Anxiety Keeping You Awake? Try This

An estimated 40 millions Americans over the age of 18 suffer from anxiety each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. This struggle is so much more than worrying about work or a family member, it is persistent and difficult to manage.

The connection between anxiety and insomnia is a frustrating cycle, like a merry-go-round of worry and sleeplessness. Not only do anxious thoughts keep individuals awake, but being severely underslept can also intensify symptoms of anxiety. This means that getting enough sleep is crucial to managing anxiety. We hope this creative solution just might do the trick.

With the prevalence of anxiety in the United States and the sleeplessness that often occurs as a result, creative and effective solutions for getting more sleep are important. Originally utilized for individuals with autism and sensory processing disorders, weighted blankets are offering anxiety sufferers a chance at a more restful night. Let's look at how they work and why they seem to be effective for many people.

What’s a Weighted Blanket?

A weighted blanket is made using tiny, weighted pellets between two large pieces of fabric. The weight of the blanket can vary, with the lightest blanket weighing 4 pounds and the heaviest weighing 15

The weight of the blanket is selected partially based on personal preference but is largely determined by the individual’s weight. For adults, an appropriate weight is a blanket that is between 5 and 10% of the individual’s body weight. Children are supposed to use a blanket that is 10% of their weight, plus an additional 1 to 2 pounds.

Weighted Blankets and Anxiety

Although newly popular among the general population, weighted blankets aren't new at all. These therapeutic blankets have been used by individuals with autism and sensory processing disorders for some time. 

Weighted blankets are supposed to have a calming effect, allowing individuals to relax and get some sleep. For this reason, they’re becoming a popular strategy for dealing with stress and anxiety that causes sleeplessness. The research is limited, however, with an older study in 2010 finding a 63% decrease in anxiety in adults who used weighted blankets to sleep. 

Is it Worth a Try?

If the research is limited, it makes sense to question if it is the right choice to try a weighted blanket for sleep. The answer is, truly, “it depends.” Individuals with sleep disorders and respiratory problems shouldn’t use the product, according to Harvard Health.

For those who have spoken with a doctor and determined that a weighted blanket is a safe choice for them, there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest this may be worth a try. If it works for you, great! Although weighted blankets can be found priced at $50, most options cost $100 or more.

If this alternative treatment for sleeplessness caused by anxiety doesn’t work, reach out to a healthcare provider to brainstorm new ideas. Sometimes creativity works where conventional wisdom fails.

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5/7/2022 4:00:00 AM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
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Weighted blankets are supposed to have a calming effect. In Az. summertime- NOT !
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