What is PTSD?
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder affecting millions worldwide, widely associated with a major stress or trauma incident in the past. The condition developed at the end of World War 1 as Doctors at the time reported soldiers returning from war with trauma associated with combat or “shell shock”. Over the years, the definition broadened to include anyone who has suffered a traumatic or stressful experience. This could be an incident of rape, assault or a serious accident. It is estimated 1 in 11 adults will suffer PTSD in their lifetime. It is characterised by intrusive memories, avoidance and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Hypervigilance is also common, making a person anxious or on “red alert” anticipating something bad might happen. It is a complex condition, in that the sufferer may experience debilitating flashbacks years after the event. Whilst the sufferer may not know when or how a flashback will be triggered, it is common for symptoms to be more pronounced at night-time, characterised by trouble falling asleep or night terrors.
How can weighted blankets and gravity alleviate night time symptoms?
Having a good sleep hygiene routine in place and using either a weighted blanket or weighted eye mask can be key to helping alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. When a person reports having a flashback there is a general sense of panic within the nervous system. People have reported this feeling as a loss of control. The Kocoono weighted blanket acts as a “cocoon” for the body, moulding into the body and applying natural pressure. With this pressure, the nervous system naturally starts to relax and unwind. This deep touch pressure also helps to aid a good night's sleep by naturally evening out a hormone imbalance. Serotonin increases and Cortisol (the Stress hormone) decreases to create an optimal state to drift off to sleep in. Interested in finding out more about the science behind Deep Pressure and its therapeutic benefits on the body? Read this recent blog.
Are there studies to prove how effective Kocoono weighted and gravity blankets can be in treating symptoms associated with PTSD?
Weighted blankets have long been touted as an effective non pharmacological approach to aid sleep naturally. A 2015 study published in the journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders reported positive results among a sample demographic who suffered from insomnia. Those who slept with a weighted blanket for a test period of 2 weeks, reported the blanket as having a positive impact on sleep and enjoying a calmer nights sleep. It became one of the first scientific studies on the effect of weighted blankets in insomniacs .A Vice article from 2016 profiled a licensed Occupational Therapist Chelsea Bernard who had introduced weighted blanket therapy to over 200 patients over a 5 year period with positive results across all patients, including those suffering from PTSD and related anxiety.
How common is PTSD in the U.K. and Ireland?
The impact of the troubles has had a huge impact on the rate of PTSD in Northern Ireland. A 2011 International Report found that Northern Ireland has the highest incidence rate of PTSD in the globe. Up to 4 in every 10 adults were found to suffer from a form of trauma relating to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Additionally, a study linked with Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemology, which profiled men and women living in the Republic of Ireland found that up to 1 in 8 met the diagnostic requirements for PTSD. It was the first in depth assessment of its kind on PTSD in the Republic of Ireland.
What are the benefits of weighted blankets compared to other therapies with PTSD?
- With avoidance being one of the defining symptoms of PTSD, it can be painful at first for a sufferer to open up and discuss their experience verbally with a Therapist. This is where the use of Kocoono weighted blankets can be a gentle first step in alleviating the distressing symptoms.
- Kocoono weighted blankets are also seen as a more natural, holistic approach where PTSD sufferers don’t want to go down the route of prescription medication. This is why they are being explored as one of the most effective non pharmacological ways to aid the symptoms of PTSD.
- There are a variety of products in our range. As well as our Kocoono range of weighted blankets, we also have a Kocoono eye mask, weighted eye pillow and Kocoono shoulder hug for customers throughout the U.K. and Ireland who want to try something different from the range.
- Kocoono is already enjoying positive reviews from customers throughout Ireland who have purchased from the range to help with anxiety and sleep related problems. The Kocoono Weighted blankets have proven to be effective in aiding sleep in both old and young. Marian from Ireland said “My little grandson finds it excellent for his anxiety and restlessness when going to sleep", while Anne from Ireland said “This really helps with sleeping. It feels like a caress on the skin. So far, no trouble with 40 winks.”
What weighted blankets are in the Kocoono range?We have both a Kocoono weighted blanket Basic and Kocoono weighted blanket Luxe range to cater to your price point. Most weighted blankets used in previous studies have been more than 10% of a person’s body weight. Kocoono has 3 different blankets to suit different body weights, from 5kg (8-11 stone), 7kg (11-13 stone) and 9kg (14 stone +).