Destination Health: Uncovering the Benefits of Weighted Blankets
Editor’s note: Destination Health is produced in a partnership with Millennium Physician Group. The views expressed here and in all Destination Health articles are those of the author/MPG and do not necessarily reflect the views of Waterman Broadcasting or NBC2.
Gravity blankets have been gaining in popularity recently, and the Pandemic provided the perfect testing ground for this “weighty” issue. Since the start of the Pandemic, a lot of people have been seeking new ways to ease their anxiety, and some of them – not so healthy.
Sleep Specialist Dr. Fariha Abbasi-Feinberg, M.D., says adding a weighted blanket could calm your fears. “The weighted blankets help with anxiety in general,” she explains. “So in terms of COVID anxiety, I think it’s just an extension of general anxiety. The weighted blankets have actually been really fabulous for folks who have insomnia and anxiety.”
Pandemic or not, most humans crave physical contact. As a result, weighted blankets have been shown to ease anxiety, put you to sleep faster and help you stay asleep longer.
“It has shown that that grounded feeling is really comforting to a lot of individuals,” says Dr. Abbasi-Feinberg. “It basically increases your parasympathetic response, which means that your rest and digestive system are working better versus your fight and flight system, which is the sympathetic. So the balance seems to be in favor of sleep with the weighted blankets.”
Dr. Abbasi-Feinberg says weighted blankets may not be for everyone, but the only way to know for sure is to try one on for size. “You can start just putting it on your legs,” she advises, “and then move it up and see how you feel with it. It’s so personal, so just go by what feels good to you.
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