Are you looking for a non-medicinal solution for restlessness and insomnia? If yes then weighted blankets could be exactly what you need. As their name suggests, these are heavy blankets with built-in properties that promote a goodnight’s rest.
Do weighted blankets improve sleep? The answer is yes. Weighted blankets reduce your stress levels and allow you to maintain a stable position to enhance deep sleep. Many people have reported magical effects from sleeping under one of these blankets. If you’ve just discovered them or you’re on the fence about getting one, taking the plunge can be worthwhile in many ways.
What are the Benefits of Sleeping under Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets eliminate the majority of the underlying issues that cause insomnia in the first place. This is what makes them unique among other sleeping aids. Shall we take a look at a few of the benefits available when you choose one of these special anti-insomnia blankets?
Push You Down
One of the distinct characteristics of sleeping under weighted blankets is the feeling of being pushed down. Thanks to their heavy nature, these blankets hug the sleeper’s body all night long.
It gives a sensation similar to receiving a bear hug from your partner or friend. Studies have shown that this hugging reduces Cortisol levels and provides many additional benefits.
Known as the Worry hormone, Cortisol keeps you on the edge and makes you worry about anything and everything.
Since lower stress levels equal deep sleep in many cases, weighted blankets can serve as an efficient sleeping aid.
Boosts Melatonin and Serotonin
Weighted blankets do not only reduce cortisol levels in the body. They also enhance the rapid production of melatonin and Serotonin. The effects of higher quantities of these hormones on your sleep can be staggering.
Firstly, Both hormones activate the central nervous system to relax. This promotes sleepiness in spite of your environment. Another valuable advantage of Melatonin and Serotonin is that they keep you in bed for much longer.
No wonder many users of weighted blankets report not just falling asleep quicker but enjoying their night so much that they resort to wake-up alarms.
Have you noticed how well you sleep when you’re in a good mood? Well, to say that weighted blankets are comfortable is an understatement. They feel snug especially when the room temperature is on the lower side.
This coziness relaxes the brain by kicking off a massive production of Endorphins and other happiness hormones such as Oxytocin.
Deeper Rapid Eye Movement Sleep
Rapid Eye Movement Sleep is the best way to get rejuvenating rest at night. Insomnia and many sleep disorders can disrupt this type of sleep and reduce how much you get each night.
The average person requires 1-2 hours of rapid eye movement sleep to wake up well-rested. Fortunately, weighted blankets enable longer REM cycles.
This translates to a more satisfying rest. Thus, you can expect to wake up energized and ready to go.
Sleepwalking is a common disorder that affects those who struggle to sleep. The hugging feeling from weighted blankets offers a form of deep pressure therapy similar to getting a massage right before bedtime.
This relaxes tense muscles and puts you in the right frame of mind to enjoy your sleep. And deeper sleep lowers the chances of experiencing sleepwalking.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are formidable enemies in achieving good sleep. Anxiety can result in constant worrying which guarantees higher production of stress hormones. This does not only inhibit the ability to fall asleep but to stay asleep as well.
Fortunately, weighted blankets have proven to reduce anxiety and depression. The result is lower levels of stress hormones and blissful sleep throughout the night.
Can Weighted Blankets Cause Pain?
These ultra-heavy blankets relieve the sleeper’s body of tense muscles similarly to getting a massage.
But can weighted blankets cause pain themselves? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Choosing a blanket that is too heavy for your body can cause pain.
Experts say you should always choose a blanket that is approximately 10 percent of your body weight. Thus, if you weigh 150 pounds, a 15-pound weighted blanket is the best for you.
Choosing something heavier can put excessive pressure on your muscles and aggravate the soreness. If you’re experiencing pain from weighted blankets, it is time to get something lighter.
Are weighted blankets good for side sleepers?
If you lie down on your sides then it is only natural that you’re interested in finding out whether your preferred sleeping position is suitable for weighted blankets.
Are weighted blankets good for side sleepers? The answer is yes. Side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers can all benefit from these ultra-heavy blankets.
As long as you choose the right weight, you should be fine. Remember to order a model that is long enough to cover your body from the chest downwards. You wouldn’t want a blanket that slips off every time you switch from one side to another.
Who Should Avoid Weighted Blankets
The benefits of weighted blankets to a good night’s rest are well known. But are these blankets good for everybody? The answer is no. Weighted blankets are known for their heavyweights. This weight can take a heavier toll on some classes of people, leading to counterproductive results.
If you fall under any of these groups, you may want to avoid these ultra-heavy blankets.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea Patients
Do you suffer from regular snoring or Sleep Apnea? You may be better off without weighted blankets. Sleep Apnea is a condition that arises from blocked airways during sleep. This causes regular pauses in breathing lasting 1-2 minutes throughout the night.
Lying down under weighted blankets as a Sleep Apnea patient can aggravate those breathing difficulties and can lead to more complications.
Also, it is advisable to stay away from weighted blankets if you’ve been diagnosed with other respiratory problems such as Asthma. Bronchitis, and Pneumonia.
There have been many reports of increased snoring in patients who lie down under these blankets.
I found this CPAP Mask that can clear your airways and enhance your breathing on Amazon.
Babies and Toddlers
Kids under the age of 3 have no business sleeping under weighted blankets. With the minimum weight of these specialized blankets being approximately 5 pounds, they can be uncomfortable for kids and cause even more sleeping difficulties.
Besides, the plastic pellets that give these blankets their weight can become a choking hazard. In the event of a torn weighted blanket, your adorable toddler could get exposed to the naked pellets.
Hot sleepers and weighted blankets usually don’t mix. Well, unless it is that time of the year when temperatures range between 30-40 degrees.
If you experience frequent night sweats during mild weather, weighted blankets can cause more problems than they solve. Sleeping under these heavy blankets can make you so uncomfortable that falling asleep becomes a huge battle.
Can you imagine getting wrapped in one of these super heavy blankets in a 90-degree room?
Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed spaces. The majority of those diagnosed with this anxiety disorder report experiencing surging stress levels under weighted blankets.
A high level of stress is bad for your mental health. It can keep you awake all night and cost you the chance to enjoy a good night’s rest.
If you’re claustrophobic and looking for better sleep, weighted blankets may not be for you.
When you’re heavily pregnant, weighted blankets could be the wrong option in many ways. Firstly, the extra weight can be stressful for the baby.
Also, more than a third of pregnant women experience night sweats regularly. Lying down under one of these extremely heavy blankets can lead to even more sweating and ultimately, more sleep disturbance.
Tips for Buying The Best Weighted Blankets
Looking for the right weighted blankets? Finding the best model for your needs can be a daunting process especially as a first-time buyer. The best tips for choosing the finest weighted blankets are below.
This is the most important factor to consider when shopping for weighted blankets. Experts continue to stress the need to target model which are approximately 10 percent of your total body weight.
This means if you weigh 200 pounds, for instance, you should choose a 20-pound weight blanket. Anything lighter and you’re looking at getting less than enough gravity to relax your body and help you sleep.
Choosing a heavier model is no good either. The excessive weight can put a lot of stress which causes sore muscles and joints.
While we tend to focus all our efforts on weight, the height of the blanket is another vital factor you cannot afford to miss. Always choose a blanket that covers your chest right down to your toes. Getting this wrong can affect sleep satisfaction.
The good news is that the majority of weighted blankets on the market are long enough to cover the average person. But if you’re extremely tall for instance (Hello 7 feet 5 inches!), then you should always consider your height before hitting the order button on a particular model.
Weighted blankets achieve their heaviness from a careful selection of component materials. From glass to sand and beads, different brands integrate different materials.
Apart from that, manufacturers add some sort of padding to serve as a buffer between the sleeper’s skin and the component material.
Cotton, polyester, and fleece are a few of the padding fabrics popular in the weighted blankets industry. Before you settle on a particular one, make sure the fabric can offer a good night’s rest.
Remember, cotton tends to suit frequent night sweaters much better as the material offers more breathability compared to rival models.
It is important to find out whether a particular weighted blanket is machine washable before buying. Sure, many standard models will fare perfectly fine in your washing machine. But verifying that in advance can prevent any surprises down the line.
Some manufacturers recommend dry cleaning when you order their blankets. If you don’t see yourself taking the time to dry clean your weighted blanket, you should order a model that is machine washable.
Warranty & Returns
There’s a reason why manufacturers and retailers offer extensive warranties and free returns – anyone can mistakenly buy something that fails to meet expectations. The majority of weighted blanket brands offer free returns spanning anywhere from 7-30 days after purchase.
It is always important to read these returns policies thoroughly to avoid doing anything that can jeopardize the warranty.
Weighted blankets offer multiple opportunities for a great night of rest. Even those with long-term insomnia report experiencing positive changes in their sleeping fortunes after turning to these heavy blankets.
Don’t forget to choose the right model in terms of weight distribution and height. Sleeping through the night should become easier afterward.