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So, do the raved-about blankets really work? We asked the experts.
If you suffer from anxiety, you may have been recommended a weighted blanket to help ease some of the symptoms. Ever heard of them? They’re essentially similar to normal blankets but they usually come with glass or plastic beads stitched inside. They’re designed to apply extra weight to the body, which in turn promises to help soothe feelings of stress and anxiety.
Sound good? We were intrigued by these blankets, so thought it about time to look into what they can actually do, and whether they can really help soothe the symptoms of anxiety. Before reading, don’t forget to check out our guide on stress vs anxiety, to help tell the difference between how you might be feeling.
Do weighted blankets help with anxiety?
It’s important to note that there aren’t currently many research studies around this, meaning evidence is more anecdotal and not necessarily scientifically proven. But the theory is that weighted blankets can improve anxiety because the brain registers them in the same way it would a hug.
“I often use weighted blankets for clients who come into clinic particularly nervous or anxious, and for young people with hyperactivity disorders such as ADHD and ASD, who find it difficult to self-soothe or to sit still for any length of time,” Marra tells Marie Claire.
“It promotes the release of your feel-good hormones, dopamine, and serotonin, boosting your sense of happiness and overall well-being,” she adds. With this, “levels of adrenaline and cortisol (our fight and flight hormones) dissipate, further reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety and so helping to centre the mind.”
Do weighted blankets help you sleep?
It’s also suggested that weighted blankets and the cosiness they create can help to improve sleep and feelings of relaxation. Dr Becky Spelman, Psychologist and Clinical Director of Private Therapy Clinic, believes these feelings of being “grounded and secure” can make people “feel more embodied, which means that they’re in the present moment – less focused on their thoughts and more in touch with the relaxing sensation that a weighted blanket can bring.” She adds that this is “a more mindful way to be.”
“I therefore believe that they are useful and eagerly await scientific study which will support what is being reported,” says the psychologist.
The bottom line? These blankets are definitely worth a try if anxiety is messing up your sleep pattern, however, it’s unlikely that they will help tackle all the symptoms. If you are struggling, we’ve got lots of mental health help that can benefit everyone.
Where to buy weighted blankets:
If after reading this, you are keen to try one out for yourself, we’ve got a whole guide on the best weighted blankets to buy. We’ve also included some of the best deals below. A bargain and a good night’s sleep? Sign us up.
Emma Hug Weighted Blanket,
was £199 now £109.45 | Emma Sleep
This 7kg weighted blanket is filled with glass beads and has breathable cotton as it’s top fabric, with a removable blanket cover making it easy to clean.