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Why use a weighted blanket?

Posted by Brian Calabrese on

There are a number of reasons why someone would be looking to purchase a weighted blanket. Here are few you may not know about:

To help improve sleep and keep you sleeping through the night
 
Weighted blankets cause the release of serotonin, which is a natural chemical in the body that is involved with creating an improved mood and positive feelings.  Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the body in regulating the sleep/wake cycle. Interestingly, children with Autism are known to have low serotonin levels in their brains. 
 
To help reduce anxiety and stress with procedures

 

A study in the Journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, published in 2008, found that individuals who used weighted blankets experienced a 63% reduction in anxiety after use, and 78% preferred the weighted blanket as a calming modality. Information provided by the website DentistryIQ notes that a  study published in the Journal of Pediatrics says that a relaxing environment, including weight on the body, significantly relieves stress at the dentist's office. Dr. Michele Shapiro of the Issie Shapiro Educational Center and colleagues from Hebrew University in Israel studied the effects of the sensory environment on a child's anxiety levels during two separate routine cleaning visits to the dentist. Dr. Shapiro''s study showed that in normal children, the duration of anxious behavior dropped significantly, from an average of 3.69 minutes to 1.48 minutes, while in those with developmental problems, anxious behavior dropped from 23.44 minutes to 9.04 minutes, according to the researchers.

 

Reducing distress in people with anxiety disorders

A pilot study performed on inpatient psychiatric patients showed that those individuals who used the weighted blanket reported significantly greater reductions in distress and clinician-rated anxiety than those who did not. 

 

 

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