Weighted blankets are known to have certain therapeutic effects, and while it may seem counterintuitive, the added weight puts us into “rest mode.” If you’re here, that idea might just seem overly bizarre to you, so let’s go into more detail.
What Is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is precisely what the word says—a blanket that's designed to weigh more than regular blankets. There are two main types of weighted blankets: the duvet type and the knitted blanket type.
The duvet-type blankets make the blanket heavier by adding glass beads or plastic pellets, beads, ball bearings, and other types of fillings, while the knitted type of weighted blankets is made by weaving dense yarn.
A weighted blanket can be used anywhere in the house: in the bedroom, in the living room, on the couch, on your porch... Basically, at your favorite place for relaxing.
Why Do People Use Weighted Blankets?
Lots of people feel that using a weighted blanket is therapeutic, that it serves as anxiety relief, and that it helps them fight insomnia and stress, promoting feelings of calmness. Why, you ask?
Well, the weight of the blanket itself is supposed to mimic a hug, an embrace, through deep pressure stimulation. This, in turn, is supposed to stimulate the production of the hormone serotonin, responsible for good mood and regulation of depression and anxiety. Moreover, it’s related to an increase in melatonin levels (the hormone that helps prepare you for sleep). At the same time, it's supposed to reduce cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
So, in general, people use weighted blankets with the aim of improving their sleep quality.
Is it Safe to Use a Weighted Blanket?
Generally speaking, weighted blankets are safe to use. The most important thing is that the person who uses the blanket can physically take it off whenever they want. You should always get a weighted blanket that's appropriate to your body weight and stature.
That's why weighted blankets shouldn't be used on babies and toddlers, as well as small children, so you don't run the risk of suffocation and entrapment.
Also, seniors should also reconsider using a weighted blanket if they don't feel like they're strong enough to toss it off whenever they feel like it. Additionally, their body weight might not correspond with the given options on the market.
If you have a certain medical condition, it's best to talk to your doctor before getting a weighted blanket. If you suffer from asthma, type 2 diabetes, low blood pressure, chronic respiratory issues or issues with circulation, and also claustrophobic feelings, then it might not be a good idea to use a weighted blanket.
The same goes if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea—a heavy blanket is not the best fit for a condition that causes restrictions on airflow.
How to Choose the Perfect Weighted Blanket
In order to avoid feeling trapped by the weighted blanket in your sleep, follow these couple of tips to make sure you find the best fit:
- Weight: as we mentioned earlier, the blanket should be proportional to your body weight (not the same, of course!). Aim for 10% of your body weight or less.
- Construction: the material used in the weighted blanket should be evenly distributed throughout the whole blanket. Otherwise, the blanket is faulty and won't do its job as well as it should.
- Fabric: even though the weighted blanket is heavier than other blankets, it still should be comfortable and breathable for use. Make sure you look for breathable and thermoregulatory materials like bamboo or cotton, so they can both make you comfy and keep you warm. They should also keep you cool and prevent you from sweating and overheating as much as possible.
Weighted blankets can be a nice addition to your bedroom or couch if you're looking for a cover that's going to make you feel embraced and coddled. These blankets come in different shapes and sizes. When it comes to the material used inside and outside, it all depends on your personal preferences, but when it comes to the weight, you have to be able to take it out on your own.
If you feel like the weighted blanket is too heavy or like you can't move under it, then replace it with a lighter one. Test out different weighted blanket sizes to see which one fits you best. Remember that the most important thing is comfort and safety, something that's always non-negotiable, whatever the case.