Many people experience some sort of traumatic event in their lifetime, but about 12 million adults experience Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the United States annually. While this diagnosis is most often associated with someone who has experienced military combat, the symptoms of PTSD can manifest after an individual has experienced any traumatic or threatening event. This can include an accident, assault, or threat.
For many people with PTSD, sleeping presents a challenge. If you’re struggling with this condition, a weighted blanket for anxiety and PTSD may help you get the rest you need. Read on to find out why.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition that may occur after someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. For example, someone who lives through a scary natural disaster, car accident, or loss of a loved one, might develop PTSD.
The most common symptoms of PTSD include anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and difficulty sleeping. Many people who struggle with PTSD will also experience uncontrollable thoughts about the event, negatively impacting their personal and professional life. Depending on the individual, they could constantly be on edge, jumpy, and easy to scare.
Emotions like sadness and anger are very common for those who have been diagnosed with PTSD. They may also find it difficult to become attached to other people or engage in social situations.
Weighted Blankets for PTSD: Can They Help?
Editor's Note: There are many types of therapy and treatment for anxiety and PTSD. What works for one person may not be as effective for another, and you may have to experiment with a few different therapies before finding what works best for you.
Fewer Nightmares, Better Sleep
It’s common for people with PTSD to experience nightmares and interrupted sleep. While an occasional nightmare can be common, someone with PTSD can have chronic nightmares associated with the trauma. Weighted blankets use therapy called deep touch pressure stimulation, prompting the body to produce more serotonin, the chemical that helps regulate the body’s sleep cycle. This can help support a deeper, more restorative night's rest.
Plus, as a result of better sleep, people with PTSD may also experience less brain fog during the day (since the negative effects of sleep deprivation build over time).
Relieve Physiological Symptoms of Stress
Some users of deep pressure stimulation have experienced benefits working through anxiety or panic attacks. When feeling the stress build up, allow the pressure of the blanket to envelop your body, work through breathing exercises, and see if it offers a bit of support to work through episodes more smoothly.
The weight may also reduce the amount of cortisol in the body. Known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol has been linked to a wide variety of health problems, including insomnia, stroke and heart attack. On the contrary, this deep pressure may help boost levels of oxytocin, the "feel good" chemical" in the brain.
What to Consider When Using a Weighted Blanket for PTSD
There are several things to consider when choosing a weighted blanket for PTSD relief:
- Weight: Most importantly, you want to pick a blanket that is the proper weight for optimal benefits. When it comes to selecting a weighted blanket, the rule of thumb is to select one that is roughly 10% of your body weight. However, this could be a bit heavy if someone is triggered by too much weight or the feeling of being trapped. If that's the case, opt for a smaller size that can provide weight on a smaller part of the body—a weighted blanket that is 5-8% of your total body weight to start. It’s more important to choose based off weight, not bed size so keep that in mind. Our weighted blankets for kids sizes are great option.
- Ease of Care: When purchasing a weighted blanket, consider investing in a high-quality duvet cover makes it easy to remove and clean. If you don’t get the cover, luckily our Luna weighted blankets are machine-washable so you don't have to worry about long-term care.
- Fabric Type: The fabric you choose for your weighted blanket cover really depends on your personal preferences. If you experience PTSD symptoms at night and find that you often wake up feeling hot and sweaty, you may prefer a more breathable option. We'd recommend our Cooling Bamboo Weighted Blanket. Or, if you like fluffy comfort, our Sherpa Fleece Weighted Blanket may be more ideal.
Order Your Luna Weighted Blanket Today
We hope you’ll order a Luna weighted blanket to help with your PTSD anxiety and quality of sleep. While a weighted blanket is in no way a substitute for professional therapy, medical intervention, and a support system, it can be a useful tool to keep on hand at home when treating the symptoms associated with PTSD. If you’re not sure where to start, our best-selling Classic Cotton Weighted Blanket is a beloved choice for many happy Luna buyers!