Covid - Starving us of Touch - How a weighted blanket can help

lockdown

health

Human physical contact is essential for wellbeing, we're social animals, it's hardwired into our bodies; with the lockdown this can be difficult but a weighted blanket can help to bridge the gap.

Alice Tozzi

The new reality of social distancing is depriving us of the simplest forms of physical contact like hugs or even handshakes, here we discuss what this means and how a weighted blanket can help keep us mind-healthy.

Physical contact is vital for our mental and physical health. With yet another lock down, our social interactions will again be mainly digital and human touch harder to come by; this new reality can put us out of balance. There is good news, though – the benefits of weighted blankets can help you cope and keep anxiety at bay.

It's amazing the various roles our skin plays, beside protecting us from the outside world, it also helps us communicate an array of emotions like anger (flushing red) and fear (turning pale). Studies have shown how all many feelings are expressed and understood through touch. Tactile exchanges, such as hugs, release our “feel good” hormones, dopamine, and serotonin. These hormones make us feel happier and improve our immune system. Being deprived of physical contact can lead to feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety.

With so many aspects of our health affected by lack of physical contact , it’s useful to know a natural way to help remedy it – and that’s where the science behind weighted blankets comes in.

The weight of the cover gives your body the feeling of being hugged, this deep pressure stimulation (DPS) leads to a state of relaxation. When you apply deep pressure to the body it switches from “fight or flight” mode to “rest and digest”. The pressure triggers a chain reaction in the body that releases an overall sense of calm and peace lowering anxiety levels, reducing stress, promoting better sleep, and improving overall mental health.

While it can never replace hugging loved ones, relaxing or sleeping under a weighted blanket can help avoid some of the harmful side-effects of touch deprivation.

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