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How to Use a Weighted Blanket for Anxiety

If you have an anxiety disorder or know someone who does, then you probably know how difficult it can be to deal with on a regular basis. Sometimes, anxiety is triggered by a phobia or a traumatic event, while other times it seems to come out of nowhere. Anxiety can take on many different forms, and all of them can make your life miserable in some way or another.

Fortunately, that’s where weighted throw blankets come in. Designed to mimic the feeling of a gentle hug, these soothing blankets use a technique called deep pressure touch stimulation to promote a sense of calm and relaxation.

If you’re looking for a natural way to ease anxiety symptoms, a weighted throw blanket could be the therapy tool you need to get things under control. Below, learn more about weighted blankets and how to use one for anxiety.

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How Do Weighted Blankets Help with Anxiety?

When you’re feeling anxious or scared, your autonomic nervous system — which unconsciously regulates bodily functions such as sweating, breathing, blood circulation and digestion — prepares your body to keep itself alive by choosing to rest or to fight. This is known as the fight or flight response.

The pressure stimulation of the weighted blanket essentially puts your nervous system into “rest” mode, helping to lower your heart rate and breathing. This can make you feel more relaxed and provide an overall sense of calm. 

What Does the Science Say?

In case you’re wondering, the soothing benefits of weighted blankets are backed by some research. In a randomized, controlled study, participants with insomnia reported significantly reduced insomnia, as well as reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

In another study, researchers asked 120 participants with anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders to sleep with either a light plastic blanket or a weighted blanket. The results showed that participants who used the weighted blanket reported reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to those who used a light plastic blanket.

couple cuddle in blanket watch tv

How to Find a Weighted Blanket for Anxiety

The first step is to find a weighted blanket that best suits your needs. These days, there are many different types of weighted blankets available, from weighted throw blankets you can use on the couch to cooling weighted blankets that help regulate body temperature.

Everyone has different preferences in a weighted blanket. If you’re planning to sleep with yours, we recommend choosing a weighted blanket that will fit the entirety of your bed. However, if you’re using your weighted blanket to calm down during the day, go for a smaller option — like our popular Gravity Weighted Blanket in single size — that you can use on the couch or your favorite armchair. 

As a blanket rule for everyone (pun not intended), choose a blanket that is around 10 percent of your body weight. If the blanket is too light, you won’t feel the effects. If it’s too heavy, you’ll feel trapped, which could make your anxiety worse.

How to Use a Weighted Blanket for Anxiety

When it comes to using a weighted blanket for anxiety, there are no hard and fast rules. What works for someone with trauma-related anxiety may not work for someone with generalized anxiety disorder. 

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you get the most anxiety relief from your weighted blanket:

  • Keep your blanket in an easily accessible spot. When you’re experiencing a panic attack, the last thing you want to do is run all over the house to find your weighted blanket. Keep it in a designated spot — like the couch or the bed — and keep other comforts nearby, such as reading books and essential oils.
  • Cover your body from the neck down. Covering your body from the neck down will ensure that the blanket stimulates multiple pressure points on your body. However, some people with anxiety feel better with the blanket below their chest. Play around to find what works best for reducing your anxiety symptoms.
  • Try a weighted eye mask. Weighted blankets aren’t the only option. If you’re looking for something else to experiment with, try a weighted sleep mask instead. Like weighted blankets, these soothing masks use gentle pressure to ease stress and provide relief from tension headaches.  

woman wearing weighted eye mask

  • Wrap yourself in a cozy, weighted robe. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, you might try lounging in a weighted robe. Perfect for all-day comfort and relaxation, these soothing robes are especially useful for people with long-lasting anxiety symptoms.

Get Better Rest and Relaxation with Gravity Blankets

If you’re looking for natural ways to manage your anxiety symptoms, try a weighted blanket from Gravity Blankets. Whether you’re cuddling with your weighted blanket on the couch or using it to get a peaceful night’s sleep, you’re bound to feel more relaxed.

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