Medical Daily writes:
You’re awake, tossing around in your blankets, and no matter how long or hard you shut your eyes, you can’t seem to fall asleep. Thoughts race: What if I mess up my presentation at work tomorrow? Did I forget to pay my student loan? Did I turn off the oven? Worries scamper through your brain, and before you know it, your alarm is going off and you haven’t gotten an ounce of sleep. Insomnia and disrupted sleeping patterns can come from many sources, such as a tough day at work, but more serious conditions, like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and sensory processing disorder (SPD), can also be triggers.
Of course, there are medications out there designed to help with insomnia and anxiety. Some people prefer not to take them, perhaps because of the side effects or because they don’t help the way they should. There are some medications and therapies available for ASD and SPD as well, and like those for insomnia, these options don’t always pan out. One therapy, however, comes relatively cheap and with virtually no side effects. It’s also capable of helping people with these conditions, and maybe even more.
Sensing The Pressure
On the surface, something as simple as a weighted blanket shouldn’t be able to hold its own against extensively researched and designed drugs. Even therapies designed to relieve anxiety or alleviate certain ASD symptoms take many years of study and practice. How, then, could a heavy blanket help these patients out?
The idea of weighted-blanket therapy, also called deep-touch therapy, goes back to a basic human behavior known to calm us — being held. Clinical studies suggest that when certain pressure points on the body are stimulated by touch, the brain releases serotonin. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating various brain functions, including sleep and mood.