Weighted Blankets for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

weighted blankets for PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder experienced by persons after they face a traumatic event in their life. Anyone in the world can face a life-threatening event at any point in their lifetime. There is a higher risk for such persons being affected with PTSD, which is associated with several symptoms where sleep deprivation is most common.

If you are among the sufferers of PTSD who need to ease your PTSD symptoms and improve your sleep quality, and if you are reading this right now, yes! You are at the right place. Despite several medications to cure PTSD, the use of weighted blankets helps to reduce the symptoms, as proven by some latest research. Keep reading to get rid of your worries with PTSD.

Weighted Blankets for PTSD: Summary

What is PTSD?

People of all ages can be a victim of this Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as this condition comes to a person while or after experiencing a trauma in their life. Trauma may include any fearful event like a natural disaster, violence, accidents, or even sexual violence. People affected with PTSD often tend to relive the traumatic event repeatedly as they could not recover with time. 

Intrusion, avoidance, negative thoughts, arousal, and reactive symptoms are symptoms common with PSTD sufferers. These symptoms can turn into nightmares and flashbacks that have a higher risk of interrupting sleep during the night. Several medications and therapies are available that can help to control and reduce the symptoms of PTSD, and weighted blanket usage is one of the efficient treatments that help with sleepless nights.

Weighted Blankets for PTSD

Weighted blankets are therapeutic blankets that are now becoming an important part of many people’s daily routine as stress relief and maintaining good sleeping habits. These blankets may have varying weights between 5 and 30 pounds, and this weight produces extra pressure, which enhances a therapeutic technique of deep pressure, also called pressure therapy.

The gentle pressure thus created gives a positive impact on one’s mood and feelings as this pressure created can be more or less compared to the feeling of being held or hugged by a human. Regular use of weighted blankets can reduce anxiety, calm down your body, improve sleep quality, calm down the nervous system, and serve as a natural aid for treating PTSD and other anxiety-related problems. 

Chenille, cotton, fleece, and mink are fabrics used to make quality and best-weighted blankets. A weighted blanket of some type comes with an outer cover that can be removed and washed, whereas some types can be washed without removing the cover. A best-weighted blanket promotes deep and relaxed sleep and creates positive effects on a person’s physical and mental health.

Best Weighted Blankets for PTSD in 2022

Combing various websites and online reviews, some top picks of weighted blankets in 2022 are listed here. These top picks are sorted out based on the most important factors like quality, longevity, breathability, type of fabric used, and softness of the weighted blankets.  

1. Gravity Weighted Blanket

Gravity Weighted Blanket is a superior grade blanket that imparts less weight on the body where sleep quality can be improved. They work by simulating the feeling of being cuddled or hugged, which induces the secretion of serotonin hormones which is essential for relaxed, deep sleep. Gravity blankets give a deeper sleep which improves functions of your brain and cognitive abilities. It also helps optimize your heart rate, thereby promoting cardiovascular health. 

Available weights are 15, 20, and 25lb; however, selecting one with 10 percent of your body weight is highly recommended. Gravity with a size of 72″ x 48″ is available, and with this blanket, the weight will be evenly distributed over your body resulting in a grounding experience

The exterior cover of this weighted blanket for PTSD is made of micro-fleece that gives a super soft effect, while the interior is made of cotton and fine glass beads. The outer cover is machine washable, while the internal blanket is hand washable.

2. Bearaby Cotton Napper Weighted Blankets

Bearaby cotton napper weighted blankets are extremely soft and made of organic cotton, which is very suitable in all seasons. They are medically proven to be the best natural aid for getting deeper sleep cycles that can stimulate happy hormones in your body. The organic staple cotton used in this blanket gives a soft buttery feel and is a healthier choice. The material used is free from harmful chemicals and artificial softeners. 

Weights with 15, 20, 25 lb blankets are available, which are 95 percent organic cotton and 5 percent spandex. These blankets are to be washed separately in cold water using a mild detergent. For best results in longevity, avoid fabric softeners and bleach.

3. Luna Cooling Weighted Blankets

The Luna weighted blanket is crafted with sustainable cotton and designed for those looking for a lightweight weighted blanket. Customers describe the Luna Weighted Blanket as soft and cool since it’s made from organic cotton. The blanket was designed to help clients relax and feel hugged.

Luna weighted blankets have various convenient features, such as ties around the edges that keep them attached to the cover and pockets with even distribution of the glass beads.

This weighted blanket is great for treating PTSD symptoms and it features 24 colors and patterns and comes in five to 30 pounds of weight and sizes for twin, full, queen, and king beds. Several weight options are available, ranging between 15 and 25 pounds. Additionally, customization options are available.

Why Should you use Weighted Blankets for Treating PTSD?

PTSD is a condition that is usually developed in a person after experiencing stressful and traumatic experiences. The very next thing after a stressful situation is reminding the incident one or more times in a day. This may result in long sleepless nights as symptoms like stress, anxiety, and panic disorders worsen during nights. 

Increase in Happy Hormones

Serotonin, known commonly as happiness hormones, is considered to be a mood stabilizer. This hormone is responsible for healthy sleep in every human system. Weighted blankets can stimulate your body through touch pressure stimulation that results in the secretion of serotonin and dopamine in your body. With increased serotonin levels in your body, your sleep cycle can be regulated, which ends up in deep and relaxed sleep. 

Relaxes the Nervous System

Other symptoms related to PTSD are also found to get submerged when weighted blankets take part in your daily routine. Weighted blankets are also helpful in relaxing the entire nervous system in your body, making you forget about the PTSD and symptoms associated with it. In the short term, relaxation is done in your body naturally without the intervention of any medications or drugs. 

A recent study states that sufferers who continuously use weighted blankets are said to have a calmer sleep at night. Peaceful sleep can make a person feel refreshed and more active during the daytime. This improves social conversations of the person at day time which makes them feel enthusiastic and can effectively involve also in their areas of work.

Eliminate Toss and Turn

Tossing and turning at night on your bed is one of the weird feelings that can affect the levels of sleep to a greater extent. Nights with a weighted blanket help eliminate the toss and turns on your bed, as their comfort can give you a soft touch and a calm sleep, and when the blanket is at the top of your body, the body’s movements can greatly be controlled. 

Put your Body in Rest Mode

Shortness of breath increased heartbeat rate is some common symptoms associated with stress, anxiety, and PTSD, which can directly affect calm and peaceful sleep at night. The overactive nervous system is the major reason for these kinds of symptoms in the human body, leading a person to be hyperactive. When weighted blankets are used, your body’s nervous system will be switched to rest mode, thus alleviating the post effects of anxiety. 

Reducing Panic Attacks

Touch therapy stimulated by the weighted blanket has proved to decrease heartbeat levels to a normal level, thereby reducing certain kinds of illness associated with quickened heart rate. One of the PTSD symptoms, panic attacks, can also be prevented with regular use of weighted blankets to get better sleep and lead a normal life. Getting wrapped with weighted blankets during sleep gives a cuddling effect, creating a feeling of security. As a result, you feel peaceful and relaxed during the night.

Guide to Find the Right Weighted Blanket for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Here is a list of some common factors that can guide you in choosing a perfect weighted blanket.

Weight of the Blanket

The first and foremost thing to keep in mind while shopping for a weighted blanket is its weight and size. Typically, the weight of a weighted blanket varies between 5 and 30 pounds. If you are an adult, a weighted blanket with 10 percent of your total body weight is more suitable, and when you purchase for a child, the weight of the blanket must be one or two pounds greater than 10 percent of the total body weight.

However, children with a weight below 20 pounds should never use a weighted blanket. By choosing a perfect weight of the blanket, you are perfectly wrapped within the blanket, which gives a hugging effect that induces a sense of calmness and reduces stress, and keeps you stay asleep throughout the night.

Size of the Blanket

The secondary thing to keep in mind is the size. Perfect size for the weighted blanket includes dimensions of your bed and your height. Height is not that much important compared to weight, but when you need to choose a perfect blanket, then height matters. It is always advisable to choose a blanket that has a size a bit larger than you. There is a common practice of sharing a weighted blanket with couples these days.

This doesn’t sound dubious as long as both the individuals are comfortable with each other. But this kind of sharing turns out to be chaotic when both the individuals have an apparent difference in their weights. If you are choosing a normal size blanket, the weight of the blanket should not be less than ten percent of the individual’s average weight. 

Size in case of Children's

In the case of children, wrapping them with a blanket that suits the weight of an adult is a bad practice, and inversely adults using a weighted blanket of lesser weight than that of their ten percent may also end up in vain. The ten percent rule should be used to get a perfect weighted blanket for children.

However, the best way is to consult a pediatrician before choosing a blanket for your children. For children weighing below 20 pounds, usage of the weighted blanket is highly not recommended, and also with children below the age of two, even if their weights exceed 20 pounds.

Infants below the age of two can easily become overheated. They cannot remove away the blanket when it accidentally falls on their face, which could trouble them to breathe properly. Considering the size, the length of the blanket should be enough to cover you from your chin to feet, while the width must be wide enough to cover you underneath comfortably. 

The mobility issue is also to be tackled while talking about appropriate size. If the primary use of the weighted blanket is only to sleep on a bed, the larger blanket will be a perfect choice. If you decide to use it in your travel time, it is better to go with blankets of smaller sizes. 

Fillers and Temperature

Fillers used in the weighted blankets are made of different fabric types. Depending upon the fabric type and their weight, the thickness and density of the blanket get affected. Choosing the perfect type of fabric used is also considerable. Pellets, beads, rice, Polly pellets, satin, velvet, flannel, polyester, and fleece are some common fillers used evenly distributed inside the weighted blankets to make them look proportionate.

Some weighted blankets use bamboo or cotton to design their covers and fillers as glass beads. Weighted blankets of this type are normally called cooling blankets and are suitable for those who love to sleep hotter. Once they are filled with weight and stitched together, the size and thickness of the pocketed squares will also affect the blanket’s size. A blanket of ten pounds that is 36 by 48 inches will be thicker than one that measures 40 by 52 inches. 

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

Before final selection, a few more factors are to be considered. One of the factors is the temperature; if you are a cold-natured person who loves to sleep warmer, a weighted blanket made up of a fabric that can hold heat will be the better choice.

If you are a person who experiences night sweats or your body is undergoing any hormonal change like menopause, the cotton fabric would be a perfect choice. Finding a good manufacturer is also vital and can be achieved by reading feedback and reviews from different manufacturers’ websites.

Other Ways for PTSD Sufferers to Get a Good Night's Sleep

sleeping better with weighted blanket on

However, weighted blankets are medically proven to accompany a good sleep with PTSD sufferers. Some other ways can also be taken into account to get a calm and relaxed sleep cycle, as proper sleep hygiene can reduce PTSD symptoms to a greater extent. Your sleeping environment must be dark, cool, and quiet, enhancing deeper sleep.

It would be better if the bedroom is kept reserved only for sleep and sex so that once you enter the room, your mind will automatically get prepared for a good sleep rather than thinking about other kinds of stuff. 

Following a healthy diet, maintaining regular bedtime schedules, avoiding caffeine before your bedtime, getting regular exercises, avoiding contact with a digital screen an hour before your sleep, getting a warm bath before bedtime are the ways that improve your sleep quality.

If you experience racing thoughts that do not let you sleep when you are in bed, get out from that room and invest some time doing things that relax and calm you and return to bed only after you feel sleepy. By doing so, the mental association between your bed and sleep can be strengthened.

Weighted Blankets for PTSD: Frequently Asked Questions

How do Weighted Blankets Help with PTSD?

The touch pressure created by the weighted blankets helps to calm down your nervous system. These blankets put your body into rest mode where the symptoms like breathlessness, increased heart rate, lack of proper sleep cycle, and anxiety can be controlled and give a sense of calm.

Do Weighted Blankets Help with PTSD?

Weighted blankets can help with PTSD by helping to attain a relaxed state in your body and giving you an improved quality of sleep. A night of good sleep can reduce other symptoms associated with PTSD.

How Heavy Should my Weighted Blanket be

Recommended weight must be around ten percent of your total body weight for adults. The same is in the case of children, but one or two pounds greater than that is also advisable.

Conclusion

PSTD and its associated symptoms can completely take away your life and are also troublesome with your sleeping routines. Several medications, treatments, and therapies are at hand these days that can control the seriousness in which weighted blankets also play a dominant role in reducing the effects.

Apart from gathering information about weighted blankets for PTSD, it is better to consult a doctor before choosing a weighted blanket to manage your PTSD symptoms, get quality sleep cycles, and improve overall health.

Mike Horton (head of Weighted Living)

by Mike Horton

Mike is one of the lead editors at Weighted Living and the author of this article. He's become fascinated with weighted products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves. He's written quite a few weighted product guides as well.

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