Do Weighted Blankets Improve Sleep Quality?

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What are Weighted Blankets?

Can You Improve Sleep with a Weighted Blanket?Weighted blankets are heavy blankets that could weigh between 5-30 pounds, designed to aid sleep. The extra weight provides comfort, calmness, and a therapeutic experience while a person is sleeping. Weighted blankets have been known to promote healthy sleep. Several factors can cause and contribute to sleep disorders. And, weighted blankets have proved to be beneficial. The extra pressure it gives to sleepers can assist them in better calming their breathing and heart rate. A more calm approach to sleeping results in a more peaceful night’s sleep.

What Issues Can Weighted Blankets Help with?

Along with helping with sleep disorders like insomnia, weighted blankets can also help many people with:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Children Autism
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic pain issues
  • As therapy during some minor medical procedures

Because of their soothing quality, this type of blanket may have many more applications yet to be discovered.

Are Weighted Blankets Safe?

Weighted blankets are generally safe, as long as the user can physically take them off of them in case of an emergency, having to go to the bathroom, etc. However, it is always recommended to consult with your doctor as a weighted blanket may not be best to use with certain medical conditions.

How Do Weighted Blankets Work?

Calm Down Your Nerves 

Anxiety can not only lead to stress but can impact your health. Anxiety can make your body feel like it’s in a stressful situation or environment most or all of the time.

The pressure of weighted blankets puts your autonomic nervous system into “rest” mode, reducing some of the symptoms of anxiety, such as a quickened heart rate or breathing. This can provide an overall sense of calm. The blankets can be especially helpful during anxiety attacks or to help with anxious feelings before bedtime that might cause insomnia.

Sensory Therapy

Weighted blankets can be used as a form of sensory therapy, as occupational therapists recommend them to children with ADHD, SPD, and autism spectrum disorders. Using weighted blankets as a supplementary tool assists children in calmness and relaxation. Its weight positively affects the proprioceptive system and calms the central nervous system.

Children with sensory dysfunction often seek out sensory input such as jumping, stomping, crashing into walls, or being wrapped around in a blanket or hugged. For this reason, weighted blankets are wonderful inventions designed to assist some older children with sensory needs.

Trigger Natural Chemicals

Weighted blankets could also help you stop tossing and turning in bed, so you lie still and go to sleep. The pressure could also trigger your brain to release a chemical called serotonin, which helps your mind and body calm down. Serotonin can keep your mood steady and help with sleep.

Pressure may help your body release oxytocin, which may improve your immune system response, ease pain, and stress, and help you sleep.

Does A Weighted Blanket Really Work?

The effectiveness of weighted blankets has been studied to determine if they provide a resolution to any physical or emotional symptoms. Although research is still needed on this topic, early information says there are benefits to this type of blanket to aid many conditions.

Certainly, other medical conditions or mental health disorders should be treated by medical professionals and medically approved treatments. However, additional therapeutic help with weighted blankets can supplement medical treatment.

If you feel that weighted blankets might help with any physical or mental health condition, consult with your doctor, and see if the addition of one to other treatments and therapies might be useful.

Benefits of a Weighted Blanket

There are many benefits to using weighted blankets, including:

  • Helps you feel comfortable, aiding in sleep
  • Reduces negative feelings and thoughts, including stress and anxiety
  • Calms the nervous system and activates the relaxing parasympathetic nervous system in preparation for sleep
  • Uses deep pressure stimulation, which is thought to stimulate the production of a mood-boosting hormone serotonin

Is It OK To Sleep With A Weighted Blanket Every Night?

It is recommended to talk to your healthcare provider before deciding to use a weighted blanket every night. Those who have certain medical conditions should not use one daily as it may make their symptoms worse.

Who Shouldn’t Use Weighted Blankets?

While weighted blankets may be helpful for some conditions, consulting with your doctor is still your first step before introducing them as self-treatment on your own.

They may not be ideal for those with certain medical conditions including:

  • respiratory illnesses
  • asthma
  • low blood pressure
  • type 2 diabetes
  • epilepsy
  • claustrophobia

Also, weighted blankets are not recommended for young children and infants, in part because the beads inside of them could cause a choking hazard for small children. In addition, a heavy blanket may present a suffocating risk for young children and infants, especially babies under 1-year-old.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Weighted Blanket

Choose the right weight for your therapeutic needs. A blanket that’s too heavy could be uncomfortable and even unsafe, while one that’s too light could be ineffective.

Choose the right material for you. The blanket’s material impacts how a blanket looks, feels, and regulates temperature.

Choose your size. Weighted blankets come in many different sizes. Make sure the one you choose is big enough or not too big for your comfort needs.

How to Test for Sleep Disorders

If you need to be tested for sleep apnea, it can be done right from the comfort of your own home. Sleep Care Online offers a simple, safe, and affordable way to get tested for sleep disorders at home. This comprehensive testing and treatment pathway is designed to seamlessly fit into our customers’ lifestyles. Learn more on our website or by calling us at 866-465-4478.


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