Your body is knowledgeable. Similar to how our cognitive brains work, our bodies experience sensations that are stored as wordless stories about what is safe and what is dangerous. Your body wants to survive so when it experiences something too much, too fast or too soon, the body creates trauma. People with anxiety and PTSD often experience their bodies on high alert for signs of danger or reminders of the trauma. For instance, when you drop your head onto your pillow to rest after a long day and your body interferes your restful sleep with negative thoughts and feelings, that is trauma perceiving danger even if there is no threat evident. Luckily, I’m here to share the many tools and therapies available to manage trauma responses: focusing on weighted blankets. See how weighted blankets can give you quality sleep, relieve anxiety, and enhance your overall health.
If you’re like me, you may feel hesitant to try it out. That’s OK. I didn’t want to rely on something outside of myself either. At the time, I was experiencing severe anxiety with no idea where it was coming from. This made it especially hard to sleep and my partner can attest to my restlessness. It was comparable to him laying in the middle of a trampoline while a handful of kids were jumping all around him. So not only am I lacking sleep but he was, too! I knew something needed to change so I purchased a weighted blanket. After a few nights I noticed that my anxiety levels have lessened and I was finally able to sleep through the night. Hallelujah! While some nights are better than others, I was happy to find relief. It’s good to remind yourself that healing is not linear and sometimes additional support is needed to get through some of our challenges.
Sleeping with a weighted blanket can benefit you by:
While the effects may seem immeasurable, in 2006, Occupational Therapy researchers in Mental Health observed that adults using a 30lbs. weighted blanket had reduced blood pressure, lower pulse rates, and better oxygen level in their blood. More than half of the participants experienced less anxiety due to a reduced amount of cortisol (aka the stress hormone) in the body.
Weighted blankets are tools that can be used for deep touch pressure stimulation and can be used during sensory integration therapy that has been proven to produce calming effects, reduce anxiety and ease physical pain. Deep touch pressure stimulation from weighted blankets may help boost levels of oxytocin (the “feel good” chemical) in the brain.
Weighted blankets have a competitive market and there are many options available to you. Below, you will find some choices (and discounts too!):
I recommend doing your research to find one that suits you best.
Supporting you with love and respect,
Zen Jen (formerly known as Jennifer Emperador) is a Trauma-Sensitive Practitioner specializing in a wholeness approach to healing trauma. She’s a survivor, warrior and fellow sister who wants to inspire and empower women dealing with trauma and PTSD.
Rohr, Richard. Stuck in the Body. 2020. firstname.lastname@example.org.