My blog is dedicated to mental health as a component of well being and longevity. I will try to uncover alternate or non-traditional modalities to assist you in feeling better, which should always be considered in consultation with a physician/health care provider.

Mental health is imperative to overall health:

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“Science tells us more and more now that there is a strong connection between emotional well-being and health outcomes, and that you can proactively cultivate emotional well-being through relatively simple practices like sleep, social connection and meditation. Stress is an epidemic in our country, and sometimes people turn to unhealthy methods of dealing with it, whether it’s unhealthy foods, or drugs and alcohol, or violence”.



Vivek Murthy, United States Surgeon General [1]

The cornerstones to mental health are diet, exercise and sleep. Failure to get adequate sleep at best will reduce your ability to function and at worst may cause a break-downn. Many things contribute to inability to obtain good sleep including physical conditions such as sleep apnea, pain or mental conditions such as stress or environmental such as poor sleep hygiene. Besides checking with a doctor, something always endorsed and recommended, there are many alternatives in addition to or instead of medication.

One thing gaining in popularity is the heavy blanket invented by Keith Zivalich . Heavy blankets are approximately eight pounds and serve to give the sleeper a feeling of additional comfort. Traditionally, weighted blankets are used as part of occupational therapy for children experiencing sensory disorders, anxiety, stress or issues related to autism.[2] The use of these weighted blankets are now recognized as assisting in the treatment of a multitude of disorders including but not limited to[3]:

·        Anxiety disorders/Post Traumatic Stress Disroder

·        Sleep disorders

·        Sensory disorders

·        ADD/ADHD

·        Restless leg syndrome

·        Sensory processing disorders

·        Alzheimers/Parkinsons

 

 And beyond treating specific diagnosed ailments, a weighted blanket is recocognized as reducing stress and inducing more impactful sleep:

A weighted blanket molds to your body like a warm hug. The pressure also helps relax the nervous system.  It’s a totally safe and effective non-drug therapy for sleep and relaxation naturally. Psychiatric, trauma, geriatric, and pediatric hospital units use weighted blankets to calm a patient’s anxiety and promote deep, restful sleep. In a similar way to swaddling comforting an infant, the weight and pressure on an adult provides comfort and relief.

When pressure is gently applied to the body, it encourages serotonin production, which lifts your mood. When serotonin naturally converts to melatonin, your body takes the cue to rest.[4]

So, beyond treating diagnosed conditions, weighted blankets may assist in providing optimal sleep and health.

 

William Riback, Esquire

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William.Riback132@gmail.com



[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/magazine/vivek-murthy-thinks-we-need-to-learn-how-to-deal-with-stress.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=19&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

 

[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhochman/2014/04/25/weighted-blanket-can-help-more-than-just-sleep-problems/#6e8b850373bb

[3] http://www.mosaicweightedblankets.com/benefits/  THE WEBSITE CONTAINS A MORE EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF POSSIBLE DISORDERS WHICH THE WEIGHTED BLANKET MAY ASSIST IN TREATING

[4] http://www.ptsdjournal.com/posts/sleeping-with-weighted-blanket-helps-insomnia-and-anxiety-study-finds/

 


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