We all know how comforting it is to curl up with a warm blanket when it’s cold outside. Nowadays, there are some seriously cozy blankets out there that are perfectly fuzzy and soft. It’s a natural feeling we all have when we are relaxed and comforted by a nice, warm blanket—especially at night time when we just want to be cuddled. A snuggly blanket is, in many ways, a remedy for all feelings of discomfort and agitation.
For people with anxiety, using a weighted blanket can actually alleviate some symptoms of restlessness and worry. Weighted blankets are heavier than normal blankets and are oftentimes used by occupational therapists to treat sensory and sleep disorders. Whether you decide to purchase or make your own weighted blanket at home, there are many benefits for people looking to ease anxiety, including:
By putting pressure on the body in certain areas, the body will respond by releasing serotonin, one of the chemicals in the brain that leads to an improved mood. Sleeping under a weighted blanket can therefore enhance your relaxation. Serotonin, after all, leads to the creation of melatonin—the exact chemical that tells your body it’s time to sleep.
Curb anxiety and restlessness
Beyond helping you fall asleep, weighted blankets can curb the symptoms that people with anxiety experience on a regular basis. Feeling restless at night is a common consequence of having anxiety, but a weighed blanket will make it harder to move around. This in turn can lead to feeling calmer and more peaceful, especially if you are prone to feeling fidgety at nighttime.
Feels like a hug
A third benefit of using weight blankets is its ability to make you feel safer and more at ease. These blankets have a similar effect as receiving a hug, releasing the hormone oxytocin, which reduces blood pressure, slows your heart rate, and allows you to feel secure. Weighted blankets basically imitate the warm feeling that you get from a hug, using the same gentle, firm pressure and helping you unwind.
Curling up under a weighted blanket is a great way to reduce the pressures and restlessness that can be symptoms of anxiety. By increasing the release of serotonin and melatonin, and by mimicking the sensations of a hug, weighted blankets can inspire feeling of protection and comfort, making for a good night’s sleep.