Are you curious about weighted blankets? Originally used in clinical settings, weighted blankets have recently gone mainstream, and many people swear by them. What’s the big deal? What, exactly, is a weighted blanket, and why are weighted blankets beneficial?
What is a Weighted Blanket and What is the Appropriate Weight?
Weighted blankets are just that: heavy blankets, weighted down with glass beads or poly pellets sewn into special pockets in the blanket. Even though they’re heavy, weighted blankets won’t necessarily make you hot. The appropriate weight of the blanket varies depending on who is using it, but it should be just over 10 percent of your body weight. For older adults, it may be better to go with a slightly lighter weighted blanket. It doesn’t need to be as big as your bed but should cover your body. Weighted blankets don’t carry many risks, but they’re not recommended for very young children as they could increase the risk of suffocation. People with certain medical conditions – such as obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, and claustrophobia – might also not be good candidates for weighted blankets.
What is the Point of a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets provide deep touch pressure, which can have a calming effect and, in some cases, even alleviate pain. They can provide the feeling that you’re being hugged. Weighted blankets can ease stress and anxiety, help you relax, and even improve your sleep quality. Many people report sleeping more deeply with a weighted blanket and waking up less frequently in the night.
Weighted blankets are almost universally calming, but they’re especially beneficial for people with certain conditions. These conditions include:
- Autism: People with autism tend to benefit from deep pressure therapy.
- ADHD: Information is not available about ADHD and weighted blankets, but the use of weighted vests has had positive results.
- Anxiety: Weighted blankets have been used to successfully treat people with anxiety. A recent study indicated that using a weighted blanket reduced anxiety in about 33 percent of patients.
- Insomnia and Sleep Disorders: People who use weighted blankets report falling asleep more deeply and sleeping more soundly.
- Chronic Pain: Just as massage is good for chronic pain, the firm pressure of a weighted blanket is beneficial.