How Using Weighted Blankets Will Improve Your Life

How Using Weighted Blankets Will Improve Your Life

If you are thinking of purchasing a weighted blanket, try and make sure that you are buying from a trusted source and that you are getting your money’s worth. 

After a long day, it would be a joy to lie on a soft bed, wrapped in a warm weighted blanket. Who doesn’t want to go and rest in a snug manner that helps and relieves stress? This article provides more information about the health benefits that you can get from a weighted blanket.

 

What Is A Weighted Blanket?

 

As opposed to the regular variety, weighted blankets include selected materials that can add weight to the usual fabrics of blankets. These extra materials can be small chains, pellets, discs, or plastic beads. There is no need to worry, as these are carefully designed and made from non-toxic material. The more expensive options for blanket weighting include millet and rice. 

For the exterior, soft materials such as cotton, flannel, fleece, and acrylic keep the whole blanket cozy for the same warm feeling that a duvet gives compared to a regular bedroom blanket. If you’re the type of person who easily builds up body heat, you can choose soft cotton weighted blankets for exterior fabrics that are more suited to your body’s comfort. 

 

Getting Your Own Weighted Blanket

 

If you are thinking of getting your own weighted blanket, there are several aspects that you should first consider. The most important aspect is that there is something called the Ten Percent Rule. 

This rule says that the best-weighted blanket is 10% of your body weight. So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you should get a weighted blanket of at least 15 pounds. To check your actual body weight, use a bathroom scale before you go and shop for blankets. If you are unsure about the blanket’s weight, ask for help from sales personnel. 

Another factor to consider before buying a weighted blanket is the fabric. Touch it and feel it to check if it feels nice and comfortable. If the fabric irritates your skin, forget it. Find another type of fabric that is preferable for you.

A word of caution to parents and caregivers. It is not advisable to buy blankets for young children and toddlers. Pediatricians have warned against the risk of smothering and suffocation when children are left unsupervised with blankets. 

Originally, weighted blankets, like those shown in this video, were developed to address specific disorders.

Known as gravity blankets, they were first developed for people who suffer from anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Later, these special 15-pound blankets were also found to relieve symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), fibromyalgia, panic disorder, sensory processing disorder, travel anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other similar syndromes. 

Today, weighted blankets have become mainstream as more people are buying them for practical reasons that have to do with deep pressure stimulation, like a hug that makes one feel more secure. 

 

How Can Weighted Blankets Improve Your Life?

 

 

  • Improves Your Sleep At Night

Weighted blankets can help you get a good night’s sleep. The weighted blanket was specifically designed to help light sleepers. A study published by the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders found that sleeping with weighted blankets greatly helped those who were suffering from chronic insomnia. 

The study also found that four out of five persons prefer sleeping with a weighted blanket. If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night because you might be suffering from anxiety and stress, such a blanket is a great way to help address this issue. 

 

  • Helps The Elderly Sleep Better 

Although young professionals and middle-aged people also suffer from insomnia and lack of a stable sleep pattern, it is the elderly who suffer the most from this. As they advance in age and their lifestyle changes, they may experience higher levels of anxiety and stress or chronic pain. Their sleeping patterns do change over time, but it has been noticed that living with purpose can help seniors sleep more soundly

Moreover, elderly persons who wake up refreshed in the morning in a good mood tend to be those who sleep with weighted blankets, according to sleep researchers who found significant correlations between ease of falling asleep and use of weighted blankets.

 

  • Lowers Anxiety And Stress Levels

People with anxiety disorder find it hard to relax and sleep at night because of thoughts that keep popping up in their heads. Anxiety is an inner battle that is fought against constant fear and worries about the unknown. The weighted blanket was invented to provide some comfort when dealing with stress-related disorders. 

Then there is travel anxiety that can be due to tight, confined spaces in airplanes and accommodations, or due to being around a lot of strangers. Bringing a weighted blanket along can offer comfort during these moments as it wraps around you like a reminder of home. 

How exactly do weighted blankets help? Remember the 10% weight rule? When deep pressure is applied evenly over your body, your body’s sympathetic nervous system which is causing the panic becomes suppressed, and the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. When this happens, your body relaxes and rests.

 

  • Improves Your Health 

Who wouldn’t want the benefit of lower blood pressure and a more relaxed pulse rate that is facilitated by a warm weighted blanket? As mentioned, when your parasympathetic nervous system is activated, your body relaxes, your heart rate slows down, and your blood pressure also lowers. 

Weighted blankets also help with fibromyalgia, also known as the “silent disease” that can slowly creep up on your body. Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain. With no cure and the only remedy being medication for pain management, people with fibromyalgia cannot sleep except by fits and starts. Weighted blankets help them sleep at night because of the relief that they experience from the even pressure that the blanket provides. 

 

  • Helps Those With PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that is usually triggered by a tragic or terrifying event. Dealing with PTSD means suffering from severe anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and even nightmares that can affect life in many ways. 

A weighted blanket helps calm your nerves through its applied pressure, so that your sympathetic nervous system slows down and experiences a state of calmness. 

 

  • Helps Those With ADHD

People with ADHD orAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have a different rate of brain development and activity that, in turn, affects their attention capacity and focus. ADHD persons who use weighted blankets often feel more relaxed than usual. Their brain activity slows down, and this helps them to rest faster and easier. 

The deep-touch pressure and gentle stimulation that the weighted blanket provides can produce a calming, soothing feeling that helps lower anxiety levels in those with ADHD. This is why weighted blankets can be used to improve their sensory skills as well. 

 

  • Helps Those With Autism Spectrum Disorder

The evenly distributed weight of weighted blankets is something that the autism community greatly values. A lot of occupational therapists use this blanket to help provide comfort and a sense of calm to those with autism. Because of the weight distribution in the blanket, there is a deep-pressure stimulation that, as mentioned, also feels like a hug. 

One study in adults with autism showed a 63% reduction of their stress levels when they used a weighted blanket. The blankets are also used in sensory integration therapy to help those with sensory issues. 

 

  • Helps Those With Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a nervous disorder where people feel pins and needles up and down their legs. RLS can be relieved to an extent by moving the legs. However, the leg movement can actually get so bad that it affects daily activities.

A weighted blanket acts as a steady hug on the legs. This calms down the leg nerves so that the RLS attacks at night are lessened, allowing those with RLS to sleep better. 

 

  • Helps Ease Night Pains Without Drugs

If you are using over-the-counter painkillers to treat your pain, weighted blankets can be a better option. They can serve as a natural reliever that never runs out. Sleep is a restorative process that allows your body to reset pain response and increase your pain tolerance threshold.

 

  • Helps Decrease Pet Anxiety 

Being a fur parent comes with certain challenges. In other words, when your fur babies suffer, you also suffer. Are your pets easily startled by noises? Do they seem to be always on edge? Do they transform into an emotional wreck due to some disturbances at night? 

Many fur parents are looking into smaller weighted blankets to help relieve their pets from anxiety and nervousness. A weighted blanket that is properly matched to the pet’s weight can also help the animal reach a state of calm.

 

The Research Behind The Weighted Blanket

 

As mentioned, the point of weighted blankets is to offer users a sense of calm by applying deep pressure that helps with self-regulation. 

Many refer to weighted blankets as gravity blankets. These are soft blankets that used to be exclusively found in therapy offices and psychiatry clinics to help patients. However, now they have gone mainstream and found a wider audience that can take advantage of the comforts that they provide. 

These special blankets are now used to provide comfort for more people who might be dealing with anxiety, lack of sleep, health issues, ADHD, and other disorders. However, a word of caution from experts must be reiterated – it is important to exercise caution when giving weighted blankets to children. The heavyweight blankets might help alleviate issues and anxiety with adults, but they also pose a hazard to children who might suffocate if the weight overpowers them. 

 

Thinking Of Buying Weighted Blankets?

 

Weighted blankets cost around $150 to $400. To make sure that you are purchasing a high-quality blanket, it is advisable to find a manufacturer that started selling weighted blankets even before there was much hype about them. This way you can be sure of getting your money’s worth, and that you are going home with a high-quality blanket that will not disappoint. Here are three suppliers that you can consider: 

 

  • Big Box Stores Reselling Other Brands

Weighted blankets are produced almost everywhere. Many of these are not custom-made anymore as originally intended to complement the exact weight of the user. Now, they are mostly mass-produced in factories abroad and resold through online retailers such as Amazon, your local Walmart, or Target. These might work for the general public, but you might be paying way more than you should. Questions to consider are the following: 

  • Does the weight distribution follow the 10% rule?
  • What kind of materials is it made of?

 

  • New Sellers Who Mass-Produce Overseas

New sellers trying to pave their own way in the market are also popular sellers of weighted blankets. Many of these only sell generic and mass-produced versions of the original weighted blankets. It is advisable to do proper research before buying anything from anyone if you feel unsure. When buying from these sellers online, check their “about us” page as well.

 

  • Small And Family-Owned Manufacturers

Your third and also the best option for buying weighted blankets are small and family-owned independent specialty manufacturers. These are often locally based and will surely give you the proper price for what you are buying. 

It would be best to not attempt a do-it-yourself weighted blanket. This will not save you money and will only cost you time and energy. Premium weighted blankets use ultra-soft fabric and high-end materials. Putting together weighted blankets requires a certain level of skill to finish the project. Your sewing abilities also have to be at a professional level so that the blanket you create will actually last a long time. If you are unsure, simply quit this project and just leave it in the expert hands of those who have been in this craft for a while now. 

 

Takeaways

 

Weighted blankets can be a great investment for improving your life because of the many benefits offered. Many users describe how a weighted blanket feels like a warm hug, except that it lasts the entire night and improves sleep among the elderly, those with PTSD, ADHD, and autism. It also lowers anxiety and stress levels in pets. 

Apart from being proven by research, the weighted blanket has been around for a while, used as a tool by therapists and other medical professionals. It is now gaining mainstream popularity as increasing numbers of people are realizing how beneficial it can be to their lives. 

If you are thinking of purchasing a weighted blanket, try and make sure that you are buying from a trusted source and that you are getting your money’s worth.

 

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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