Heavy blankets, also known as weighted blankets, or gravity blankets, were once only used by therapists. However, with their benefits becoming increasingly known, many people with sleeping and anxiety disorders have integrated them into their daily life. These blankets can weigh about 25 pounds, but it’s their heaviness that makes them so useful. So, how do these blankets work?
Deep Touch Pressure
Weighted blankets are designed to simulate deep touch. So, it is the kind of feeling you get when someone warmly and tightly embraces you. It provides you with a sense of security and that you are looked after. These blankets will provide you with the same feeling.
Considering that our fast-paced life provides little room for relaxation and is almost always under duress, we need something that tells our mind to slow down and relax. The blankets replicate that feeling and calm down your nervous system. As a result, they are now being used as relaxation aids. They are used by people who have insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety and panic disorders.
Simulates Touch without Touching
Many people with ADHD and especially autism do not like to be touched. They have problems during social interactions, and yet, a gentle touch is an essential factor that can calm you down during moments of stress.
With the heavy blankets, you can achieve just that. Even if someone you know refuses to be touched, but you realize that a warm cuddle is just what they need, then a heavy blanket is just the thing for them. Almost everyone who goes under the blanket claim they felt more relaxed.
Heavy blankets work by reducing unnecessary body movements. Those who are hyperactive or have nerve disorders that result in constant twitching or, in more severe cases, in seizures, can benefit from heavy blankets. Since these blankets are designed to weigh down the user, it prevents many unwanted movements in the body.
The blankets have several pockets that are filled with pellets or beads that add to their weight. You are less inclined to toss and turn at night, and you will feel a pressure on your muscles and joints almost akin to a massage. All of these factors combine to cut out overstimulation and results in a state of well-being.
Heavy Blankets and Children
In children, heavy blankets work almost resembling a mother’s cuddle. Although it is inadvisable to use these blankets on children under ten years old, older children or teens, especially with autism or anxiety disorders, can use them. If they feel distressed when their caregiver is away, the blanket simulates that embrace’s touch and warmth, enabling them to calm down. Although it is not a real person, it works enough till the caregiver arrives again.
Using a heavy blanket is also a personal decision. Some users might not like a 25 pound blanket on them- they might feel more agitated under it or might not be comfortable with the weight and pressure.
A weighted blanket works the best when it matches the user’s body weight, ideally 10% of the body weight. Its therapeutic benefits are undeniable, and the blanket is scientifically designed to meet the concerns of users suffering from anxiety and sleep issues.