Can sleeping with a weighted blanket help you to rest better? Do weighted blankets work? Are there any benefits when sleeping with a weighted blanket? What to look for in a weighted blanket? Those are just a few of the questions you may be asking yourself. To know the answer, read on!
Imagine having a magic blanket that could relieve your insomnia, anxiety, stress, and other conditions just by gently hugging you… I’m sure that you are excited to discover that such blankets really exist! Sleeping with a weighted blanket can melt away all of those problems like a hug from your loved ones. Weighted blankets: they were initially solely manufactured and used for therapeutic purposes, but are now available for everyone to enjoy!
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What’s a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets aren’t ordinary blankets even though they may resemble one. Just like the name suggests, those are heavyweight blankets, usually filled with materials such as plastic pellets, glass beads, or discs. This special blanket’s calming effect helps you to relax and enhance your sleep.
In the past, doctors used weighted blankets to treat patients (both adults and children) with special needs such as autism, severe anxiety, OCD, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They discovered that such patients were easily relieved with the weights of these blankets as a result of the deep touch pressure (DTP) they experienced.
How do weighted blankets work?
I’m sure you are curious to understand how a ‘blanket’ can help relieve the aforementioned disorders. Well, it’s like this; a weighted blanket combines the soothing effect of an ordinary blanket with the therapeutic effect of deep touch pressure (DTP) to provide a calming effect.
When used, the weighted blankets exert pressure on the body, stimulating the brain to release serotonin and dopamine. Those two important neurotransmitters are responsible for making people feel happy and relaxed.
Serotonin is naturally converted into melatonin, which regulates your sleep. The calming effect of the weighted blankets is similar to that of a firm hug, swaddling, or even massage.
Sleeping with a weighted blanket is relaxing
You are probably wondering how does it feel when sleeping with a weighted blanket? Can I expect it to work straight away? Would a weighted blanket feel too heavy? Will a weighted blanket work immediately?
For most people, a weighted blanket can give game-changing results already after the first use. On the other hand, a small number of first-time weighted blanket users may experience that it can take up to one or two weeks to get used to its weight. For this reason, it is important to not give up on your weighted blanket just because it may feel too heavy after the first use.
Try instead to slowly get your body used to it, for example by alternating it with your normal duvet. In this way in almost all cases, the feeling of having something too heavy on you will disappear and you will instead start to feel the incredible benefits that a weighted blanket can have on your sleep.
Sleeping with a weighted duvet can be an amazing experience, especially with a well made sensory blanket like Relixiy. A good weighted blanket should feel soft and snuggly because the sensory experience is also very important to improve the quality of your sleep.
Imagine sleeping with a weighted blanket that is super soft and silky smooth on your skin and feeling like someone is hugging all of your body. Your entire body will start to relax, releasing muscle tension and finally improving your sleep! This is exactly how it feels when you sleep with a weighted blanket of very good quality. Just remember that if it feels too heavy at first, this will gradually go away and you will gradually get all of the amazing benefits of this incredible blanket.
7 Benefits of weighted blankets
There are so many benefits of weighted blankets that many people don’t know about, however, here are the main ones.
1. Easing insomnia and improving sleep
Until you experience insomnia, you may never truly understand what it is and how it can disarray your daily activities.
The deep touch pressure you experience from using weighted blankets helps promote the secretion of serotonin and melatonin in your brain, helping you relax better, and giving you a night of uninterrupted sleep.
This 2015 study demonstrates that weighted blankets can be used as a non-pharmacological way to help people suffering from insomnia.
“Using weighted blankets in adults leads to a decrease in the production of sleep spindles, which are important for memory consolidation, hence resulting in increased sleep time.”2015 by Dr Gaby Badre, a sleep specialist and neuropsychologist.
2. Reduce anxiety for adults & kids
Anxiety is caused by an excess secretion of the stress hormone known as cortisol. A rise in the secretion of this hormone (cortisol) will result in decreased melatonin production, hence causing anxiety, which may also result in insomnia.
Several factors can trigger anxiety: studies show that over 40 million people in the US suffer from this disturbance. Studies show that just like a hug, weighted anti anxiety blankets have the same calming and relaxing impact when anxiety kicks in.
There’s even more! If your children suffer from anxiety before going to the dentist, a weighted blanket can help in reducing this.
3. Reduce stress
Weighted blankets can help in reducing your level of stress by stimulating the production of melatonin. In fact, a weighted blanket feels a lot like a warm hug!
Weighted blankets can lower your levels of the stress hormone (cortisol). That’s why thanks to deep pressure stimulation, a stress blanket can be an excellent tool for stress relief.
4. Ease Attention-deficit hyperactivity syndrome (ADHD) and enhance focus
ADHD is mostly associated with a lack of focus. This mental disorder affects almost 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17. In addition, it is estimated that around 60% of these kids carry this disorder into adulthood.
Even if there are medications used to manage this disorder, weighted blankets are also an option for managing ADHD and improving focus.
5. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Relief
PTSD is a stress-related disorder, usually caused by a traumatic event in a person’s life. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), PTSD “is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or other violent personal assault.”
Most people with this disorder end up seeing a therapist. However, a therapist may not always be available to you. Hence a weighted blanket can also help you ‘relax’ every time you experience a crisis or re-live a traumatic experience. Through deep touch stimulation, a weighted blanket can help get you into a relaxed state by reducing physical pain, relieving you of stress, enhancing your sleep, and boosting your overall mood by increasing your oxytocin levels.
6. Help to manage Autism
Autism patients tend to respond positively to hugs and gentle touch. Even if this disorder has no cure, researchers discovered possible ways to manage the symptoms.
A mild touch or hug can help an autistic patient relax and even sleep better, a weighted blanket provides the same benefits.
7. Ease pains without any medication
If you prefer to manage pain rather than take drugs to stop it, then a weighted blanket for pain relief is the perfect companion for you. In fact, it provides a deep touch stimulation, it can be soothing and even help you forget about your pain for a while.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, in truth, those are just a few of the benefits of sleeping with a weighted blanket.
Other weighted blanket use cases
Weighted blankets can help with restless leg syndrome (RLS), as well as adults and children with down syndrome (thanks to the release of serotonin).
Finally, weighted blankets can benefit the elderly with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and more. Just make sure that the elderly person is strong enough to remove the blanket without any help.
Always remember to choose the correct weighted blanket weight for your body, because picking one that is too heavy may result in uncomfortable nights.
What to consider before buying a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets provide some amazing benefits, but it is important that you take the following factors into consideration before buying one.
Weighted blankets should be about 10% of the body weight. You can decide to go for a lighter or heavier one. Although within certain limits, the more a weighted blanket weighs, the more beneficial it is. If you are unsure, simply check our handy weighted blanket calculator to know how heavy the blanket should be.
Choosing the type of fabric you are comfortable with is also important. There are different fabrics to choose from. These fabrics range from cotton to flannel, cotton-satin, linen-rayon, and fleece. Your choice of fabric depends on your preference and whether or not you have allergies.
Do you have any medical conditions?
If you are buying a weighted blanket for a person with any medical condition, be sure to check in with a medical practitioner or therapist as it may not be safe for certain persons to use.
For example, persons with claustrophobia or respiratory diseases may find it difficult to enjoy the benefits of weighted blankets fully.
Age of the sleeper
Weighted blankets are not ideal for babies, children under 6 years of age, and frail elders because their bodies may not be able to handle the weight of the blanket. The blanket may even restrict their movements, hence causing more harm than good.
Weighted blanket size
Weighted blankets come in various sizes, and so, when buying one, it shouldn’t be bigger than your bed size. In fact, it should be an almost exact fit for your bed size.
Where to buy a Weighted blanket
You can buy a weighted blanket online, directly from Relixiy, and enjoy a free 1-2 business day delivery on all orders.
With every purchase of our premium heavy blankets, you also get our eBook included for free! Shop now to start sleeping with a weighted blanket and enjoy all of its benefits.