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Can a Weighted Blanket Help Your Teen?

 

weighted blanket

Teenagers are under an incredible amount of pressure, from both internal and external sources. In preparation for adulthood, teens must endure surging hormones, experience intense physiological changes, a shifting circadian rhythm, and navigate their newfound need for autonomy all while maturing through adolescence. Any assistance that can be provided to help teenagers better navigate the various aspects of adolescence is appreciated. Fortunately, there are a plethora of excellent, tangible tools such as weighted blankets that are available to help teenagers manage insomnia and assuage other anxiety-related challenges. Weighted blankets can range in weight from five to thirty pounds. They are typically made from fabrics such as cotton or polyester and are often quilted to accommodate holding a substantial amount of weight. The weight comes from small plastic pellets that are stuffed evenly across the length and breadth of the blanket, to ensure even and uniform weight distribution.  

Why Does It Work?

Research has found that the body naturally produces certain chemicals to help increase feelings of calmness and relaxation. When serotonin, known as the “feel-good” hormone, is released in a comfortable and/ or dark environment it is converted into melatonin (the body’s main sleep-inducing hormone). The purpose of weighted blankets is to put additional pressure on a teen’s body while they rest so as to help generate deep relaxation. The weight of the blanket works by stimulating the deep pressure touch (DPT) receptors of the body, triggering the release of serotonin. This, in turn, helps young people achieve more meaningful rest buy helping them fall asleep and remain asleep longer. 

Benefits of a Weighted Blanket

There are a variety of benefits that can come with sleeping under a weighted blanket. The following are examples of merely some of the ways weighted blankets could help your teen:

  • Weighted blankets can help prevent excessive secretion of cortisol: cortisol is a stress-response hormone that is naturally produced when one’s body is under duress
  • Weighted blankets can reduce anxiety and restlessness
  • Weighted blankets can help teenagers increase their focus by achieving well rested sleep 
  • Weighted blankets can ease the symptoms of restless leg syndrome by providing relaxing pressure and minimize the need for sleeping with compression socks
  • Weighted blankets can promote a happier mood and increase one’s overall disposition

Every teenager is different and some will glean benefits from sleeping under a weighted blanket, while others may not. For some teens sleeping under a weighted blanket may feel uncomfortably constricting and for some even suffocating. If sleeping under a weighted blanket initially or becomes uncomfortable for a teen it may not be helpful. There is no harm in a teenager sleeping under a weighted blanket if it feels right for them.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at info@pacificrtc.com.

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