Weighted blankets have been all the rage on social for the last few years. And it’s easy to understand why—these cozy, stress-reliving blankets are the perfect accessory for your movie night on the couch or lazy morning in bed scrolling TikTok. But, do weighted blankets really work as a therapeutic tool?And if so, what are the benefits of using them?
The scoop on weighted blankets Weighted blankets are exactly like they sound—blankets that feel heavier than normal bedding. Weighing between 5 and 23 pounds, these are therapeutic tools you can incorporate into self-care routine.
They come in a variety of styles, including knitted and duvet(so many cute options for the‘Gram). The knitted ones are woven with heavier yarn than normal to add extra weight, while the duvets have some hardware added into them to weigh them down.
Weighted blanket benefits Weighted blankets mimic deep pressure stimulation. And yes it’s similar to the effect of a blissed-out massage. This therapeutic technique may help reduce anxiety or stress, help with pain, and improve overall mood. In fact, the controlled pressure can promote a feeling of calmness, which is why you’ll find me snuggled up under one literally 24/7.
Another major win is that deep pressure stimulation can regulate overactive nervous systems(which contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, and more.) By helping our bodies relax our parasympathetic nervous system, they allow us to wind down before bed and get that much-needed REM sleep.
Who could benefit from using a weighted blanket? While any and every type of sleeper could benefit from using a weighted blanket, it could be particularly therapeutic for some specific demographics. These include:
Autism Weighted blankets can possibly improve sleep by enabling people with autism to focus on the sensation of the weighted blanket rather than being overwhelmed with other stimuli. This could both improve sleep or aid in soothing them when they’re in a stressful situation.
Anxiety and Depression Not being able to sleep can be a sideeffect of experiencing anxiety or depression. With the boosted calmness of the weighted blanket, sleep comes that much easier, which can have a positive impact on mental health.
ADHD Weighted blankets may be able to improve attention and reduce hyperactivity. This could give those with ADHD a much needed tool to stay on task.
Weighted blankets and safety While weighted blankets are generally considered safe, manufacturers advise that they shouldn’t be used on toddlers under two. Additionally, weighted blankets may not be a great fit for people with sleep apnea, asthma, or claustrophobia. Be sure to consult a physician before using one if you have any concerns.
How to choose the best weighted blanket for you
Weighted blankets should be between 5-10% of your body weight, although older adults may want to scale it back a bit and use a small or medium blanket in the range of 5-15 lbs. Additionally, the blanket should be large enough to cover your entire bed to ensure you get the full effect of the deep pressure stimulation and the full effect of the coziness. If you want to take your improved sleep experience to the nextlevel, pair it with a supportive mattress.
Now that you’re a weighted blanket expert, experiment pairing it with other sleep-enhancing life hacks like incorporating herbs for sleep.
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