Weighted Blanket Science - Benefits for Children and Adults
Weighted blankets have surged in popularity lately. Chances are, you've probably heard of them. So, what is all the fuss about? Why are weighted blankets so popular? How do they work? This page summarizes the latest weighted blankets science with links to the actual scientific articles provided at the bottom of the page. Read on to discover how these heavy blankets lower anxiety and blood pressure and promote better sleep.
Weighted blankets effectively reduce anxiety and stress
Are you or a loved one struggling with anxiety symptoms or sensory overload? A weighted blanket can help calm the central nervous system by a process called "deep pressure stimulation" or "deep pressure therapy". The deep pressure touch proprioceptive input of massage therapy works in a similar way.
Several scientific studies have demonstrated that the deep touch pressure stimulation provided by weighted blankets lowers stress hormone levels (cortisol and adrenaline) and triggers the release of neurotransmitters, which improve mood and soothe aches (serotonin and dopamine).
These are the same neurotransmitters released in your brain when you receive a hug from a loved one. How cool is that? These actions calm the sympathetic nervous system and lower your heart rate. You feel more relaxed. Your blood pressure goes down.
Weighted blankets are a natural sleep aid
If you chronically struggle with falling or staying asleep, you know painfully well how frustrating and exhausting it is. Poor sleep quality is not only tiring and annoying, it can lead to or exacerbate a myriad of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Unfortunately, sleep problems are very common in the United States, affecting as many as 50-70 million adult Americans. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder.
A weighted blanket can help both children and adults relax and fall asleep. The gentle deep pressure of a weighted blanket helps you toss and turn less at night and results in a more restful sleep. Users tend to stay asleep longer and report feeling more refreshed in the morning.
In addition to helping with insomnia, weighted blankets can alleviate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. And the awesome thing about weighted blankets is that they accomplish this safely and naturally.
There are many additional benefits of weighted blankets for children
They can help kids relax and focus on the task at hand. They can reduce tantrums, self-injury behavior, and stem repetitive behavior. In addition to helping children with insomnia and anxiety, weighted blankets can be beneficial to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Other benefits of weighted blankets for adults and the elderly
Weighted blankets can be helpful to adults and seniors with anxiety disorder, insomnia, sensory disorders, autism spectrum disorders, PTSD, cancer-related pain, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
Huggaroo Weighted Blankets
Since 2016, Huggaroo has been creating thoughtfully designed, luxurious, durable, and easy-to-care-for weighted blankets for both children and adults.
Currently, we make 3 different weighted blanket models for children. All weigh 7 lbs. Our weighted blankets for kids come in 3 colors:
Our weighted blankets for kids have a unique one-piece design. This is ideal for active children who like to play with their blankets and drag them all around the house. By permanently attaching the weighted quilt to the soft cover, we have ensured that the blanket's weight would remain perfectly distributed forever. The weighted quilt will never ball up or sag inside the duvet cover. Of course, our children’s weighted blankets are 100% washable.
For teenagers and adults
Currently, we make two adult models, both weighing 15 lb: a cooling weighted blanket made from sateen weave bamboo-derived rayon fabric (available in slate gray) and an extra fluffy and thick weighted blanket for the colder months (available in grey).
Huggaroo Weighted Lap Pads
Huggaroo also makes two cute weighted lap pads: a puppy and a lamb. Both are plush, adorable, and 100% machine-washable.
Both Huggaroo weighted lap pads weigh 3.6 lb and are perfect for young children. They may be placed over the lap while sitting or over the torso in bed. Much like a weighted blanket, the gentle deep pressure stimulation they provide can calm down, relax, lull a child to sleep, or help a child focus on a task at school or while doing homework. Our lap pads are portable and easy to pack. They may be used as a travel blanket replacement, sleep buddies, nap buddies, or study buddies.
SHOP HUGGAROO WEIGHTED BLANKETS
SHOP HUGGAROO WEIGHTED LAP PADS
Ackerley, R., G. Badre, and H. Olausson. Positive Effects of a Weighted Blanket on Insomnia. Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders (2015), 2(3):1-7.
Chen, Hsin-Yung, et al. Physiological effects of deep touch pressure on anxiety alleviation: The weighted blanket approach. Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering (2013), 33(5):463-470.
Mullen, Brian, et al. Exploring the safety and therapeutic effects of deep pressure stimulation using a weighted blanket. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health (2008), 24(1):65-89.
Novak, Theresa, et al. Pilot study of a sensory room in an acute inpatient psychiatric unit. Australasian Psychiatry (2012), 20(5):401-406.
Reynolds, Stacey, Shelly J. Lane, and Brian Mullen. Effects of deep pressure stimulation on physiological arousal. American Journal of Occupational Therapy (2015), 69(3):1-5.
VandenBerg, Nancy L. The use of a weighted vest to increase on-task behavior in children with attention difficulties. American Journal of Occupational Therapy (2001), 55:621-628.
Cox, Amy L., et al. The effects of weighted vests on appropriate in-seat behaviors of elementary-age students with autism and severe to profound intellectual disabilities. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (2009), 24(1):17-26.
Buckle, F., Franzsen, D., & Bester, J. The effect of the wearing of weighted vests on the sensory behaviour of learners diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder within a school context. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy (2011), 41(3):36–42.
Fertel-Daly, Doreen, Gary Bedell, and Jim Hinojosa. Effects of a weighted vest on attention to task and self-stimulatory behaviors in preschoolers with pervasive developmental disorders. American Journal of Occupational Therapy (2001), 55(6):629-640.
Olson, Laurette J., and Heather J. Moulton. Occupational therapists' reported experiences using weighted vests with children with specific developmental disorders. Occupational therapy international (2004), 11(1):52-66.
Olson, Laurette J., and Heather J. Moulton. Use of weighted vests in pediatric occupational therapy practice. Physical & occupational therapy in pediatrics (2010), 24(3):45-60.