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Weighted blankets utilise a tactile sensory input method called Deep Touch Pressure (DTP). DTPis often felt in everyday life through actions like firm holding, firm stroking, cuddling. The way DTP works is by causes the body to switch from running its sympathetic nervous system to its parasympathetic nervous system. Or, in other words, causes a shift from fight or fight to rest and digest.
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is the “alert” system in the body. This is the one in charge when you’re facing a stressful situation like driving through heavy traffic in a storm. When the SNS takes over, you feel anxious, irritable and can’t sleep properly.
On the other hand, when the parasympathetic nervous system takes over, your heart rate slows, muscles relax, and circulation improves. The body decreasesyour levels of cortisol,the stress hormone, while producing endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. These “happy” hormones help with motivation, impulse control, attention, memory, social behaviour, sleep, and digestion.
In summary, weighted blankets: