Do you often find yourself tossing and turning in bed until the wee hours of the morning? Or perhaps you have a kid who is prone to sleep terrors and bedtime fears? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to improve your quality and duration of sleep without resorting to medication?
Have you nodded your head in affirmation to any of the above questions? Then it’s high time you consider getting a weighted blanket. If you’ve searched the internet for at-home sleep remedies, chances are you’ve already come across targeted ads for weighted blankets on various social media platforms.
In recent years, weighted blankets have often grabbed the limelight as the ultimate respite for serial tossers-and-turners. These heavier-than-regular blankets are filled with glass beads or poly pellets.
The extra weight, distributed throughout the blanket, stimulates various pressure points on your body. This, in turn, relaxes your nervous system and creates a calming effect on your body. Weighted blankets are known to help children with sensory processing disorders as well.
Whether you’re looking for a children’s weighted blanket or one for yourself, you’ll likely find a wide array of options, both online and in brick-and-mortar retail outlets. But it’s important that you select a weighted blanket of the right weight and size to ensure that it’s comfortable.
In this blog, we’ll discuss a few factors you should keep in mind while buying your first weighted blanket. But let’s first find out whether these blankets are worth the hype.
Do You Need a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blanket manufacturers will have you believe that these products are the miracle cure for all your sleep troubles. But what is it that makes weighted blankets so comfortable? To begin with, these blankets use a technique called deep pressure stimulation to apply even pressure all over your body.
This, in turn, soothes your nerves and creates a calming effect on your body. It imitates the feeling of being hugged or swaddled. This helps promote the production of serotonin, i.e. “the happy hormone”. Increased serotonin levels in your body can be instrumental in helping you deal with anxiety and stress.
Also, serotonin facilitates the release of melatonin, which, in turn, helps you fall asleep faster. Thus, using a weighted blanket is often just what you need to prevent myriad thoughts from invading your mind at bedtime. It even controls your heart rate and respiratory rate to help you feel more relaxed.
*Restless leg syndrome
Now that you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a weighted blanket, you must be wondering how you should go about selecting the right one. Let’s find out.
How to Find the Perfect Weighted Blanket
Despite their awesome benefits, weighted blankets often require a hefty financial investment. Also, if you’re buying one online, you wouldn’t have the option of checking it out before the purchase
So, how can you decide which weighted blanket will provide your kid or you with the maximum comfort? Here are a few parameters you should consider:
Typically, weighted blankets for adults are available in 10, 15, 25, or 30 lb variants. The ones for kids weigh 5 lbs or more. Most weighted blanket manufacturers recommend you to get a blanket that’s 10% of your body weight.
Most people prefer a weighted blanket that easily covers them from the neck to toe. This is the way to go if you intend to use the weighted blanket for sleep. You should also ensure that the blanket is slightly smaller than your bed and mattress.
Otherwise, the weight of the blanket will drag it down and away from your body, resulting in discomfort and nighttime awakenings. It’s also important to mention here that you should get a smaller weighted blanket if you plan to carry it around.
For instance, if you get anxious on flights and want to wrap a weighted blanket on the upper half of your body to ease your might, you don’t need a full-size weighted blanket. Likewise, people with restless leg syndrome might prefer to cover only the lower half of their body while sleeping. Thus, you should carefully assess your needs before zeroing in on a particular weighted blanket size.
Weighted blankets are made using a wide range of fabrics, such as:
The choice of fabric depends on your personal preference and comfort. For instance, if you tend to be a sweaty sleeper, a weighted blanket made of cotton would be more comfortable than a flannel or velvet one.
Considering that weighted blankets are heavier than regular blankets, they’re more difficult to wash. It’s a good idea to check whether the manufacturer is offering a duvet-type cover with the blanket.
As a ground rule, weighted blankets aren’t recommended for people who have sleep apnea or respiratory disorders. Also, if you suffer from claustrophobia, using a weighted blanket can feel more restrictive and stressful than relaxing.
Likewise, children or adults with mobility issues should tread with caution when using a weighted blanket. If your child has difficulty turning sides inside the blanket or removing it, they’re less likely to feel comfortable. Lastly, you should avoid using weighted blankets for infants (below the age of two).
Have you ever used a weighted blanket? Share your experience in the comments section below.