Weighted blankets were first used by doctors in mental health facilities. The doctors found that the blanket would help their patients calm down. If a patient was feeling anxious, a nurse would wrap them in a weighted blanket to help calm down so they would be more receptive to the doctors counseling.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
The popularity of weighted blankets to treat anxiety then spread to the autistic community. Those who suffer from autism tend to withdraw from human affection. When agitated, parents began using weighted blankets to make the child feel comforted by the hugging sensation the blanket provides. The weighted blanket tricks your brain into thinking your body is being hugged, which releases positive feelings in the form of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. These chemicals promote feelings of pleasure, happiness and connection, which combat the adrenaline and cortisol, that have been released from being stressed out and anxious.
A weighted blanket can also be a cheap and safe alternative for those suffering from stress, and not suffering from a diagnosed mental health disorder.