Do Weighted Blankets Work for Anxiety?

People who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks often unsuccessfully will try various medications for relief. Finding that drugs don’t work, they forego taking them altogether.


However, there are other methods of managing your anxiety, such as the use of weighted blanket – a solution that might be worth its weight in gold!


Anxiety is a reality of life that we have to come to grips from time to time, especially before a big decision, a life change or any other stressful moment. When anxiety disorders manifest itself through feelings of fear, or a form of agitation, it can be debilitating and can render you helpless.


There are numerous ways to manage anxiety disorders. Drugs or a combination of several protocols, lifestyle changes, and other treatments can help limit the effects of anxiety and its symptoms. Weighted blankets are an example of a therapy that can help.



The weight of an anxiety blanket depends on the intended user. For example, children may use a smaller, softer blanket.


Weighted covers are blankets lined with a uniformly distributed weight. The weight varies depending on the targeted user and the size of the blanket itself.


This particular type of blanket is designed to be warm and to provide gentle pressure to a person, imitating the feeling of being held.


The feeling of that pressure or weight enveloping the body can have a positive effect on people’s mood. As a result, heavier blankets are gaining popularity as an alternative way to combat anxiety and other sensory disturbances.




Anxiety blankets can offer many benefits to the user. It is said that the uniform pressure mimics the “deep pressure tactile stimulation”.


This touch of deep pressure has a calming and soothing effect on people. In the same way, heavy blankets have shown similar results.


Weighted blankets create several positive effects on the body, including:


Release of Oxytocin


Research has shown that hugs can put a person at ease. When people kiss, the body releases oxytocin, a hormone. This hormone helps lower blood pressure, slows the heart and provides a feeling of relaxation.


The heavy blanket essentially mimics the warmth and safety provided by a hug. The blanket and hug use gentle, firm pressure that penetrates deep into the body, providing a feeling of rest that allows the body to relax.



Release of Serotonin


Researchers have found that the weight on the body in specific areas triggers the release of chemicals in the brain, including serotonin, which leads to reduced stress while at the same time improving mood.


Release of Melatonin


Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep and helps regulate the sleep cycle. Since this hormone is linked to the production of serotonin, the pressure that triggers this chemical will also lead to the production of melatonin.


Theoretically, the blanket provides a sense of warmth and security. As a result, both the body and the mind can relax.


However, weighted blankets can be used to reduce or manage the symptoms of:


  • autism
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • sleep disorders and diseases of the nervous system