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February 25, 2016 1 Comment

Founder of our weighted blanket company

A client sits in my therapy office…. She wrings her hands and has trouble sitting still. Her nails are painfully short from anxious biting.  Running commentary, reveals her fearful thoughts. This is a picture of an anxious person. Her days and nights are filled with nervous energy and intruding thoughts.

It's not surprising. 

General Anxiety Disorder affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population. Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.

I offer her the weighted blanket that is resting on the arm of my couch. Curious, she unfolds the grey flannel and allows the blanket to press into her body. She rests her head on the back of the couch as she becomes quiet and still. She can finally be at rest.

Releiving Anxiety With A Weighted Blanket

This is a common story of someone who struggles with Anxiety who uses a weighted blanket for the first time. As a Marriage and Family Therapist I frequently use a  weighted blanket for my clients to help relieve their crippling anxiety.

 

How Weighted blankets work

The blanket weighs anywhere from 10 - 20 lb and is weighted down by beads lined inside the blanket that work like a deep tissue massage. This weight creates serotonin in your body which some of that becomes melatonin your body’s “feel good hormone.”  

Two studies, one published in Occupational Therapy (2008) showed that weighted blankets helped with anxiety. A study published in Australasian Psychiatry (2012) confirmed this. Many of my clients and family have discovered that the blanket dramatically improves their sleep by helping them fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer through the night.  

One of my friends used to wake up 6x a night and by using a weighted blanket was able to start sleeping all the way through the night the first time she used it.  

Weighted blanket helping sleeplessness

Traditionally, the blankets are used in the Autistic and ADHD community.  It helps these individuals relax and feel more grounded.

I have found that many people benefit from the blanket including: those struggling with:

  • Anxiety
  • insomnia
  • Peri-menopause
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep disorders of any kind
  • Autistic / ADHD individuals
  • Sensory disorders of any kind.

One of the many benefits of using a weighted blanket is that many of them stay cool and do not add heat.  This is because many of the blankets are made of a quilting fabric and the beads inside the blanket cool throughout the day before you use it.

 

People have described the experience of using a weighted blanket as a “hug” or a similar sensation you might feel using a lead blanket from the Dentist’s office.

 

have had so much success with these blankets that I have started offering them online. The orders became too much for me to produce so I hired a group of refugee women in Nashville, TN to sew the blankets.

 

Sewing these blankets has helped these women provide an income for their families and has enabled them to work from home so they can take care of  their family.

Hand crafting our weighted blankets

 

Weighted Blankets have been gaining traction in the media as a way to overcome anxiety and sleeplessness. My blankets have been seen in Forbes.com, Maclean's Magazine, and the Tennessean.

 

A weighted blanket has been an answered prayer for many individuals, and If you have ever struggled with anxiety, sleeplessness or any of the symptoms stated earlier, I encourage you to come take a look at my full line of adult blankets.

 

Donna Durham is a Marriage and Family Therapist from Nashville, TN and is also the Founder of Weighting Comforts.


1 Response

Patti
Patti

April 01, 2017

This is a great idea! As an OT I have used them for years with autistic children. The other therapists at our school and teachers now all know about the power of weighted blankets and vests to have a tremendous impact on students with sensory processing disorder! What a great idea to extend this beyond just autism and SPD!

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What Blanket Weight Should I Buy?

A general rule when purchasing a weighted blanket is taking your weight and multiplying it by .10, or taking 10% of your body weight. Using that number, follow the chart below to guide you in finding the perfect blanket!

100 - 130 lbs
Quilted Cotton 10 lb
Flannel 10 lb
CoolMax® 15 lb
140 - 170 lbs
Quilted Cotton 15 lb
Flannel 15 lb
CoolMax® 15 lb
180 - 200 lbs
Quilted Cotton 20 lb
Flannel 20 lb
CoolMax® 20 lb
220 + lbs
Quilted Cotton N / A
Flannel N / A
CoolMax® 25 lb

 

Fall in between two different weight limits for two blankets? We suggest going with the smaller of the two blanket weights.

Still not sure which size to buy? Most of our customers buy one of the 15-pound blankets.