Weighing in on Your Sleep: Weighted Blankets

Weighing in on Your Sleep: Weighted Blankets

For some, nighttime is a chance for rest and tranquility after a long day. For others, anxiety and insomnia show up uninvited instead, kind of like a bad sleepover guest who refuses to let you get some shut-eye. If you fall under the latter, chances are bedtime isn’t your favorite part of the day. When medication and listening to classical music fails, weighted blankets have been a recent favorite in generating an ideal sleeping experience.

 

What is a weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets look like any other blanket, except they’re filled with pellets or beads made from polypropylene plastic. This gives the blanket its weight, which can range anywhere from 3 to 30 pounds. You can get them either sized to the individual for a more fit snug or larger to cover the full surface of your bed.

Although weighted blankets have recently gotten popular, they’ve long been used for children with special needs. The weight of the blanket simulates a comforting embrace, similar to a swaddled child, which allows the nervous system of the patient to relax. With recent media attention, the medical practice has turned into a sleeping aid.

 

How does a weighted blanket work anyway?

While they’re geared more toward restless sleepers, weighted blankets can benefit almost anyone. By gently applying pressure on the sleeper, the blanket keeps you still and comforted all through the night. This weight encourages the production of serotonin, the body’s happiness hormone while reducing cortisol, a stress hormone. The blanket offers feelings of comfort and safety which help reduce anxiety levels.

Weighted blanket therapy or deep-touch therapy draws upon a universal feeling of comfort, that is being held. By stimulating certain pressure points on the body, there is a stronger sense of security and calmness. A study published in the Occupational Therapy for Mental Health found that weighted blanket therapy helped reduce anxiety in 63% of adults. The comforting feeling may also alleviate insomnia for many individuals.

In addition, weighted blankets can aid with chronic pain conditions, such as restless leg syndrome. The blanket gently hugs the legs, which in turn helps relax irritations and sensations. This allows for a more soothing sleep.

 

Choosing the right weighted blanket for you

When choosing your own weighted blanket, there are some things to consider. For starters, you want to purchase a blanket that is 10% of your body weight. That would mean if you weigh 120 pounds, a 12-pound blanket would be most effective. Secondly, you should get a blanket with comfortable fabric. The last thing you’d want is a blanket that causes irritation to your skin.

Whether you’ve been experiencing sleepless nights or just want more comfort in your life, a weighted blanket might be a good option for you.

 

Have you tried a weighted blanket before? We'd love to hear about your experience!

20 comments

  1. @Karen Montgomery – Hi Karen, we don’t sell a weighted blanket at the moment, but it looks like we should definitely look into it!

  2. @Vicky Parker – It’s great to hear that your husband is enjoying his weighted blanket! We’ll definitely let everyone know if and when we decide to begin working on our own, and we appreciate your support!

  3. @Mary – We’ve found that they all have different wash and care instructions, so we’d make sure to do some research on that before choosing the right one for you! Some do come with a machine washable, removable cover, so that could could be a very convenient option.

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