Top 5 reasons to try a weighted blanket or weighted lap pad
What is a weighted blanket?
It is a heavy blanket filled with pellets that help distribute weight evenly across the body to promote relaxation.
Weighted blankets have long been used in the occupational therapy field as an aid for children on the autism spectrum and those suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADHD) or sensory issues. Similar to cuddling, hugging or squeezing, the blankets or pads provide deep pressure therapy that helps to calm the body and reduce the physical effects of stress, such as a raised heart rate and high blood pressure.
Top 5 reasons to try a weighted blanket
1/ Stress and anxiety
Stress manifests in the physical body in ways such as raised heart rate, short, shallow breathing and increased blood pressure. The deep pressure touch provided by weighted blankets can help reduce stress and anxiety by lowering the physiological indicators of stress. It also promotes the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate certain brain functions such as mood regulation, sleep, and memory. This helps the body to naturally switch from the parasympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”) to the sympathetic nervous system (“rest and recover”).
The positive calming effects of weighted blankets can also have a positive impact on sleep time and behaviour, allowing you to sleep longer and deeper.
3/ A complementary tool for many psychological, physiological and neurological conditions
It is not surprising then, that the calming effect of weighted blankets can be beneficial to people suffering from a wide range of conditions such as restless leg syndrome, depression, bi-polar, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), sensory processing disorder, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, neurological problems and even menopause.
4/ Chronic pain
Acute pain is usually a signal to the brain that an injury has occurred. Chronic pain is different, as it can last for months or even years after an injury occurred, often completely independent of the original injury or medical condition that started it. Chronic pain can lead to anxiety, irritability, poor sleep and depression. The deep pressure therapy provided by weighted blankets can be beneficial to those suffering from chronic pain by reducing stress and helping them sleep.
5/ Tool for self-regulation
Children who experience sensory overstimulation experience very real physiological symptoms. Weighted blankets can be used as a tool to promote regulation, calming and re-focusing. Children can easily use a weighted blanket to drape around their shoulders or their legs when seated, or covering their bodies when lying down. It can lower stress and provide a coping strategy for times when they feel anxious.
How much weight do I need?
For adults, it is recommended to use a blanket that weighs about 10% of their body weight. It is a matter of personal preference, though, and probably a good idea to try a couple before settling on the one you want.
It is not recommended to let children use weighted blankets unsupervised under the age of 6. Even then, children should be able to remove the blanket independently.
If you have a medical condition, it is recommended to consult a doctor or occupational therapist before using a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are a complementary tool and should not replace medication and appropriate medical supervision.
What is a weighted lap pad?
A weighted lap pad is a sensory tool that applies deep pressure touch to the legs while seated. It functions much like a weighted blanket, but is smaller in size. The weighted lap pad is often used for its calming, grounding effect that allows the user to focus for longer.
Top 5 reasons to try a weighted lap pad
The weighted lap pad applies deep pressure touch to a person’s legs, providing a calming, grounding effect and can help with focussing for longer. Many people claim that it helps them when studying, writing or working.
Weighted blankets can be expensive and weighted lap pads provide a more affordable option.
3/ Easier Washing
Lap pads are usually easier to clean due to their smaller size. Many weighted lap pads will have removable covers that are machine washable.
4/ More Discreet
Their smaller size also means weighted lap pads are a more discreet and comfortable option for the workplace. It is also easier to take it with you to work or school.
5/ Meditation tool
The calming, grounding effect of the weighted blanket can also be used as a meditation tool. Whether you meditate sitting in a chair, on the floor, or lying down, the weight of the lap pad can help you focus on the here and now.
Things to consider when choosing a weighted blanket or lap pad
Fabric – The fabric should be soothing but not overly distracting. A soft, plush fabric is usually a good choice.
Washing – Is it easy to wash? Some weighted blankets have removable weights to make the cover machine washable. Some are washable with the weights still inside but you should check that it is not too heavy to be washed in your washing machine. Weighted lap pads will often have removable, machine washable covers.
The Warm Buddy Warming Blanket
The Warming Blanket is 15″ x 19″ in size and weighs 4.5 lb. It can be used as a weighted lap pad when seated, or on the torso while lying down. You can also drape the Warming Blanket over you hips, lower back or any area of your body where you are experiencing aches and pains. It applies deep pressure touch to the body, helping to reduce the physiological indicators of stress.
The Warming Blanket can also be heated in the microwave for the added benefit of heat therapy, helping to reduce aches and pains and improve sleep. You could also add a few drops of essential oil to the heat pack after heating.
All Warm Buddy heat therapy products have undergone extensive testing and are recognised and sold as a Class 1 Medical Product.
The cover is made from a luxurious, soft fabric and is machine washable.
The Warm Buddy Warming Blanket is proudly made in Canada.