People swear by them for a good night's sleep, but should you believe the hype?
Nothing beats curling up in bed at night with your most comfortable blanket. Well, nothing except perhaps lying down with a weighted blanket. Those who own weighted blankets swear by them, but should you believe the hype? If you're wondering who benefits from using a weighted blanket, research shows these soothing blankets can help people with anxiety, autism, insomnia and more. Here's what the science says about how it can help these conditions.
The reason weighted blankers are so soothing is that they provide deep touch pressure. Deep touch pressure mimics that relaxing sensation you get when being hugged, caressed or held. Weighted blankets can also help mimic these sensations, which in return may help soothe anxiety.
In one study of 32 adults receiving inpatient mental health care, more than 60% said the blankets eased their anxiety and more than 75% said they liked using the weighted blanket to calm down.
If you're looking for a blanket to try, The Good Life Center Yourself Dual-Sided Weighted Blanket comes in a variety of weights ranging from 5 to 20. It's a two-sided throw that regulates your temperature to keep you cool and dry. But if you're cold you can flip it over to its fleece side to keep you warm and cozy.
Anxiety Related to Cancer Treatments
Weighted blankets can also help reduce anxiety in those with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy. Oftentimes, cancer patients have to sit for hours while they receive their chemotherapy treatments. Sitting under a weighted blanket during those treatments can help ease anxiety as well as keep those with cancer warm in chilly hospital rooms. A weighted blanket would be a perfect gift for a loved one diagnosed with cancer.
Deep pressure is often used by occupational therapists to help reduce stress and anxiety in kids and adults with autism. To get these deep pressure benefits, occupational therapists may use physical techniques, weighted vests or weighted blankets during therapy. Fortunately, weighted blankets aren't a tool you can only use in therapy. You can buy a weighted blanket to get its benefits in the comfort of your own home.
A survey study of autistic adults showed that weighted blankets improved sensory issues, sleep and stress. While the research is still out on whether weighted blankets have a measurable effect on children with autism, parents and kids said they preferred using the blankets over not having them.
If you're having trouble sleeping because you're feeling anxious or depressed, a weighted blanket may help. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that weighted blankets can help ease insomnia in those with anxiety and depression as well as people with bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The blankets also improved daytime symptoms and productivity.
When buying a weighted blanket, you'll want to pick one that is 10% of your body weight for maximum benefits. That means, if you weigh 150 pounds, you'll want to pick a blanket that weighs 15 pounds. Weighted blankets are typically not recommended for children under the age of ten, people with sleep apnea or those with other respiratory conditions that make it hard to breathe.
If you're debating whether weighted blankets are worth the investment, rest assured there is research that supports the benefits you've been hearing about.