First came silk and copper pillowcases and now, another component of bedding has the spotlight on itself. Unless you have been living under a rock, you must have heard of weighted blankets. These have a lot of hype surrounding them, but is this hype justified?
Weighted Blanket – What Is It?
A weighted blanket is nothing like any other blanket. It’s made of discs or beads of glass or plastic wrapped in a softer material like cotton. The overall feel is like that of a duvet with the blanket weighing anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds. Yep, that sounds quite heavy but at the end of the day, when you wrap yourself in your weighted blanket, it will feel light and comfy.
This new type of blanket, which has gained popularity owing to word-of-mouth, typically is flexible and washable with an outer cover and inner weighted layer. The outer cover is easier to wash and dry which is a pro. Moreover, a weight blanket comes in various sizes; you can also get one that matches the size of your mattress.
What makes it different, you ask? The weighted blanket has gained so many wow expressions because it applies even weight on the body and makes you feel secure, as if being held in a hug. This makes you feel calm as well and enables better sleep. While that sounds cute and cozy, does science back this claim?
The Science Behind Weighted Blankets
According to several small studies, weighted blankets are effective in delivering the claims they make. Science explains the comfy feeling that makes weighted blankets better as “deep touch pressure” which is therapeutic in nature. A weighted blanket cuddles and compresses, encouraging the release of sleep hormones serotonin and melatonin.
Moreover, the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, is also controlled which enables relaxation. Since the effect is the replication of a hug, oxytocin is also released. This hormone decreases blood pressure and slows the heart rate which also has a calming influence.
A study that found its place in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders concluded that 4 in 5 participants who slept with a weighted blanket experienced better sleep quality and woke up refreshed after sleeping for longer. So, no, the claims and hype surrounding weighted blankets are definitely not hollow.
How Again Do Weighted Blankets Help?
Weighted blankets give you a higher quality of sleep. They shoo away stress and are also great for those who experience anxiety. People who have restless leg syndrome, ADHD, autism, insomnia or chronic pain can also benefit by the use of a weighted blanket at it allows for stress relief, a calmer feeling, and quality sleep.
However, when purchasing your weighted blanket, you don’t only have to pay attention to online reviews but also to the weight of the blanket. After all, you don’t want to bury yourself under a pile that you find rather bulky than comforting. To help you, experts have a formula.
This formula can assist you in figuring out what weight of the weighted blanket you should choose for yourself. Accordingly, you should make sure the blanket’s weight is 10% of your body weight with an addition of one or two pounds.
To sum up, weighted blankets sound like a great option for anyone who struggles with sleeping or has anxiety. The light and even pressure that this blanket applies on the body can be very comforting as it leads to the release of relaxing hormones while relieving you of stress. However, be sure to choose the right weighted blanket for yourself before spending your hard-earned cash.