Weighted Blankets for PTSD
About Weighted Blankets for PTSD
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is defined by the National Center for PTSD as “a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.” Over 7 million Americans suffer from PTSD, most commonly induced through combat or highly stressful events in ones childhood. Although, PTSD can manifest itself in different ways and each person will cope with the disorder differently, there is significant anecdotal evidence that support the use of weighted blankets for PTSD.
Some of the symptoms of PTSD that can be alleviated through sensory therapy include:
- Re-experience: These flashbacks may come in the form of memories or dreams, but are most common during night hours and can lead to insomnia and stress when you should be sleeping.
- Uncharacteristic Behavior: Most people who suffer from PTSD or have a loved one coping with the disorder find that they suffer from uncharacteristic changes in mood or behavior. The way you think about yourself can be altered by significant trauma. This may make it difficult for your to enjoy activities that remind or are associated with the event(s) or can lead to agitation, mood swings, and depression.
- Hyper-arousal: Similarly to the uncharacteristic behavior, trauma can lead to you feeling constantly alert and tense, leading to significant problems such as acting recklessly and difficulty sleeping through the night.
Although the effects of PTSD are multi-faceted, many of those suffering from PTSD have found that not being able to get a full night sleep due to hyper-arousal, nightmares, and anxiety exacerbate the other symptoms. Using a PTSD weighted blanket can help cope with these symptoms.
How weighted blankets can help cope with PTSD
Weighted blankets provide an inexpensive form of what is known as sensory therapy, which is a common therapy for patients of PTSD. Studies suggest that by providing deep pressure touch, weighted blankets stimulate receptors similarly to a strong hug. This causes the brain to release a neurotransmitter called serotonin which allows your muscles to relax which it turn can combat hyper-arousal and anxiety, ultimately helping you sleep. So how exactly should you look into weighted blankets for PTSD?
- Re-experience: Weighted blankets provide a great calming tool for relaxing your body throughout the night to help you get to sleep faster and with less anxiety. While PTSD blankets will not prevent flashbacks, the sensory therapy will help alleviate the anxieties that can lead to nightmares and reduce the wakeful agitated hours before you are able to fall asleep.
- Uncharacteristic Behavior: Much of the tension of PTSD can be traced back to inability to get a full nights sleep and inability to calm your body and mind. Weighted blankets help many patients sleep through the night and are even used during the day to relax tension. Weighted blankets are also commonly used as therapy tools for depression which is a common cause of drastic changes in mood by those who suffer from PTSD.
- Hyper-arousal: By providing deep pressure throughout your body, the serotonin released has relaxing effects on both the body and the mind. While being able to relax your body can help you fall asleep and ease tension, the neurotransmitter also helps calm your mind. Being held or hugged has always been a way to comfort; weighted blankets provide exactly that. The “hug” of a weighted blanket provides lasting comfort and security that many from veterans to children find invaluable to counteract the constant state of alert arousal that trauma can induce.
Where to buy weighted blankets for PTSD
Most weighted blankets are sold online but may also be available through pother PTSD and veteran communities. Weighted blankets for PTSD currently are on sale at YorkvilleBlankets.com. Yorkville blankets are a premium quality brand that offer affordable options to try and see if a weighted blanket could be the answer for you. Yorkville Weighted Blankets offer an attractive blanket that is designed to provide the perfect amount of sensory input across your body without providing excessive heat, allowing you to get a good night sleep without overheating. These weighted blankets can be purchased here or on Amazon, Etsy, or eBay.