I, Madison, still sleep with my baby blanket. My daughter has three identical baby blankets which she rotates as each gets washed. My blanket is torn up and deteriorating each year, but the silk edges still bring me comfort each night. Security blankets are just that, a sense of security. From what, I am not 100% sure. But as a 22 year old who has had the same blanket since childhood, it is a sense of security from everyday struggle, stress and a relaxing agent to unwind from #adulting. No shame in the blankey game.
In passing, I heard a neighborhood momma talking about how she swears by her weighted blanket for anxiety relief. I had never heard of such a thing, but instantly became intrigued because duh, I love blankets. I figured that I am probably not the only one who has never heard of them so I did a little research for you too.
Weighted blankets generally weigh 4-30 pounds. They are marketed for people who have anxiety, insomnia, autism, Alzheimer’s, cancer or chemo anxiety, fetal alcohol syndrome, OCD, PTSD, sensory processing disorders, and many other things. HealthLine shares the “science” behind them is called earthing or grounding which has a calming effect on the body and mind. Grounding is the simulation of deep pressure touch which can help reduce levels of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone which is produced when the brain believes you are under attack. The fight or flight response is initiated causing stress on your mind and body eliciting strong anxiety symptoms.
The blankets can also help increase serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone which helps reduce depression, anxiety and increase happiness, sexual function, and control of sleep. This mood regulator when normal, is responsible for making you feel happy, calm, focused, and emotionally stable. This is closely related to the “cuddle hormone” we feel when hugged. The blanket can feel like an artificial hug which is important as hugs scientifically make us feel better, lower anxiety, and increase a sense of belonging. This is done through Oxytocin which when released can lowers blood pressure, lower cortisol and boost positive emotions.
There is an ornate ability of modern technology to create products which have healing properties we never thought of before. Weighted blankets are a key example of that and I have one on order. It will never replace my baby security blanket, BUT it will be a wonderful adult security blanket. A bonus of this blanket is that it can help children too. So as your child starts spiraling in attitude causing you stress, you both can take time to relax under it. Grab a juice box and grab some “mommy juice” and relax!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.