What Are the Benefits of Weighted Blankets? Who Can't use Weighted Blankets?
Wondering what a weighted blanket is? You’re not the only one! Weighted blankets have suddenly become very popular, and for good reason.
white comforter bunched up with fuzzy grey slippers on bed
Weighted blankets promise to help you sleep better by relieving emotional anxiety, calming your nervous system and increasing serotonin levels in your brain.
WHAT IS A WEIGHTED BLANKET?
Okay, you might hear the term weighted blanket and think of weights hanging off the sides of a blanket. Or think of a very heavy blanket that covers you and doesn’t allow you to move well.
A weighted blanket can be very comfortable. It is just like a thick comforter or duvet.
The difference is that it’s two layers sewn together to look like a traditional blanket. In-between the two layers are small little weights, usually plastic or tiny glass beads, that disperse a weight evenly through every part of the weighted blanket.
The tiny weights stay in place because of a grid pattern used to sew the two layers together. So you don’t have to worry about waking up and having a pile of plastic beads weighing down one side of your blanket.
All of the weights will stay in place all night long.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A WEIGHTED BLANKET?
Weighted blankets are thought to mimic being held by someone in the middle of the night. It’s meant to feel like a hug or a cuddle.
Which means that the heavy blankets are thought to be especially beneficial for kids and adults who suffer from anxiety, or have problems sleeping.
woman hiding under pink blanket and white sheets laying on white pillow
A weighted blanket is thought to be especially beneficial to kids and adults with autism or sensory processing disorder. Because a heavy blanket offers deep touch and pressure without the challenges of receiving physical touch from others.
Deep touch pressure is beneficial to your body’s proprioceptive sense. Proprioception is know as the “safe sense” for your body. When this sense is stimulated in your brain from receptors on your body, it is thought that you will feel calmer, soothed and less anxious.
In a study about how weighted blankets can affect your health, the findings were surprising:
33% of adults had lowered electrodermal activity, such as blood pressure and heart rate
63% had lower anxiety
78% preferred using a weighted blanket as a calming mechanism
The use of weighted blankets is becoming even more common for kids and adults dealing with:
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Even kids and adults that have not been diagnosed with autism or sensory processing disorders can also receive calming benefits from a weighted blanket. The gentle, deep pressure of a weighted blanket can calm the nervous system for any child or adult.
two children jumping on white comforter on bed throwing pillows
And a calm nervous system will result in better sleep.
WHO SHOULDN’T USE A WEIGHTED BLANKET?
A weighted blanket is an easy solution at home to see if you feel less anxiety and get better sleep.
But weighted blankets can alter body rhythms.
It’s always best to talk to your doctor if you have specific issues that could be aggravated by using a heavy blanket, such as being pregnant, heart or lung issues, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH WEIGHTED BLANKETS
For years, I’ve been using a weighted blanket experience without even knowing it.
When I’m at my family’s home in North Carolina, it’s cold in the winter. My bedroom is perhaps the coldest room in the house, and heat doesn’t get back there into my bedroom.
So in the purpose of thrift, and not turning up the heat in the winter time, we just piled on lots of blankets. Like lots and lots and lots of blankets.
I wold lie down at night under a pile of probably up to 10 blankets. No joke.
Yet with every blanket kept another layer of warmth. And a little bit more weight.
I probably had at least 5 – 10 lbs. of blankets on top of me at night.
And I sleep GOOD!
I always thought it was because of the cooler temperatures. But to be honest, I’m quite toasty warm under all of the blankets. Not cold.
You’ll want to find your best bedroom temperature for sleep so that you get a great night’s rest.
So maybe it has always been the steady, constant weight that I was sleeping under. I sleep soundly. And I wake up refreshed.
Also, there is a lot less thrashing around and moving in the middle of the night. If I lay down on my back, chances are I wake up still sleeping in the same position. Because it’s hard to change positions when you have that much weight laying on you. But that’s not a bad thing.
WHAT SIZE WEIGHTED BLANKET DO I NEED?
You may be wondering what size of a weighted blanket you should get. There are two considerations:
Size of the blanket
Weight of the blanket
WHAT SIZE WEIGHTED BLANKET SHOULD I GET?
First, the size is an easy answer. Get a blanket size that is perfect for those who want to sleep under a heavy blanket.
So, if you are sleeping in a king size bed, but your husband always sleeps hot and has no desire to put a heavy blanket on, then don’t force him! This is a sleeping solution for you and doesn’t need to be the sleeping solution for both partners in a bed. In that case, get a twin size weighted blanket and just keep it on your side of the bed.
white comforter heavy blanket
WHAT WEIGHT SHOULD I GET?
Weighted blankets come not only in sizes, such as Twin, Full and Queen, but also in pounds, such as 5 lbs. or 10 lbs.
Weights vary from 5 lbs. to 30 lbs. for a weighted blanket.
Obviously, the heavier the weight of the weighted blanket, then the more pressure you are going to feel as you sleep.
If you are new to using a weighted blanket, you might want to start with a smaller weight, such as 5 lbs. That way, you can see if you even like the sensation of a weighted blanket on you.
Once you know that you don’t mind a heavy weight on you while sleeping (for instance, you’re used to a loved one’s arms being on you or a pet laying on you), then you might be more comfortable with a heavier weight, such as 10 lb.
I have read that for children, you will want a weighted blanket that is 5-10% of your child’s body weight. However, it’s just a suggestion, and you should definitely go with what your child will tolerate. After all, if it’s too heavy and they throw the blanket off, there is no reason to use a weighted blanket.
In all honestly, you can just pile up tons of blankets at home to see what weight you feel comfortable with. It’s a pain trying to keep all of those blankets on a bed. Which is why you probably want to buy just one weighted blanket. But to get an idea of what weight you need, weigh a pile of blankets at home and then sleep under them for a night to see how it works.
A weighted blanket can help a lot, including insomnia, anxiety, and ADHD. But also be aware that not everyone is fit for it.If you have sleeplessness in your home, you can buy them a weighted blanket. If you have anxiety problems, you can also use the anxiety blanket to help recover.