Why Are Weighted Blankets So Popular?
A good night’s sleep is crucial for good health, but it doesn’t always come easily. Some of us
are plagued by trouble sleeping, while others only occasionally spend a night tossing and
turning. Experts advise a range of tactics to help, from keeping to a regular sleep schedule
to turning off electronics an hour or more before we try to sleep. One of the newest tactics is
the weighted blanket.
What is a weighted blanket?
They are similar to a duvet but with small beads added to the
filling. The weight of the blanket can vary dramatically. They range from just over a kilo to
almost a stone in weight.
Research is ongoing to understand how a weighted blanket works. The general idea is that
the steady but gentle pressure on the body soothes the nervous system. It is similar to the
effect of swaddling on babies. Some speculate that it is like a hug, and research shows that
a good hug releases oxytocin, one of the happy hormones. Deep pressure on the body also
releases serotonin and dopamine, other happy hormones.
Who Can Benefit from a Weighted Blanket?
Almost anyone struggling to fall and stay asleep might benefit from a weighted blanket.
Stress and anxiety are the main culprits that keep us up at night, and weighted blankets are
an effective, affordable and natural way to counter them. For those who toss and turn, those
with sensory processing issues and those whose worries keep them awake, weighted
blankets could be the ticket to a solid eight hours of refreshing sleep.
Not everyone should use a weighted blanket, however. Heavy blankets pose a suffocation
risk for infants, and small children could choke on the beads if any came out of the blanket.
For younger children, choose a blanket that is designed especially for their needs,
remembering the blanket should weigh up to ten percent of the user's body weight.
People with asthma, poor circulation, diabetes, sleep apnoea, low blood pressure, epilepsy,
skin allergies or chronic respiratory problems shouldn’t use them. If you have any type of
ongoing medical issue, consult your doctor before purchasing one of these blankets.
But for most of us, weighted blankets are a comfortable, cosy way to ensure we get the
sleep we need for good health and a good quality of life.
Choosing a Weighted Blanket
You don’t need to spend a fortune on a quality weighted blanket. It’s always best to shop
local and buy from a name you trust, whether it is online or on the high street. Do make sure
you are satisfied with the quality of the stitching. Check the washing instructions to make
sure you can clean it easily. You can find quality weighted blankets with a range of fabric
covers. Weighted Sherpa blankets have a soft plush side for warmer days or have the fluffy
sherpa side keep you extra snuggly. And don’t forget, you can put them into a duvet cover as
One of the most important tips for buying the best weighted blanket is to get one that is the
right weight for you. A good rule of thumb is that your blanket should be ten percent of your
body weight or less. As much as other family members might want to borrow yours, unless
they weigh the same as you or more, you have good reason to tell them to get their own.