Beginners guide to Weighted blankets and parasympathetic nervous system

You are the only one that can truly make your well being your top priority. You owe it to yourself to pay attention to the needs of your mind, body and spirit.

Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets are blankets that have a filling inside or are made of heavier materials that makes them heavier than a regular blanket. They are also called Heavy Blankets and are used in a variety of ways. They are most commonly used to help comfort individuals to prepare for sleep and as a therapeutic tool to help calm the nervous system.
Reading with heavy blanket for grounding

g-RAVI-ty in a small package

RAVI is designed differently than traditional weighted blankets.

RAVI is smaller and heavier (per square inch) making it a compact and portable weighted blanket. Most traditional weighted blankets are bed sized – designed to lay over the entire body. RAVI’s compact design allows you to take your RAVI into your daily activities. Perfect for your daytime use.

  • Sitting on your couch

  • Bring it to the dentist/doctor

  • In your lap during focused work and study.  Learn more about Improving concentrations on this blog post

Autonomic Nervous System

Your Autonomous Nervous system is responsible for the functions of the physical body that are not under conscious effort. For example, organ function, breathing, heartbeat, digestion…

Your Nervous System optimizes your body to survive or thrive. What is important to note, is that your bodies Autonomic Nervous System has automatic responses to your perception of your safety.

Your body will change modes as a response to information gathered by the senses. You can’t just decide – I am in danger or I am safe. You can only guide your Automatic Response by tweaking the input. The mode you are in primes the bodies involuntary functions to survive or thrive.

 Your Sympathetic Nervous System stimulates your fight, flight or freeze response
Your Parasympathetic Nervous System stimulates your rest & digest, aka feed & breed response.

kids swaddled for comfort
seated meditation with weighted blanket
dentist anxiety cured with weighted blanket

Survival Mode: Sympathetic Nervous System

When you perceive something in your environment as unsafe—the Sympathetic Nervous system automatically primes the body for action.

Your body is designed to go into Survival mode in a fraction of a second. All the “wiring” and “chemicals” are constantly ready for action.

Survival mode is tough on the physical body when you are in it for extended periods. Additional chemicals are released to help keep the response active.

Survival Mode can also be turned on by implied threats. For example, Remembering past trauma or worrying about future plans can also trigger your “Survival Mode”


 Survival Mode/ Sympathetic influences on the body

  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Increased Breath Rate
  • Feeds Blood to the Muscles for Strength
  • Stimulates Sweating and Pupils Dilate
  • Restricts energy to organs that are less important to
  • immediate survival.
  • Impairs digestion and urination

Thrive Mode: Parasympathetic Nervous System

The Parasympathetic Nervous system supports optimizing body function for normal day to day activity.

It’s also important to note that it takes more time to move from Survival Mode to Thrive Mode. Your system must truly believe that you are safe.

There are several ways that you can create the environment for Thrive Mode and trigger your Parasympathetic response.


Thrive Mode/ Parasympathetic influences on the body

  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Lower Heart Rate
  • Lower Breath Rate
  • Feeds Blood to the Organs to promote healthy
  • function and repairs.
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Supports the normal function of the body.
Parasympathetic calming with weighted blanket

Weighted Blankets stimulate a parasympathetic nervous system response:

 Feels like a hug, which makes us feel warm and protected.  When we feel protected our systems go into Thrive Mode.  We become settled in our environment and with our thoughts.

Swaddling for adults: Weighted blankets help us in the same say that babies calm when they are swaddled in a blanket. The compression on the sensory system is nurturing.

There are many ways to help move your system into thrive mode.  Weighted blankets are helpful within other mindfulness techniques:  Here are some related posts on soothing the mind, body and spirit