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Weighted blankets lower the level of anxiety

Do you have panic attacks? Is anxiety creeping into your life? Each of us reacts differently to the stressful situations we experience in life. The competitive world increases our obligations, which can cause depression and even fill us with fear. The desire to live up to other’s expectations makes many people struggle with all sorts of mental problems. American scientists studied patients suffering from anxiety disorders in three psychiatric centres and confirmed that weighted blankets reduce anxiety, and their use is completely safe!

A hug that soothes

Why were weighted blankets tested? Scientists noticed that people confined to psychiatric facilities experience anxiety related to change in location and treatment. They displayed undesirable behaviours, such as irritability, difficulty falling asleep, frequently waking up at night, hyperactivity, and anxiety. This forced the staff to administer sedatives. Therefore, scientists decided to use weighted blankets to replace pharmacological treatment.

Scientists, knowing that stimulating deep sensation through gentle pressure has physical and mental benefits, chose weighted blankets as a medical product to replace drug therapy. They decided to prove with research that it is a suitable alternative to drug treatment. Stimulation with deep pressure affects the nervous system, thanks to which serotonin and melatonin levels in our body increase while cortisol levels (the stress hormone) decrease. As a result, the blanket acts as a sedative – it calms the person down, minimizes stress, gives a sense of security, promotes feelings of well-being, and ensures a long and uninterrupted sleep. Did the anxious patients see the difference? Absolutely! 

The course of the study

To prove the effectiveness of weighted blankets, doctors performed several medical tests on the patients who participated in it. They checked blood pressure, heart rate, and the level of anxiety with objective and subjective tests.  Patients could choose a weighted blanket, or a weighted lap pad put on their knees. The entire study was carried out in three different psychiatric wards in a group of adults aged 18-60 years. Most of the patients suffered from depression and bipolar disorder, but there were also people suffering from generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress, or diagnosed with autism.

Sessions with weighted products lasted 20 minutes, and afterwards, the subjects experienced a decrease in heart rate and anxiety! Doctors compared the results of the study group with a control group that did not use these products. The anxiety level of the people in the control group actually increased. The results of this study clearly show that weighted blankets are a suitable alternative to drugs for anxiety and mental illness treatments.

Calming the nerves

Once again, scientists prove the effectiveness of weighted blankets. Proprioceptive sensibility stimulation beneficial affects our body. Over one hundred patients participating in the study not only experienced a significant decrease in the level of anxiety and heart rate, which was confirmed by clinical studies, but also in subjective studies emphasized that their well-being is better. Often, anxiety disorders are accompanied by a sleep problem – patients have insomnia. Here, too, a weighted blanket comes in handy, as it wraps the body and makes sleep faster and more effective. 

This study by Dr Becklund and colleagues at Saint Leo University in the US shows that weighted blankets can help us reduce the anxiety that often arises in our lives. A pleasant wrap makes your heart rate drop, and the body calms down. Clinical studies confirm the safety and effectiveness of weighted products! Do you want to soothe your nerves? Feel better? Calm down after a hard day? Use a weighted blanket! Allow yourself a moment of relaxation; 20 minutes is enough, and your body will calm down, and you will feel better.

Using weighted blankets in an inpatient mental health hospital to decrease anxiety