Fall is here, and with, it cooler temperatures, which means snuggling, warm beverages, and draping 30 pound blankets on yourself!
Occupational therapists have long known that weighted blankets, vests, or the like can help people with a variety of disorders such as autism, ADHD, or fibromyalgia feel and perform better throughout their day.
How weighted blankets work
Deep touch/pressure has many positive effects on the body and mind. Deep pressure can increase the release of serotonin and dopamine, both of which can affect movement, impulse control, and mood regulation. Deep pressure also can decrease levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that is linked to weight gain and long term health effects. Think of the last time you got a great hug from someone, or a fabulous deep pressure massage and how it made you feel. Calmer? More focused? Able to relax a little? Deep pressure at work!
There are also studies that find that weighted blanket therapy can lower blood pressure, reduce pulse rates and it’s reported that 63 percent of study participants felt less anxious after using the blanket.
In addition, some studies that suggest that deep pressure and its boosting effect on serotonin can positively affect sleeping patterns, helping to get to sleep faster, stay asleep longer, and improve the quality of sleep throughout the night.
Who Might Benefit From Weighted Blankets
There are many people who may benefit from deep pressure therapy-people on the spectrum, people who might struggle with organization (think ADHD or PTSD), people who are chronically stressed out or overwhelmed, people who experience poor sleep, or people who just need a good hug once in a while!
If you or someone you like or love would like to speak to a therapist about deep pressure therapy, please feel free to reach out or come in for a free consult! Our mission is to improve the lives of the people we serve and our community!