Weighted blankets have become more and more talked about in recent years as people start to understand the benefits that they offer. They can significantly contribute to a good night’s rest. There is just something about that added weight that tends to bring some comfort.
What exactly are the weighted blanket benefits that someone can appreciate? There are many! From helping settle anxiety to calming and soothing properties, the weighted blanket has a lot to offer and is well worth the investment to add one to your household. In fact, some people even mention the physical benefits of using weighted blankets.
There is a lot to learn about weighted blankets and what they might be able to do for you. We hope you’ll check out this guide as we walk through the various benefits.
What Is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is almost exactly as it sounds. The weight inside is spread out across the blanket. You can use it over your lap or over your entire body and experience the weighted blanket benefits for yourself. These blankets have been shown to help reduce things like stress or anxiety. It results in a calming effect from the comfort of the weight.
And that’s not the only way they can help either.
There are different options for filling for weighted blankets. The weight could come from different types of pellets or beads that are added to retain a specific weight. These blankets even come in different weight options.
How Does It Work?
Have you ever heard of deep pressure stimulation or DPS? It’s a process that uses light pressure to stimulate a comforting touch. The intention of the DPS process is to provide security and comfort through a small amount of pressure or additional weight.
The pressure or weight of the blanket causes your body to release oxytocin. In doing so, your body or even your mind might feel intense relief from whatever happens to be bothering you at the time.
In addition, the deep pressure can release chemicals into your body that make you feel good, including providing happiness, well-being, and calmness. These are dopamine and serotonin.
Some people even use these for therapy-weighted blanket benefits but there are a vast number of benefits to appreciate.
Weighted Blanket Benefits
If you’re curious about what kind of weighted blanket benefits there are, you will be surprised at just how vast the benefits can be. There are numerous things and we’re going to dig into some of the top benefits that are known.
You can even buy cooling weighted blankets like this option from Luna so you don’t get overheated underneath the extra weight.
Take a look at some of these top benefits.
Improve Sleep Quality
Good sleep is vital for our brains, moods, and overall health. If you’re not getting good sleep, you’re likely struggling in one or all of these areas. Your body and your mind rely on good sleep to be able to function properly. You should do everything you can to help accomplish sleep quality.
While it might not seem like losing or missing sleep makes a difference, you will eventually start to notice places where it’s becoming a problem.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
The world is a fast-moving place, which has levels of stress and anxiety at all-time highs. Children are often comforted by special blankets and while some of that is sentimental, some of it is the blanket itself. When you add the weight and pair it with comfort like this blanket from Plush Beds does, you get amazing results for your persona. The weighted blanket is calming and soothing and it only takes moments for you to feel those effects.
Even pets can experience some relief from stress and anxiety with the use of an appropriately weighted blanket. The National Institute of Health estimates that nearly 30% of adults in the United States suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder. Imagine if a weighted blanket could make a difference.
The benefits of a weighted blanket for anxiety are the calming effects that help to soothe that anxious feeling and reduce the stress levels that cause it.
Increase Melatonin and Serotonin
The weighted blanket stimulates serotonin, which will naturally help to reduce stress in your body, allowing it to naturally produce more melatonin so you can sleep better. Melatonin and serotonin work together to help a person sleep as they should.
The benefits of sleeping with a weighted blanket are getting targeted, high-quality rest.
Help with OCD/PTSD/ASD/SPD
These sleep benefits and mental health benefits are not the only potentials for weighted blankets. There are several weighted blanket health benefits that systematically improve mental and emotional health but might also improve your physical health or comfort in many ways.
Reduce Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome
Do you suffer from restless leg syndrome, particularly at night when you’re just trying to get some rest? The benefits of a weighted blanket for restless leg syndrome help to apply pressure in just the right places for the relief and comfort of your legs.
Rather than feeling restless leg signs that probably keep you awake, the weighted blanket is soothing and will decrease restlessness so you can physically get some rest. A weighted blanket offers pressure that forces the legs to relax and it won’t constrict your movement or be uncomfortable.
Depression, irritability, annoyance, and other bad moods are off-putting for the people around you. When you feel these moods, you likely feel miserable and out of control. But what if a weighted blanket had the ability to improve your mood?
Your mood has been brought on by a lack of serotonin release. The weighted blanket will provide deep stimulation, which will naturally allow your body to release more and bring you to a much better mood space.
Relieve Pain of Fibromyalgia
If you’ve ever known a person that suffers from fibromyalgia, you know that sometimes they can experience intense pain. They have good days and bad days. But the real challenge is that this illness really has no true cure.
The results are often tenderness, pain, discomfort, and fatigue. That deep but gentle pressure gives the body signals of relief. The individual can sleep better, rest better, reduce anxiety, and feel much better overall.
The weighted blanket benefits for fibromyalgia are much-needed relief for pain and discomfort.
Reduce Nighttime Movement
Have you ever woken up from a night of sleep and still not felt rested? This is likely because you moved around a lot in your sleep. While you might not have woken up from sleep, your body wasn’t resting. Excessive movement leads to feeling physically tired or unrested.
Using a weighted blanket can help reduce your movements while you’re sleeping. In turn, you can experience a better night’s sleep.
Decrease Nervous System Activity
The nervous system is the system that often leads to feelings of anxiety, hyperactivity, or even overstimulation. These things occur when our system is too active and never allows our minds or bodies to rest. The result could be anxiety or even a nervous breakdown.
You might experience something like shortness of breath, elevated blood pressure, or an elevated heart rate as well. But a weighted blanket can help to calm the nervous system and cause it to rest.
Reduce Heart Rate
Your heart rate could elevate from things like cardio or a good workout. Slight elevations like this can be good for you but you also need to be mindful not to overdo them. When you have high heart rates from anxiety or illness, this can wear on your body.
The weighted blanket is used here for a calming effect, which can help reduce and control your heart rate in turn.
One thing you will see a huge trend here for is the side effects that anxiety or worry can cause for your body. The smallest things can trigger panic or worry in our minds and quickly wreak havoc. But the weighted blanket mimics DPS, which is used to provide comfort and that’s exactly what it does here.
You will feel calmer, safer, and secure just from this pressure system. Covering yourself with a weighted blanket makes you feel swaddled and safe.
The idea for the weighted blanket actually came from a concept for a hug machine. This stems back to DPS as well. The feeling of a hug can release those hormones like oxytocin that lead you to feel secure and calm, rather than out of control.
The weighted blanket can likewise mimic a hug and help you to experience relief that is similar to what a hug provides.
Alleviate Symptoms of Menopause
The symptoms that female experiences throughout menopause can vary. Many times, there are things like hot flashes or vaginal health concerns. However, there can also be osteoarthritis, sleep issues, anxiety, or depression.
Using a weighted blanket can help with these mental and emotional needs, in the same that it does anxiety or depression when it isn’t menopause related.
And if you suffer from hot flashes, you might want to experience the benefits of a cooling weighted blanket instead.
Improve Social Interactions
Do you ever feel socially awkward or maybe inadequate? These feelings come from a place of anxiety and often are triggered because you simply aren’t getting quality sleep. But what if you can reduce stress and anxiety and get a great night’s sleep?
Your social interactions would be much improved.
Create Calming Effect
One of the most common reasons that people have turned to weighted blankets is anxiety. Your mind feels out of control and you simply want to calm down. Whether something has you excited or anxious, a weighted blanket can help infuse a calming effect, allowing your mind and body to relax.
Weighted Blanket Benefits for Adults
The weighted blanket benefits for adults cover a broad range. These blankets can benefit adults that are young and active clear to elderly people who need comfort and rest. We’ve talked about the ability to help reduce stress and anxiety. However, it can contribute to your health in many ways.
There are studies that have shown even chronic pain and fatigue ailments can often be combatted with a weighted blanket. Even if it just helps you get a good night’s sleep, there are substantial benefits.
Don’t forget to also learn how to wash a weighted blanket so you can keep yours in great condition!
Weighted Blanket Benefits for Kids
Kids face many of the same struggles that adults do but on a wholly different scale. The weighted blanket for kids benefits will look similar to adults. These blankets can help bring them calm and relaxation when they are feeling anxious. It could help provide calm for nightmares, fear, and more.
In addition, a weighted blanket for kids can also bring relief and calm for issues like ADHD or autism too.
Who May Benefit from Using a Weighted Blanket?
Just about anyone can experience some sort of positive benefit from using a weighted blanket. Whether you (or someone you know and love) struggle to get good sleep, have worry and anxiety in their lives, or have some sort of chronic illness or disease, there are benefits.
Sleep is vital and when you can’t sleep for whatever reason, it wreaks havoc. If you struggle with insomnia or any type of sleep disorder, you might want to try a weighted blanket to see if it can help. The weight of the blanket calms your body and your mind to help you rest.
Children with ADHD
Children with ADHD need to be moving and their minds are going 100 miles a minute. ADHD even causes sleeping problems for the child. The weighted blanket can soothe their hyperactivity, calm their minds, and help them to get some sleep too.
Anxiety and Depression
The feeling of a hug does so much for our minds. It’s the oxytocin hormone, which is also known as the love hormone. Depression and anxiety are mental illnesses that affect far more people than we realize. The weighted blanket is almost like a hug and it provides soothing and calming effects for the wearer.
Chronic pain generally stems from things within our body that are not functioning properly. Sometimes, it even comes from not getting the sleep we need. This may come from physical ailments or serotonin production. A weighted blanket can help with both of these things.
Autism often leads to challenges with stimulation and anxiety. The symptoms differ from person to person but they have things to fight through no matter what. The weighted blanket can help to calm those with autism.
A weighted blanket applies just the right pressure to your body to help with issues like osteoarthritis. The deep pressure of the weight helps to soothe your body, as well as your mind. You can sleep and rest better with some pain relief.
A weighted blanket causes your body to relax and feel soothed from the light weight of the blanket. Even after a medical procedure, using a weighted blanket is a great way to rest!
Drawbacks of Using a Weighted Blanket
There are some potential downsides to be aware of. Take a look at these to be aware.
- You may not be able to travel with the blanket due to the weight
- You need to be mindful of how you clean the blanket
- They can be hot to use (but there are cooling options)
- They can be a little bit pricey
- Adjusting to the weight might take some time
How to Choose the Right Weighted Blanket?
Not every weighted blanket is the same so pay attention to the details to make the best choice. Weighted blankets can get really heavy so you want to focus on choosing the right weight. The general recommendation is to use no more than 10% of your body weight. However, a good average weight to go with is 10-15 pounds for most people.
You can choose what works for your needs and preferences as well. There are plenty of different styles and colors out there, as well as different price ranges.
Using a weighted blanket can be great for a lot of people and for a lot of different health reasons. Whether your struggles are just getting a good night’s sleep or you do face something like chronic pain or anxiety, you could benefit from the effects of a weighted blanket.
It’s all about how the weight and the pressure can provide relief and calm to your body, which then brings relief and calming to your mind as well. It allows your body to function as it is designed with less interference.
The weighted blanket benefits are vast, which means that just about any person out there can find some sort of relief from using them.