What is a weighted blanket and its benefits
What is a weighted blanket and its benefits (How to choose the best weighted blanket for you in 2021)
Where can I buy a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets have become extremely popular in the last few years, and for good reason. These blankets are proven to reduce stress and encourage healthy sleeping habits and are great for people who suffer from anxiety, autism and insomnia.
But they’re not just for treating medical conditions and improving mental health. Anybody can use a weighted blanket, and they are a great addition to your nighttime routine. There have been scientific studies that prove that these blankets produce a better night’s sleep and help you fall asleep more quickly.
This is because the ‘deep touch pressure’ that is caused by the blanket encourages feelings of safety, relaxation, and comfort. They’re like swaddling blankets, but for adults, and they make you feel comforted and safe.
Deep-pressure touch has been proven to stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine, which are instrumental in making you feel more relaxed. Additionally, constant gentle pressure can stimulate the limbic system in the brain, which processes emotion and fear and make you feel much more relaxed and calm.
If you have struggled with stress, or find it difficult to fall asleep, then a weighted blanket may be the perfect solution for you.
How weighted blankets work: benefits and limitations
Weighted blankets are blankets with pockets sewn into them. These pockets are filled with glass beads of plastic pellets to make them heavier. Some have additional layers of fabric that also make them heavier.
You can buy weighted blankets online, in-store, or even make them yourself. All you need is fabric, glass or plastic weighted beads, and a sewing machine.
What kind of weighted blanket is best for you?
There are a lot of different types of weighted blankets, and the biggest difference between them all is how heavy they each are. You can get have a blanket as light as 5 pounds, or as heavy as 30. The heavier they are, the more deep pressure stimulation you get, and the more they can relax your nervous system.
However, you should be careful when buying your weighted blanket. They shouldn’t be too heavy, and should never exceed 10 per cent of your body weight. The general rule is to buy one that is between 5 and 10 per cent of your weight.
The optimal weight of your blanket also should change depending on how old you are. Whereas an adult can safely use a blanket as heavy as 30 pounds, a child should never have a blanket that exceeds 15 pounds.
For a particularly small child, the weight should be less than 8 pounds. You should never use a weighted blanket on a baby, as this could pose a very serious health hazard.
Additionally, another important factor to decide on is the material of your weighted blanket.
Most blankets use a synthetic micro-plush, which is an extremely cosy material but may cause overheating. If you’re someone who normally gets too hot in the night, then this probably isn’t the material for you.
Additionally, others use cotton blends, which are a more classic and breathable fabric. This is an ideal fabric for those who don’t want to feel too suffocated, but still want the additional weight and security that a weighted blanket provides. However, these can feel cheaper and less cosy than micro-plush.
Ultimately, it depends on what kind of sleeper you are. Your weighted blanket should provide you with maximum comfort and security, so do some research before deciding on the best one for you.
Who benefits the most from a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets have been used as therapy tools for decades. They have often been used in a therapy called sensory integration therapy, which aids people with autism or other disorders to regulate their emotions and behaviour.
Whereas traditionally deep pressure stimulation has been more hands-on, the use of weighted blankets can eliminate the need for another person, which may help reduce over-stimulation for the person receiving treatment.
Weighted blankets work best for those who have ADHD, anxiety, and autism, as it helps relieve pain, lessen anxiety, and improve mood. Alongside other treatments, such as massage therapy or CBT, weighted blankets are amazing resources for neurodivergent individuals.
One of the biggest symptoms with the majority of mental illness or neurodivergent conditions is insomnia. Trouble sleeping can be the biggest indicator that your brain is overwhelmed, or you are overstimulated, which makes the need for a weighted blanket even more essential.
In a scientific study, the researchers found that using a weighted blanket reduced anxiety in roughly 33 per cent of 32 participants. This study also showed that the simple act of lying down reduced anxiety, so the introduction of weighted blankets provide further comfort to an already relaxing action.
Additionally, a weighted blanket may help relieve pain for chronic pain patients. The extra pressure of a weighted blanket keeps you from moving around and apply pressure to your body, which relieves pain reflexes.
Weighted blankets can also aid people who suffer from restless leg syndrome. If you cannot keep still when trying to sleep, or travelling in a car or a plane, then a weighted blanket may be the answer to you. Patients with restless legs can use a weighted blanket to weigh down their legs and reduce the need to move around. Additionally, some restless leg syndrome patients feel like they have a tingling or tickling sensation in their legs, which can prevent them from falling asleep. A weighted blanket can alleviate these feelings due to the comforting feeling of additional weight on their legs.
Where can I buy a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are all over the internet, and you won’t struggle to find them. Whether you buy them from a specific weighted blanket store or a general furniture store like Wayfair or IKEA, they will generally be of similar quality and fabric.
Weighted blankets can be quite expensive, as they are a lot of fabric. Additionally, you want to make sure you are buying a high-quality product, so don’t skimp on your blanket.
On average these blankets cost around $120 but can be as expensive as $250 depending on the brand. Companies such as Gravity have award-winning weighted blankets, and they are much more expensive than blankets from online stores such as Amazon or eBay.
Weighted blankets are a great addition to any household, and they are rising in popularity with every passing day. They are a godsend in cold winter months, and can even emulate the feeling of being hugged.
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, lonely, or cold, then a weighted blanket is the answer for you!