In a fast-paced world, restorative sleep is essential to our overall productivity and well-being. The sleep-health economy is growing quickly and that only means more and more people are prioritizing their quality of sleep.
In recent years, the weighted blanket has become a sought-out topic in this realm. What was then traditionally used as a therapeutic tool became a necessary upgrade to every bedroom.
What is a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are therapeutic sleeping blankets that weigh anywhere around 5 to 30 pounds. They are usually filled with plastic pellets, glass beads, or heavy woven fabrics.
These blankets were originally used for pressure therapy to help those with conditions such as autism, anxiety, ADHD, chronic pain, and sleep disorders. Today, there is a ton of anecdotal evidence that proves the benefits of a weighted blanket and its effectiveness in promoting relaxation, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep.
In this article, we’ve outlined the 6 benefits of a weighted blanket and why it deserves a place in your sanctuary.
What are the benefits of a weighted blanket?
1. Provides deep pressure stimulation
Why do weighted blankets work? The answer is Deep Pressure Stimulation, otherwise known as DPS.
Deep Pressure Stimulation is the act of applying deep pressure to the body commonly through weighted blankets and robes, therapy dogs, or massage.
DPS switches our autonomic nervous system from the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). People with sensory issues like autism and ADHD often get stuck in this mode, and DPS is a way to ease them into a calmer state.
For people who don’t have sensory issues, DPS is helpful to counter the stress of daily life. Our bodies can get stuck on high alert unknowingly which is why we often feel stressed, anxious, tired, and irritable. We all know how stress can wreak havoc on our health. Having a therapeutic blanket at the end of the day to lull us into restorative sleep is an investment with huge returns.
2. Reduces stress and promotes calmness
Most people think of being under a weighted blanket as being hugged. It’s hypothesized that this also triggers the body to release feel-good hormones like oxytocin. Not only that, it helps decrease the stress hormone, cortisol, and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine.
You can only imagine that being hugged all night long results in a general decrease in stress and increase of balance.
3. Provides warmth and comfort
The optimum bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you live in colder climates, a weighted blanket can definitely help you warm up.
4. Improves sleep quality
The list goes on! Apart from general feelings of calm, weighted blankets serve people who experience nighttime movement such as those with restless leg syndrome (RLS). The weight helps restrict movement and who knows - you might even wake up to the same position you dozed off in.
Weighted blankets also reduce perceptions of chronic pain according to a 2021 study. Those who suffer with chronic pain find themselves in a chicken-and-egg situation with sleep. Their pain doesn’t allow them to sleep, and lack of sleep gives them more pain. Weighted blankets can assist you into a deep slumber when most of your body’s healing takes place.
5. Supports improvement of mental health
Insomnia is a common problem for those who suffer from mental health conditions. Sleep hygiene is very essential. Weighted blankets are safe interventions in patients with major depressive disorder, bipolar, generalized anxiety, and ADHD according to a 2020 study.
For senior patients who have Alzheimer's and dementia, weighted blankets can help them have less disturbed sleep.
6. Can help improve focus and attention
Lack of sleep, whatever the cause, can negatively impact your cognitive function. So imagine how you would operate once you’re regularly getting adequate amounts of restful sleep? Your brain will thank you! Focus, and attention are only two of the many aspects that will drastically improve with deep rest.
Is a weighted blanket for you?
Weighted blankets are used as therapeutic tools, but it will still depend if it works for you. Your mileage will still vary.
If you’re one of the lucky few who can fall asleep easily, good for you! You can try a weighted blanket for size and see if it’s the upgrade you’ve been looking for. But if you’re one of the many who struggle with interrupted and shallow sleep, you might want to give this a try.
Who should not use a weighted blanket?
If you have certain medical conditions, a weighted blanket might not be the best choice for you. Some of these conditions include chronic respiratory or circulatory issues, asthma, low blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and claustrophobia. Additionally, people who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) should avoid using a weighted blanket, as it could make it harder to breathe by restricting airflow.
So, if you have any of these conditions or concerns, it's important to talk to your doctor before using a weighted blanket to make sure it's safe and appropriate for you.
How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
Weighted blankets can weigh anywhere between 5 and 30 pounds. Weighted blankets come in different weights, but a good starting point is to look for 10% of your body weight. From there, you can decide to go a little lighter or heavier.
How do I use a weighted blanket?
There's no one right or wrong way to use a weighted blanket. You can do whatever feels comfortable for you. You could add it to your regular bedding when you're going to sleep, place it on your lap when you're working at your desk, or snuggle with it on the couch when you're relaxing. Just use it in whatever way helps you feel the most relaxed and comfortable!
Can children use weighted blankets?
Weighted blankets are safe for children to use, and many kids really enjoy them! However, it's important to be careful when selecting a weighted blanket for your child and when first using it.
To make sure you choose the right weight for your child, a good rule of thumb is to select a blanket that weighs about 5-10% of your child's body weight. However, you should never use a weighted blanket with infants or small children under four years old.
For older children, it's important to supervise them when they first start using the blanket, and make sure they're strong enough to remove it if needed. It's also important to make sure that the blanket doesn't cover their face when they're sleeping.
If you have any concerns or questions, it's always a good idea to speak with your child's doctor, especially if your child has any skin allergies, circulation issues, epilepsy, or heart or breathing problems.
A note from Italic.
As top sleep specialists have been saying for centuries, the quality of your sleep directly impacts the quality of your life. Incorporate Deep Pressure Stimulation into your daily routine and watch your mood, mental state, and health improve!
On that note, allow us to introduce you to our Chunky Knit Weighted Blanket, a hand-woven 15-lb weighted blanket designed for less stress and more joy. Our Chunky Knit Weighted Blankets are designed for maximum comfort.
- Handwoven design. The look of our Chunky Knit Weighted Blanket sets it apart from the other weighted blankets in the market. It’s handwoven with care by expert knitters that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also creates the maximum possible airflow. This chunky blanket deserves a place not only in your bedroom but also your workstation or living room!
- Made from clean cotton. Our weighted blankets are made from Oeko-Tex® certified cotton, which ensures that the materials are free of high levels of 100 substances and chemicals harmful to people and the environment.
- All-Season Weight. The Chunky Knit Weighted Blanket may weigh 15 lbs (perfect for people who weigh 150 lbs and up!), but its design ensures airflow and comfortability throughout the whole year.
We hope that these benefits of a weighted blanket have helped you in your search for better sleep.
Remember: you spend ⅓ of your day sleeping – invest in rest.