A Natural Approach: Weighted Blankets For Anxiety & Depression

For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a thing about blankets.  If I’m at home on the couch relaxing or laying in bed, I love to have blankets on me.  And not just one blanket.  Lots of blankets.  In the summer I will sit on the couch with a blanket on me and a fan blowing if I get too hot.  Blankets bring me comfort.

If I’m depressed or anxious, not only do I heap blankets unconsciously on myself, but my girls (Roxie an English Bulldog and Lani an Australian Labradoodle) seem to know instinctively what to do.  They immediately lay on me, or near me.  Sometimes one, sometimes both.  And you know what?  The blankets and my girls can help me to calm down or at least feel better and regain control of myself.

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My “Weighted Blanket”

Awhile ago my husband came across an article about weighted blankets for people suffering from anxiety and depression, and he asked me what I thought.  I started laughing because once he mentioned it to me, I realized that’s what I’ve been basically doing all along.  I don’t have a weighted blanket, but all those blankets I pile on myself and the addition of my girls laying on me, in-affect are the same thing.  They are my weighted blanket!

I thought the concept of a weighted blanket was an interesting idea, so I looked them up.  Unfortunately, weighted blankets are expensive.  But, it’s interesting how they can help someone struggling with anxiety or depression.  It’s a very natural approach.

“Weighted blankets are heavier than the kinds of blankets people usually buy. They typically weigh anywhere from 4 to 30 pounds, making them heavier than the average comforter or down quilt. For many people who have disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, or autism, weighted blankets may provide a safe alternative to medication or other types of treatment. They can also be used to complement existing therapies. Research has shown that weighted blankets can help reduce symptoms and manage these conditions.

Weighted blankets help ground your body during sleep by pushing it downwards. This process, known as “earthing” or “grounding,” may have a deeply calming effect. The blankets also simulate deep pressure touch (DPT), a type of therapy that uses firm, hands-on pressure to reduce chronic stress and high levels of anxiety.

Studies show that grounding may help reduce nighttime levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol is produced when your brain thinks you’re under attack, eliciting the fight or flight response. Stress can escalate cortisol levels. This can have a negative impact upon the immune system. It can also increase blood sugar levels and adversely affect the digestive tract.

Elevated cortisol levels, especially those that don’t drop back down to normal levels naturally, can cause multiple complications. These include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • weight gain

By providing deep pressure touch, weighted blankets can promote relaxation and help break this cycle. This may trigger the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are feel-good hormones produced in the brain. These hormones help combat stress, anxiety, and depression.”

http://www.healthline.com/health/weighted-blanket-for-anxiety#benefits2

Weighted blankets come in different weights.  For adults it is recommended that a weighted blanket be between 5% to 10% of your weight.

I’m all about living natural and I wish I had the money to try a weighted blanket out.  Maybe one day.  I’d love to compare it to what I currently do and see how it can help me.

In the past when I’ve looked up weighted blankets they aren’t all that pretty.  They are usually just one color, but today when I was scrolling around online I came across the company Weighting Comforts.  They have the most awesome weighted blankets that actually look like quilts!  They are beautiful!  My favorite is Grandma’s Quilt Weighed Blanket.  It looks just like your favorite vintage quilt!

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Weighting Comforts Grandma’s Quilt Weighed Blanket.

Weighting Comforts offers weighted blankets in 10 lbs, 15 lbs, and 20 lbs.  You can buy a blanket that adds warmth or helps keep you cool.  They are machine washable and 100% cotton.

“Each Weighting Comforts blanket is handmade by a refugee woman in Nashville, Tennessee, creating income for her family. We use high quality 100% cotton fabric, and sew each bead pocket with 100% polyester thread for added strength and durability. The weighted beads inside each pocket are made from an FDA-approved, non-irritating PVC compound.”

https://www.weightingcomforts.com/collections/weighted-blankets/products/grandmas-quilt-weighted-blanket

Another thing I love about Weighting Comforts is this product was developed by a therapist who saw first hand how weighted blankets were helping her clients.

“Sleeplessness and anxiety are growing issues in the lives of the average consumer. Weighting Comforts seeks to be a solution in the lives of these people. As a therapist, Donna noticed that her clients were calmer and felt more grounded when using a Weighting Comforts weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are commonly used in the autism community AND, they also provide comfort to the average person in a time of stress, depression or anxiety.

While pursuing a masters degree in marriage and family therapy, Donna first noticed the effectiveness of a weighted blanket. An advisor in her program asked her to make several weighted blankets for clients who suffered from anxiety. Immediately after trying the weighted blankets, her clients reported a sense of relief.”

https://www.weightingcomforts.com/pages/about-us

After looking at their website and reading numerous reviews, I would definitely say that if you are in the market for a weighted blanket give Weighting Comforts a try.

For now, my “weighted blanket” consists of 5 blankets, a 46lb English Bulldog and a 24lb Australian Labradoodle.  Hey whatever works 🙂

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Check Out Weighting Comforts

*This is my own personal review.  I have not received any compensation for it.*


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12 comments

  1. WONDERFUL post. I have long been aware of the use of weighted blankets for a number of conditions and disorders. It also has been reported anecdotally to help kids with ADD/ADHD (as well as those on the Autism spectrum) center and focus. AND, of course, their use with sleep disorders is well known for a number of conditions.

    You can make your own quickie-cheapie-pretty “weighted comforter” by fastening the corners of several blankets together with coated rubber bands (like the big thick ones used for hair). THEN turn a budget duvet cover inside out and pin or sew ribbons in the corners (at their centers – leave “tails”). Use them to tie through the rubber bands of the blankets and flip right-side out again. VOILA! It actually *feels* heavier that way – and it keeps them all together if you are a restless sleeper.

    If you are even a BASIC sewing machine user, you can make what amounts to a large pillow case with budget sheets – pick your own pretty. Add ribbons to the open end to tie it shut. I do that in the winter – but I need my “layers” in the summer, since I am also “heat defensive” and need to be able to adjust at will.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

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