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, and now post-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.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
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.
How do weighted blankets work?
Weighted blankets are designed to provide a feeling of deep touch pressure.
This can have a calming effect on the body.
The pressure from the weighted blanket is thought to increase levels of serotonin and melatonin in the body – this can help improve mood and promote a sense of relaxation and well-being.
The weight of the blanket is distributed evenly across the body, providing a gentle, but constant pressure that can help to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
Improved sleep has many benefits.
What is the science behind weighted blankets?
There is sound science behind weighted blankets and it is rooted in the concept of deep touch pressure therapy.
Deep touch is a form of therapy based on the idea that gentle, constant pressure on the body can have a calming effect.
The pressure from the weighted blanket is believed to activate pressure points on the body, which can increase the production of serotonin and melatonin.
These chemicals are known to have a calming effect on the body, which can help to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
In addition, the weight of the blanket provides a sense of security and can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
This can make it easier to relax and fall asleep.
What are the Benefits of Weighted Blankets?
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
- Imroves sleep quality
- Reduces Anxiety
- Reduces Stress Levels
- Pain Relief
- Fibromyalgia side effect relief
- Reduces Autism restlessness.
- Benefits of Hugging
- Mood Improvement
- OCD symptoms reduction
- Reduces sensory overload
- PTSD night terrors
- Improves Restless Leg Syndrome
- Calms the nervous system
How much does a weighted blanket actually weigh?
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.
Are weighted blankets expensive?
The cost of weighted blankets can vary depending on factors such as the size, weight, material and manufacturer of the blanket.
In general, weighted blankets are more expensive than buying regular blankets.
This is because they are designed with specific therapeutic purposes in mind and require more materials to manufacture.
The additional cost of a weighted blanket could be considered a worthwhile investment for people who are looking for a natural and effective way to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
Also, some weighted blankets may be covered by medical insurance if they are prescribed by a doctor for a medical condition.
Check with your insurance provider to see if a weighted blanket is covered under your plan.
Where can I buy a weighted blanket?
Many shops in the UK supply weighted blankets and they can also be purchased online.
- Kudd.ly weight blankets
- Mela weighted blanket
- John Lewis weighted blanket
- Remy Sleep weighted blanket
- Simba weighted blanket
- Sommio knitted weighted blanket
- Silentnight Wellbeing Weighted Blanket
Which conditions can be helped by weight blankets?
- Chronic Pain
Find out more about 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.
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
Higham Weighted Blankets
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 the infirm.
Choosing a weighted blanket
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.
Do you need help with a therapist?
10 Reasons to choose a weighted blanket
- Weighted blankets can provide a feeling of deep touch pressure, which can have a calming effect on the body.
- They can help to improve mood by increasing levels of serotonin and melatonin in the body.
- Weighted blankets can help to reduce anxiety and promote a sense of relaxation.
- They can provide a sense of security and can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Weighted blankets can help to improve sleep by making it easier to relax and fall asleep.
- They can provide relief from sensory processing disorders and can be used as part of a sensory integration therapy program.
- Weighted blankets can provide comfort for people with autism and other neurological conditions.
- They are non-invasive and drug-free, making them a safe and natural option for people who want to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
- Weighted blankets are available in a range of sizes, weights, and styles, so you can choose the one that is right for you.
- They can be used by people of all ages, from children to adults.
Are there side effects to weighted blankets?
Weighted blankets are generally considered safe for most people.
However, as with any type of therapy, it’s important to use them carefully and to follow any instructions provided by the weighted blanket manufacturer.
Occasionally people may experience mild side effects from using a weighted blanket, such as discomfort or difficulty moving while under the blanket.
It’s therefore important to choose a weighted blanket that is the right weight for your body size and to use it in a way that is safe and comfortable.
If you experience any severe side effects or if you have any concerns about using a weighted blanket, it’s always best to consult with your doctor.