Common Symptoms Of Ptsd
PTSD manifests differently in different people. However, there are some common signs that you might be suffering from the disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, symptoms of PTSD may not arise until months or even years after a traumatic event so its important not to brush off symptoms just because time has passed and you assume youre over it.
People are generally diagnosed if they experience some of these common symptoms for at least one month:
Weight Of The Blanket
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind while shopping for a weighted blanket is its weight and size. Typically, the weight of a weighted blanket varies between 5 and 30 pounds. If you are an adult, a weighted blanket with 10 percent of your total body weight is more suitable, and when you purchase for a child, the weight of the blanket must be one or two pounds greater than 10 percent of the total body weight.
However, children with a weight below 20 pounds should never use a weighted blanket. By choosing a perfect weight of the blanket, you are perfectly wrapped within the blanket, which gives a hugging effect that induces a sense of calmness and reduces stress, and keeps you stay asleep throughout the night.
How Weighted Blankets Work
Weighted blankets act like a hug, using a technique called deep pressure stimulation to make the user feel more secure. This is a deep touch pressure applied to the body by hands, tools, or blankets that can relax the nervous system.
Temple Grandin first discovered deep pressure therapy when searching for something to ease the anxiety of children on the autistic spectrum. She wanted to provide something for these patients that didnt feel confining or restricting, so she came up with a hug machine that applied gentle pressure to the body. When she did this, she noticed a release of oxytocin in her patients.
Using this research, weighted blankets were developed. They give a similar experience to the hug machine by lightly pressing on the body and stimulating a similar release of oxytocin.
Weighted blankets act as a form of deep pressure therapy that can increase the amount of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These are feel good chemicals that can cause the user to feel a sense of calm, happiness, and well-being. Weighted blankets have been used to treat symptoms of autism, sensory processing disorder, and depression for this reason.
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About Weighted Blankets For Ptsd
PTSD is defined by the National Center for PTSD as “a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.” Over 7 million Americans suffer from PTSD, most commonly induced through combat or highly stressful events in ones childhood. Although, PTSD can manifest itself in different ways and each person will cope with the disorder differently, there is significant anecdotal evidence that support the use of weighted blankets for PTSD.
Some of the symptoms of PTSD that can be alleviated through sensory therapy include:
Should You Purchase A Weighted Blanket
Of course, a weighted blanket is not a cure for improving sleep. You still need to follow what doctors call good sleep hygiene — regular bedtimes, using the bedroom only for sleep and sex, turning off electronics an hour or more before bedtime, and keeping the lighting, sounds, and temperature conducive to sleep.
Youve done all that, and you still cant sleep – argh!
Experts say weighted blankets could help with sleeplessness. Insomnia is frustrating, and can produce anxiety even in people who are not generally anxious — which only makes the insomnia problem worse!You may need a little extra soothing at bedtime — the soothing that a weighted blanket is designed to provide. The steady deep pressure from a weighted blanket can quiet the bodys arousal, leading to less anxiety and tension.
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Can Weighted Blankets Help With Ptsd
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that weighted blankets can help with PTSD. Many people report feeling more calm and relaxed after using a weighted blanket, and some say it has helped them to sleep better. There is also some scientific evidence to support the use of weighted blankets for PTSD. A study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease found that people with PTSD who used a weighted blanket for three months had reduced symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The study also found that the use of a weighted blanket did not result in any adverse side effects.If you are considering using a weighted blanket for PTSD, it is important to talk to your doctor first. Weighted blankets can be expensive, and they are not right for everyone. If you have any medical conditions that could be exacerbated by the use of a weighted blanket, or if you are pregnant, it is important to consult with your doctor before using one.
Increase In Happy Hormones
Serotonin, known commonly as happiness hormones, is considered to be a mood stabilizer. This hormone is responsible for healthy sleep in every human system. Weighted blankets can stimulate your body through touch pressure stimulation that results in the secretion of serotonin and dopamine in your body. With increased serotonin levels in your body, your sleep cycle can be regulated, which ends up in deep and relaxed sleep.
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What About A Weighted Blanket For Kids With Anxiety
The Nappling is our 8 lb weighted blanket designed especially for kids. It harnesses all the stand-out features and benefits of our signature Nappers, resized to suit kids ages four to fourteen. Young ones will enjoy a Nappling as both a sensory blanket and a stress blanket, with its calming texture and soothing weight.
Experts say that the sense of touch can help individuals cope with stress. If you have a child dealing with anxiety or healing from distress, weighted blankets can serve as a source of comfort through the sense of touch. When individuals use their five senses whether by smelling a calming aroma, touching something soft or cool, or enjoying the taste of a favorite snack it helps our bodies to feel calm again. This is why the soft touch of our Nappling blanket can be just the thing to help your child alleviate their anxiety and rest easier.
Curious how these anxiety-easing benefits are brought about? Read on.
Is It Ok To Sleep With A Weighted Blanket Every Night
The therapeutic benefits of a weighted blanket are best felt when used consistently. It’s a little bit like training your brain your weighted blanket is telling your body every night that you are safe and well. The sense of comfort this provides trains our bodies to release those “happy hormones”… leaving us feeling calmer and more peaceful the next day.
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Bearaby Cotton Napper Weighted Blankets
Bearaby cotton napper weighted blankets are extremely soft and made of organic cotton, which is very suitable in all seasons. They are medically proven to be the best natural aid for getting deeper sleep cycles that can stimulate happy hormones in your body. The organic staple cotton used in this blanket gives a soft buttery feel and is a healthier choice. The material used is free from harmful chemicals and artificial softeners.
Weights with 15, 20, 25 lb blankets are available, which are 95 percent organic cotton and 5 percent spandex. These blankets are to be washed separately in cold water using a mild detergent. For best results in longevity, avoid fabric softeners and bleach.
How Can A Weighted Blanket Help With Ptsd
Through deep-touch pressure stimulation, a weighted blanket PTSD can stimulate your body, producing more serotonin, which is known as the happiness hormone. This blanket not only helps regulate your bodys sleep cycle, but it can also alleviate PTSD symptoms.
A weighted blanket molds to your body like a comforting hug, helping your nervous systems to relax almost immediately and forget about PTSD. In other words, the weighted blanket stimulates the process of relaxation naturally, without the need for any drugs or medication for PTSD symptoms.
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Where To Buy Weighted Blankets For Ptsd
Most weighted blankets are sold online but may also be available through pother PTSD and veteran communities. Weighted blankets for PTSD currently are for sale at YorkvilleBlankets.com. Yorkville blankets are a premium quality brand that offer affordable options to try and see if a weighted blanket could be the answer for you. Yorkville Weighted Blankets offer an attractive blanket that is designed to provide the perfect amount of sensory input across your body without providing excessive heat, allowing you to get a good night sleep without overheating.
How Weighted Blankets Can Help With Ptsd
PTSD, which stands for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, generally occurs after someone has witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. A diagnosis for PTSD can be complicated by the fact that the term traumatic can mean very different things to different people. An occurrence which might be a seriously traumatic event to one person may barely phase someone else. Now, this is all pretty standard information on PTSD, but what many people dont know is that weve known about PTSD for over a century.
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Helps Ease Autism Symptoms
If autism is the issue, heres good news. A weighted blanket may help!
Massage or touch therapy has been found to help control the symptoms of autism. Researchers have noted that touch therapy helps by decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and increasing levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which improves mood, impulse control, and more. Research involving 73 young people with autism spectrum disorder and severe sleep problems slept with a weighted blanket and with a regular blanket. Sleep tests and parent diaries showed that the weighted blanket didnt improve their sleep. However, the kids said that they preferred the weighted blanket – so researchers speculate there may be a benefit that the testing didnt identify.
What Is A Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket is a blanket that contains glass beads, plastic pellets, ball bearings, or other materials that add to the blankets overall weight. The intent behind the extra pressure is to reduce anxiety and help stimulate sleep.
While weight options vary between models, most weighted blankets range from 15 to 25 pounds. In some cases, travel and child sizes of under 10 pounds are also available.
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We Love To Be Cuddled
On top of all of this science, cozying up under a Napper brings a sense of warmth, relief, and security often described as similar to a hug. A weighted blanket naturally mimics this comforting sensation that our bodies are designed to crave.
Ever wonder why babies sleep better when theyre swaddled? Our knitted weighted blankets draw on the same concept of applying gentle full-body pressure to help grownups struggling with stress or anxiety. Who knew that a bit of delightful pressure was the ticket to more calm and better sleep?
There are lots of ways you can invest in better sleep in addition to weighted blankets. You could try sleeping with a body pillow or listening to white noise. Even just keeping your sheets fresh and clean can make a big difference when it comes to sleep quality!
Along with wrapping up in a cozy Napper or Nappling, its helpful to incorporate complementary stress-reducing strategies like:
- Maintaining a balanced diet
- Staying connected dont underestimate the power of a good laugh with a loved one
Baloo Living Weighted Blanket
Baloo Livings Weighted Blanket features glass beads and comes in various sizes, ranging from a mini 9-pound version to a 25-pound option sized for a King or California King mattress. I own the 12-pound throw blanket, which fits snugly on my couch and offers a comfortable weight when Im relaxing in the evening.
The blanket is made with a 100% cotton exterior and interior, and its both machine-washable and dryer-safe, according to the brand . The blanket also features small loops sewn into the seams at the sides and corners to connect to a duvet cover, and its available in colors like Pebble White and Clay.
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Helps People With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Weighted blankets may help adults and children who are living on the autism spectrum and experience sensory processing disorders. People with this disorder have difficulty coping with sensory input that includes sounds, light, and movement.
Weighted blankets are one therapeutic strategy that may relieve insomnia and high levels of anxiety associated with this sensory overload. In some cases, they’ve been recommended for years as part of an overall approach to relieving these symptoms.
One study included 37 adults, and 48 children and adolescents, who were diagnosed with either ADHD or autism spectrum disorder.
They used weighted blankets at some point during a four-year window, although in different ways at different times: 78% used them to sleep at night, while 24% used them during the day while reading, watching television, or relaxing.
Of the 85 participants, 59% said the weighted blanket helped them to sleep while 45.8% said that using the blanket appeared to help them in their daily routines.
How Can Weighted Blankets Help With Ptsd
Getting effective treatment is critical to improving PTSD symptoms, healing from past trauma and feeling safe in the world. Unfortunately, many trauma survivors dont respond well to conventional therapies or may be reluctant to seek professional help in the first place.
Weighted blankets, while not a first-line treatment for PTSD, are one emerging complementary treatment option for trauma survivors. These cozy blankets use deep touch pressure stimulation, a scientifically proven mechanism that applies firm but gentle pressure to the body, similar to being hugged. This soothing pressure activates the parasympathetic nervous system, triggering the release of relaxation-inducing hormones that make the user feel safe, relaxed and comfortable.
Here are some other ways people living with PTSD may benefit by using a weighted blanket.
- Alleviates Anxiety and Panic Attacks Many people with PTSD experience recurrent panic attacks waves of intense fear followed by a racing heart, sweating, dizziness and other unpleasant physical symptoms. Weighted blankets can help you get through these scary episodes by calming your heart rate and breathing when youre feeling anxious. They also help decrease cortisol, the bodys primary stress hormone that can create additional anxiety when chronically elevated.
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Your Guide To The Best Weighted Blankets
People will do just about anything to get a full night’s sleep without any interruptions. This includes the use of white noise machines, blackout curtains, eye masks, and aromatherapy. It may also involve taking sleep aids such as melatonin and Ambien.
One relatively new tactic for achieving restful sleep is to do it under a weighted blanket. Various studies have shown that these blankets provide something called deep pressure stimulation. Deep pressure stimulation makes you feel as if you’re wrapped in a firm hug. This pressure has a soothing effect that helps people of all ages rest more easily.
If youre exhausted and have exhausted all other methods of getting a good nights sleep, a weighted blanket could be your ticket to Dreamland. This guide will tell you more about weighted blankets and give pointers on choosing the best one for you.
Finding The Right Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets are exactly what they sound like: heavy blankets. But they are not just heavy comforters or quilts. These blankets are designed to evenly distribute pressure across the body.
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Most weighted, calming, or anxiety blankets consist of small square pockets which are filled with weights, including beads, pellets, or even rice. The filled, square pockets are stitched together like a quilt, ensuring that the weight of the blanket is dispersed evenly and not all of the weights fall to one part.
Weighted blankets do not typically come in standard bed sizes, such as twin, queen, or king. This is because they are not designed to fit a bed rather, they are designed to fit a person.
Most manufacturers or retailers will have the dimensions of the blanket listed so that the correct size can be chosen.
There are a variety of online retailers that allow consumers to custom make a blanket with specific dimensions, weights, or fabric. This is a great option, but be advised it will typically take longer to receive the weighted blanket when it has to be made-to-order.
The Right Weight
When choosing the right weight for a blanket, the typical formula is 10 percent of body weight for adults.
If kids are using weighted blankets, the formula is generally 10 percent of their body weight, plus one to two pounds. However, these formulas are just guidelines that offer a starting point.
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