Updated: May 12, 2021
I’m not the only one who has rolled myself into a blanket burrito to binge watch my most recent show and eat too much (or not at all).
It’s a fairly common coping skill (the blanket, the binge eating is unhealthy). The idea of adding weight to the mix, is called deep pressure using sensory integration. Deep pressure therapy, is simply applying an appropriate amount of weight or pressure to your body which then signals to your autonomic nervous system (ANS). Your ANS is the part of the nervous system that takes care of things like your heart rate and breathing. If your heart rate is through the roof, it makes sense that your brain might think it’s in danger, right? Danger feelings take you into the realm of fear, anxiety, and panic attacks. So, if you apply the right amount of pressure your ANS might chill the fuck out a little. *Hopefully, nothing works 100% of the time or for EVERYONE.
Who Might Benefit From Weighted Blankets?
If you suffer from one or more of these ailments, you may just need to try some DPT in your life.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Bipolar Disorder (BPD)
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
Postpartum Depression (PPD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Insomnia and other sleep disorders
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD - boosts serotonin levels)
There are a million more, but who wants a wall of a list? If you think this might work for you, it’s worth a try! Worse case scenario, you hate it and you give it to someone you know with anxiety (we all know someone). They might get more out of it.
Granted, there are definitely people who should be careful with weighted blankets. If you are hesitant for any reason, please seek professional advice. Anyone who has experienced the below, please do not try before talking to a medical doctor.
Obstructive sleep apnea; disrupted breathing during sleep.
Asthma; difficulty breathing at night .
Claustrophobia; which the tightness of a weighted blanket may trigger.
Consult a doctor before using with children under the age of 12.
Weighted blankets shouldn’t be used for toddlers under 2 years old, as it may increase the risk of suffocation.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE CORRECT WEIGHT
As a general rule, a weighted blanket should be 5 to 10 percent of your body weight. If it's just you, get your size bed, if you're trying to cover two people, go a size up. 2+ not recommended due to increased suffocation risk. ; )
Adults can use medium-large weighted blankets ranging from 12 to 30 pounds.
For a 20- to 70-pound child, a small weighted blanket should weigh from 3 to 8 pounds.
For a 30- to 130-pound child, a medium weighted blanket should weigh from 5 to 15 pounds.
Older adults may want to use small or medium weighted blankets ranging from 5 to 8 pounds.
What if Weighted Blankets Don’t Work For Me?
Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT) simulates a huge hug when you scraped your knee so badly you could see the white layer of subdermal skin that you were SURE was bone. The pressure of the hug (or blanket) tells your body you’re safe, now. You can let go of the adrenaline because it’s not needed anymore. Now, hugs are way better than drugs, and they do their job a good portion of the time, but your body wouldn’t be chill with taking a break to hug it out if you were headed downstream straight for a waterfall. A hug wouldn’t be enough to make you feel safe in that scenario, so obviously there will be scenarios where you’re too worked up for an anxiety blanket to work. Doesn’t mean it won’t ever work, give it another try when it feels right again.
What Are My Options?
Weighted Blankets - Various Sizes
Individual Sleep Pod (as seen on Shark Tank)