these characteristics, the companies claim to be very helpful in such conditions. But it is very important to understand that what real effect can they have on the human body to relieve any kind of anxiety. Are these just the claims of the company to sell their product?
As of today, issues like depression, anxiety, and insomnia have been taken more seriously worldwide. The use of weighted anxiety blankets gained popularity with these rising issues.
How do weighted anxiety blankets work?
Based on a number of studies, experts believe that anxiety blankets are working because of the deep stimulation which is generally used for relaxing the human nervous system and also help in the following:
- Reducing pain
- Decreasing anxiety
- Improving mood.
It is also considered that this deep pressure gives a soothing sensation which can be due to the touch of the blanket. Similar to hugging or Swaddling. A number of people have also claimed that this pressure could be very calming for the human body. There is no doubt in the fact that most of the experts had claimed that this can play a part in reducing any kind of physiological issue which is basically associated with conditions such as anxiety as it acts on the nervous system of a human person. Anxiety has become a part of a number of human being due to everyday stress and daily activities. And there is no doubt in the fact that the symptoms of such anxiety can also be physical along with emotional.
Experts claim that the autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays a major role in this complex anxiety manifestation. ANS is basically composed of Two Main parts which are as follows:
- Sympathetic nervous system.
- Parasympathetic nervous system.
As the sympathetic system is responsible to work in fight or flight responses. Whenever there is any condition that causes stress, it elevates the breathing as well as the heart rate of a person causing physical changes such as breath shortness and heart pounding. On the other hand, the Parasympathetic component of ANS works by understanding the condition, calming the body and putting the body back to normal condition. So, keeping this in mind, the weighted anxiety blankets are supposed to give enough pressure, which can damper the responses of the sympathetic system, and thus support the body to relax.
What’s the opinion of science about anxiety blankets?
Let’s see what science has to say about this. The research done by Scanlan in 2012 on these anxiety blankets was performed by using them in a psychiatric facility. When psychiatric unit patients were observed while providing different soothing objects such as a weighted anxiety blanket, different books and rocking chairs. The most used and popular among these was that weighted blanket.
Similarly, another research was conducted where a control group and an experimental group were taken by giving the experimental group the weighted anxiety blanket and evaluating the patient’s heart rate variability. It was concluded that there was a significant change in the parasympathetic activity of the group which was given the weighted blanket.
So, with the evidence that we have, it is concluded that anxiety blankets have a role in reducing anxiety in people suffering from it. Not only this but it also gives the person a better sleep and full body and mind relaxation.
Anxiety blankets are considered to reduce stress & anxiety and calm the body by giving a sense of security. However, if you have any medical condition, it is advised to consult with your GP before using a weighted blanket. Obviously, if you want to have a cosy, comfortable sleep and are having trouble then anxiety blankets can be a game-changer.