Do weighted blankets work?

Do weighted blankets work?

For many people, weighted blankets have become a routine part of stress relief and healthy sleep habits.

With the changes to all our lifestyles due to the pandemic, it seems that more people are experiencing anxiety and the resultant difficulty in sleeping.

Research suggests weighted blankets may benefit people with anxiety, stress, insomnia and other conditions.

They can provide comfort that helps relaxation, improve sleep and reduce panic attacks.

Others have suggested that they can help sufferers of Fibromyalgia and Autism.

What is a weighted blanket?

As the name suggests a weighted blanket is very much like a regular blanket, but much weighted much heavier.

They are typically filled with small beads and made from cotton or velvet type material for softness.

They can also come with separate covers which can be removed and washed.

What are the benefits of weighted blankets?

Weighted blankets are often called ‘therapeutic’ blankets that weigh about 5KG or more.

The pressure from the extra weight mimics a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation that uses hands-on pressure to relax the nervous system.

Weighted blankets provide a similar type of pressure when the blanket is wrapped around the body.

This comforting pressure, which some have likened to a hug, is said to release feel-good hormones, such as Serotonin, helping reduce nervous system activity and provide a warm feeling of well being.

Benefits of weighted blankets

List of benefits of weighted blankets

  1. Imroves sleep quality 
  2. Reduces Anxiety
  3. Reduces Stress Levels
  4. Pain Relief
  5. Insomnia
  6. Fibromyalgia side effect relief
  7. Reduces Autism restlessness.
  8. Benefits of Hugging
  9. Mood Improvement
  10. OCD symptoms reduction
  11. Reduces sensory overload
  12. PTSD night terrors
  13. Improves Restless Leg Syndrome
  14. Calms the nervous system

How much does a weighted blanket actually weigh?

Weighted blankets should typically be between 7% to 12% of your body weight according to research by Dr Nauf Albendar, though they are not recommended for young children.

Where to find a weighted blanket?

Many shops in the UK supply weighted blankets and they can also be purchased online.

Which conditions can be helped by weight blankets?

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Osteoarthritis

Find out more about weighted blankets

Bearaby Guide to Weighted Blankets

Where can I buy a weighted blanket?

Many shops and online stores sell weight blankets including

John Lewis Weighted Blanket 4.5 KG

The John Lewis weighted blanket is described as

With a special weighty filling to create a reassuringly cosy feel and even pressure across your body. Wrap around your shoulders, across your lap or legs. Designed to help reduce restlessness and aid relaxation.

John Lewis

Find out more about the John Lewis weighted blanket

List of weighted blankets for sale

Brentford Weighted Blankets

Brentfords Weighted Blanket 8kg for Adults Therapy Anti Anxiety Autism Insomnia Stress Relief, King Size – Silver Grey – 150 x 200cm

Bedsure Weighted Blankets

BEDSURE Weighted Blanket for Adults – 6.8 KG Double Heavy Blanket Cover for Autism, 150x200cm

Higham Weighted Blankets

Highams Weighted Blanket 8kg for Adults Therapy Anxiety Calming Sleep Effect Quilted Glass Beads, Double King Size – 150 x 200cm

Are weighted blankets safe?

Provided that the person who is using the  blanket has sufficient strength to life the blanket from themselves, this will prevent any possibility of suffocation or getting stuck in the bed.

Care should be taken with anyone who is ill, young children, the elderly or infirm.

If you have concerns about anyone then consult your doctor before purchasing a weighted blanket and take advice on what type would be suitable. 
Weighted blankets may be unsuitable for example, for people with asthma, low blood pressure, diabetes, or claustrophobia.
When in doubt always consult your GP. 

Choosing a weighted blanket

Making the right choice for a weighted blanket often comes down to personal choice.

Weighted blankets can range from 2.5K to 7.5K and more – which is quite a difference. 

Make a note of your bed size – single, double, twin. Some suppliers offer child sizes and travel sizes.  It is worth considering the person also, for example, if you have a partner then only one of you may want a weighted blanket. 

So you may want to consider a single weighted blanket for that person even though they sleep in a double bed.

Do weighted blankets help with night terrors?

What is a night terror?

A night terror is a sleep disorder.Sufferers experience feelings of intense fear, dread and danger whilst sleeping.  It can be confused with having nightmares. Night terrors are by definition more intense and a person can talk, shout, thrash about or even scream whilst sleeping and often can include sudden anixety-filled awakenings.

How do weighted blankets help with night terrors?

Weighted blankets are based on the practice of Deep Pressure Touch (DPT).

The feeling is in many ways similar to a hug.

In technical terms, this leads to a release of serotonin and endorphins and a reduction in the production of cortisol. 

This combination allows the sufferer to have a better deep sleep with less likelihood of a night terror.