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The Benefits of a Weighted Blanket

By Sara Butler

Weighted blankets have become a trendy item, but are they worth all the hype? Many people swear that the blanket has a calming effect on them as they try to go to sleep. Plus, blankets have been utilized by occupational therapists for quite some time as a way to help people with sensory processing issues. But you don't have to have a sensory processing issue to benefit from a weighted blanket. In fact, there are benefits to weighted blankets for just about everybody.

The Calming Effect

The pressure put on your body by a weighted blanket is called deep touch pressure. When your body is presented with this sensory information, then it sends a signal to your nervous system to be calm. In other words, the sensations provided by a weighted blanket are universally acknowledged to provide a calming sensation to almost everyone. So if you could use a little calm to help you sleep, then a weighted blanket may be the ticket.

It's Like a Hug

Many people love the feeling of being hugged and held -- and that's exactly the type of feeling a weighted blanket is meant to provide. A good weighted blanket won't make you feel hot or constrained, but as if you're getting a great hug instead. The reason for this? The way the blankets are made. The weight is achieved through small beads that fill the blanket, providing a firm sensation that hugs you without feeling like too much.

It Helps With Anxiety and Stress

If you struggle with feeling anxious or if you've had a long day in which you've been under a lot of stress, then a weighted blanket may be the ticket to helping you relieve those feelings. The pressure produced by the blanket has a way of helping you to de-stress and relax.

How to Find the Right Blanket

Buying a blanket that is the right weight is the key to helping you reap these benefits. In general, you want to try to find a blanket that is about 10 percent of your total body weight. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, then you want to find a 20-pound weighted blanket. Abiding by this rule, even for children, helps to ensure they're safe to use and that you're free to move underneath them.

Weighted blankets can help some people, so give it a try if you think you may be one of them!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.

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