Whether you’re having trouble falling asleep at night due to anxiety, stress, pain, or symptoms from a disorder, buying a weighted blanket can change your sleeping experience. Who doesn’t love the constant feeling of a hug? Weighted blankets are not only comfortable, but they make you feel secure and safe.
The weight and warmth from a weighted blanket uses deep pressure touch stimulation, making your body calm and relaxed. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, a weighted blanket is a great investment in your health.
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Benefits of Weighted Blankets
You may have heard about the many benefits for weighted blankets, including soothing anxiety and helping many sleep disorders. Just like a hug, weighted blankets can have an extremely positive affect on anyone that uses them. Weighted blankets can benefit:
- Sensory Disorders: When the brain has difficulty receiving and responding to sensory information, it may cause people to become overly sensitive to their surroundings. Weighted blankets help increase Serotonin and Melatonin levels.
- Sleep Disorders: There are many different sleep disorders that people can suffer from, some of the common ones being insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep and then stay asleep. These may also include hypersomnia (when someone is excessively sleepy) or parasomnia (unwanted experiences while sleeping). Weighted therapy, by using a weighted blanket, can again increase levels of Serotonin and Melatonin during the night to help these.
- ADD/ADHD Spectrum Disorder: Those with these attention deficit disorders can easily calm down by using weighted blankets after school/work, or during therapy sessions, or simply to relax and fall asleep.
- Asperger’s & Autism Spectrum Disorder: Usually children with autism have a secondary diagnosis of sensory dysfunction. Integrating a weighted blanket can help incorporate sensory integration. They can also help calm down the child after stressful situations and during therapy sessions.
- Anxiety & Panic symptoms, Stress & Tension: A weighted blanket can bring about a sense of security when feeling a panic attack arising, irritability, or lack of concentration. Anxiety can also keep the mind from relaxing and falling asleep, and weighted blankets stimulates the production of Serotonin and Melatonin, helping one sleep.
- Menopause symptoms: Menopause can cause hot flashes, low sex drive, irritability, lack of concentration, and insomnia. A weighted blanket can be used as a way to help relax these unavoidable symptoms for some women, without using drugs or other sleeping aids.
- People over the age of 65: Weighted blankets are a great investment for the elderly. Not only can weighted blankets help sooth aches and pains with old age, but other factors that may interrupt sleeping. Also, those with Parkinson’s can benefit from the evenly distributed pressure across their body, helping discomfort from stiffness, tremors, and slow movements. Similarly, a weighted blanket for those with Alzheimer’s, helps them feel calm and secure after mood swings, confusion, and stress.
Size & Weight of a Weighted Blanket
Once you start looking at weighted blankets, you may notice there are a lot of options. There are so many different sizes and weights, that it can become overwhelming.
If you’re using a blanket that’s too heavy, especially on a child, it can become an extreme safety hazard. Make sure before buying a weighted blanket for a child, you check with a doctor first.
A general guideline for deciding how much weight you should be looking for in a weighted blanket, is using what’s called the 10% rule.
If you take the user’s body weight and multiple it by 10% and then add 1-2 pounds, this can be used as a general guideline. However, there is room within this for personal preference. Also keep noted, the larger the blanket you get, the lower the weight per square inch will be. Alternatively, the smaller blanket you buy, the higher the weight per square inch will be.
With many weighted blankets out there, it may be hard to choose the right one for you. Consider these elements:
- Weight & Size. Make sure you’re buying the right weight (10% of your body weight + 1 or 2 pounds). This will make sure the blanket is effective and safe. Be especially careful when buying weighted blankets for children, and do not put the weighted blanket above your shoulders.
- Material. Especially those concerned with the sensory benefits of a weighted blanket, the material can make or break the experience. Some weighted blankets have one side of fabric with bumps to help stimulate the user further.
- Machine Washable? Some weighted blankets do not come with a cover over them, and are not machine washable. Usually if a weighted blanket does not come with a cover there is an option to buy one, and this makes it much easier to keep your weighted blanket clean.
- Price. Weighted blankets can vary in price drastically. This can depend on the durability of the blanket, or the size of the stitched squares that usually hold the weighted beads. (Smaller squares usually mean more evenly distributed weight, and polyfil also means less noisy).
- Returnable. A weighted blanket can be an expensive blanket, and the ability to return it is important. Although the weight of these blankets can help sooth a lot of anxiety, uncomfortableness, irritability, and much more, it still is a weighted feeling. Some people liked the idea of the blanket but are claustrophobic, which takes away the relaxing effect of the blanket. Plus, great customer service is always important.
There are so many factors that can affect your sleeping. After a bad night’s sleep, you’re exhausted the next day and overall don’t function as best as you can. Weighted blankets have been proven to help those who struggle with sleeping disorders, anxiety, sensory disorders, PTSD, and many more. Weighted blankets use deep pressure touch stimulation that increase Serotonin and Melatonin to help sleep, without harsh drugs. This ultimate form of relaxation help improves sleep for many, and can improve sensory integration as well. Plus, they’re just extremely comfy.