Top 5 Benefits of Weighted blankets
Gone is the era when we restricted the use of weighted blankets to hospitals and psychiatric wards. People worldwide have started to use them while sleeping at home because of the numerous benefits they have. We will be going over the top five heavy blanket benefits.
1. Decreased Anxiety
Studies have shown that regular use of weighted blankets can decrease the nighttime levels of cortisol in your blood. Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone. It is responsible for activating your body’s ‘fight or flight response. Unnecessarily high levels of cortisol in your body can keep you stressed and in constant anxiety. Due to their efficacy in helping counter this, weighted blankets are often called anxiety blankets.
2. Helps you relax
Heavy blankets apply constant pressure on your muscles and joints while you have them on. This sensation activates your central nervous system causing the release of dopamine and serotonin. These are your body’s ‘happy’ chemicals. They help elevate your mood, help you relax, and decrease feelings of anxiety and depression.
3. Improves sleep quality
Researchers have found the use of weighted blankets can assist in beating insomnia and improving your quality of sleep. In 2015, 31 adults suffering from chronic insomnias were asked to use weighted blankets while sleeping for four weeks. At the end of this period, almost all participants stated that the blankets had helped them sleep quicker with decreased instances of awakening at night.
4. Relieves pain
By weighing you down while sleeping, heavy blankets produce a grounding effect on your body. A study printed in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that grounding the body while asleep can help relieve pain.
5. Helps you stay focused throughout the day
Studies have found that the constant pressure applied by weighted blankets while sleeping can help improve the way you process sensory information during the day. This effect can be especially helpful for children and adults with ADHD. Improved mood, sensory processing, and a good night’s sleep can go a long way in ensuring you perform your best every day!
How to pick the right weighted blanket
Like with anything, weighted blankets come in a wide range of variations, making them confusing to buy. They can weigh anywhere from seven to thirty pounds, fit a small or queen-sized bed, and come with various fillings. Worry not! Cause we will help guide you through the maze of options to help you find the perfect weighted blanket for you.
What kind of filling is the best?
There are several options for filling in these blankets, including glass beads, cotton, plastic pellets, spandex, steel chains, and many more. Cotton, glass beads, and plastic pellets are among the most popular options.
Glass beads are generally denser than plastic pellets. Therefore, if you compare a blanket with a glass filling to one with a plastic filling, the one with the plastic filling would be thicker and bulkier even if they weigh the same. Blankets with a plastic filling are often cheaper than their glass counterparts because glass beads are more expensive for companies to produce.
On the other hand, Cotton has the added effect of being warmer than either material, making it the material of choice in colder climates.
How heavy should your weighted blanket be?
An ideal weighted blanket would provide you with the benefits without the drawback of being very difficult to manage. Industry experts have laid down recommendations to strike a balance between the two.
If you intend to use the blanket alone, your blanket should be approximately ten percent of your body weight. For example, if your weight is a hundred and fifty pounds, a blanket weighing around fifteen pounds would be best for you.
For children, the ideal weight is a few pounds more than a tenth of their weight. For example, a child of seventy pounds can comfortably use a heavy blanket of seven to eleven pounds. Just ensure they can remove it on their own, so it doesn’t act as a restrainer, limiting their movement and inducing stress instead of reducing it.
How big should your weighted blanket be?
Your blanket should be roughly the size of your mattress. This sizing ensures that it covers you completely without hanging over the edges of your bed and falling off in the process.
The best weighted blankets come with equal weight distribution throughout the blanket’s area, which you should look out for while buying one.
Are Weighted Blankets Safe?
Before getting a heavy blanket, you are probably concerned about its safety. As a general rule, weighted blankets are safe to use by adults and older children who have no pre-existing medical conditions.
Are weighted blankets safe for use by children?
Pediatricians have researched this topic very well. The American Association of Pediatrics does not recommend heavy blankets for babies under the age of two. This guideline stems from the fact that unnecessary coverings on babies have been linked to an increased chance of death by SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or suffocation.
Most heavy blanket manufacturers recommend their product be used for children of four years of age and above. These children can benefit from the blankets without risking damage. However, every child is unique, and it is important to consider some things before getting them a weighted blanket.
Who should not use weighted blankets?
Some people may be at risk of complications when using a heavy blanket, which is why they should avoid them. These include:
- People with health conditions such as COPD, sleep apnea, asthma, or other breathing-related issues.
- People with chronic health conditions, such as heart problems or epilepsy, should consult their doctor about whether using a weighted blanket is safe for them.
Parents should not use weighted blankets for infants under the age of four.
Some safety guidelines to take care of are:
- Ensure durability by making sure the stitching and materials used are of good quality. Poor quality blankets can act as choking hazards if their filling spills out.
- For children of the age of four to ten, it is necessary to speak to your doctor about your child’s health status and whether it is safe for them to use a heavy blanket.