Weighted blankets were first introduced in 2008 and originally began as a coping device, specifically in the special needs community. Fast forward 10 years and you can now find a weighted blanket in just about every bedding store across the country. Once a tool used in therapists and psychiatry clinics, the product has now gone mainstream. People everywhere are buying them so do they actually work and can they help improve sleep?
What is a weighted blanket?
From a quick glance, a weighted blanket looks like, well, a blanket. What’s inside is what makes it unique. A weighted blanket is filled with hypoallergenic, non-toxic polypropylene pellets. The pellets are sewn into small self-contained pockets that are evenly distributed throughout the blanket. These pellets give the blanket its weight, which typically range from 10 to 25 pounds. Generally, your blanket should be around 10 percent of your weight and sized based on your body type, not on the size of your bed.
How do they work?
When weighted blankets first came to the market, they were utilized to mimic the benefits of deep pressure therapy, which is why they were so widely used in the autism and occupational therapy field. Just like regular blankets, their primarily use is to comfort and sooth you. When you add extra weight, it becomes more of a compression device and ultimately feels like “a big hug,” producing a calming effect. Applying heavy pressure can help lead to a boost in oxytocin, the happiness chemical in the brain. Therefore, weighted blankets are especially helpful for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. They also aid in issues such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
Can weighted blankets help you sleep better?
While there are no formal scientific studies that prove they are effective, individual users have reported a significant impact on their sleep when using a weighed blanket. Why? For one, deep touch pressure stimulation boosts serotonin so it can help you fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and wake up feeling more relaxed. Serotonin is a chemical and neurotransmitter in the body that is generally lower for those with mental illness, which is why weighted blankets are so effective for that population of people.
As someone who suffers from GAD and OCD, I have noticed a significant difference when I sleep with my weighted blanket. My symptoms are reduced and I feel a calming sensation throughout the night. If you’re thinking about purchasing one, I highly recommend it.
What weighted blanket should I buy?
With summer officially here, weighted blankets can become a bit heavy and hot. Warm Things has solved this problem and introduced an extra-light summer weight down blanket. Made with a super lightweight 550 fill power, this blanket is perfect for summer use and warmer climates. It has a 233-thread count and a 100% cotton shell, making it light and breathable so you won't overheat. Read our customer reviews to hear what our users had to say!
Do you use a weighted blanket and does it work for you?
Based on a recent poll on our Warm Things Instagram, 50% reported that their weighted blanket worked for them. Ultimately, it really depends on your personal needs and preferences. We would love to hear from our Warm Things community so post your experience with weighted blankets below!
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