One of the ways that many people choose, To rest And fall asleep, is using a ‘weighted blanket’. but what is it? A weighted blanket is a particularly heavy blanket that people wrap themselves in to relax, feel more comfortable, and fall asleep. They are said to relieve depressive symptoms, reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.
According to United States of America todayThe first weighted blanket was invented by Keith Zivalich in 1997. He got the inspiration to make it when his daughter held a Beanie Baby (a stuffed toy) on his shoulder. It felt like the stuffed toy was hugging her, and that’s when the idea came to her mind – to make a blanket that could inspire that feeling. To create this, he used Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation Therapy (DPTS). A weighted blanket is made of various fillers, such as microscopic glass beads, sand, steel beads, pebbles and grains.
But, to what extent do they actually work and make a difference?
scientifically it is said that deep pressure stimulation It may help to reduce autonomic arousal with weighted blankets, which can actually reduce anxiety.
Vinay Gore, Chief Psychologist at Atman Psychology Studio, Pune Said, “It provides a calm-inducing amount of pressure on your body, similar to the feeling of being hugged or held. The pressure usually puts your autonomic nervous system into a ‘rest’ mode and can often reduce symptoms of anxiety, such as a fast heart rate.”
Aman Puri, founder of Steadfast Nutrition, said they are a good way to relieve stress and anxiety as they provide comfort and reduce the feeling of loneliness, thereby increasing the quality of sleep. “Also, when we enter a state of deep sleep, the body temperature drops and a weighted blanket helps to provide additional warmth. Sleep is the most important part of a person’s recovery and a good sleep cycle can improve hormonal functioning and cognitive power. Several recent studies have shown the benefits of using weighted blankets.”
According to Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, Mental Wellness Expert at Artemis Hospital, these specially designed blankets can work as a complement to the treatment. “Research is still being done. It cannot replace treatment, but if it provides comfort to the individual, it can be used as a supplement to treatment,” she said.
However, a weighted blanket may not be suitable for everyone, experts said. Gore explained that people with chronic respiratory or circulatory problems, conditions such as asthma, low blood pressureSleep apnea or claustrophobia should be avoided. Glass beads can also fall and become a choking hazard, which can be risky.
A series of 8 studies conducted by the American Occupational Therapy Association suggested that “weighted blankets may be a suitable therapeutic tool in reducing anxiety. However, there is not enough evidence to suggest that they are helpful.” insomnia,