About 40 million adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder. That’s almost 20% of the total population! Anxiety varies in severity from a minor disability to a major disruption. Anxiety comes between you and jobs, relationships, and happiness if it gets bad enough.
Many turn to pharmaceutical drugs to treat their anxiety. Others look toward natural remedies. Now, it would appear that weighted blankets may remedy many types of anxieties.
Weighted blankets are filled with plastic pellets sewn into compartments inside of the blanket which helps weigh the blanket down and distribute the weight evenly. The pressure of the blanket has a calming effect on people with anxiety and tells the brain to release serotonin and dopamine. This creates relaxation.
Therapists have used weighted blankets on children with various disorders like insomnia, anxiety, stress, and autism, and now it looks like they can help adults too.
“In psychiatric care, weighted blankets are one of our most powerful tools for helping people who are anxious, upset, and possibly on the verge of losing control,” says Karen Moore, OTR/L, an occupational therapist in Franconia, N.H. “These blankets work by providing input to the deep pressure touch receptors throughout the body,” Moore says. “Deep pressure touch helps the body relax. Like a firm hug, weighted blankets help us feel secure, grounded, and safe.”
If you’re considering using one of these blankets, talk to your doctor first. People with circulatory and breathing issues may not benefit from a weighted blanket. Most adults prefer 15 and 30 pound blankets.