What's The Science Behind Weighted Blankets?

By John Misachi on February 23 2020 in Society

Weighted blankets can help reduce symptoms in people suffering from restless leg syndrome, depression, and insomnia.
Weighted blankets can help reduce symptoms in people suffering from restless leg syndrome, depression, and insomnia.
  • Weighted blankets have been used before in special needs community for individual with autism
  • Some of the material used in making weighted blankets are polly pellets and glass beads
  • Weighted blankets apply gentle pressure on the users, helping them to relax and feel comfortable

With the current rate on innovation and level of creativity, we expect to see ordinary and simple items transformed into complex and more appealing items for better use. For centuries, we have used blankets to keep us warm, especially when sleeping. However, these simple body covers have now been improved to not only keep cold away but also offer improved overall sleep and keep stress away. Today, we have weighted blankets, named so because of its weight and function of improving sleep. Although weighted blankets have surged in popularity, the innovation is not entirely new as they have been used in the special needs communities to help individuals with special needs such as autism.

Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets may appear like your ordinary blanket until you cover yourself with one and realize how relaxed you become while sleeping. These special blankets are filled with small objects such as glass beads, discs, or polly pellets, giving them an extra weight of about 7-25 pounds that tightly hugs you when sleeping. There is a lighter option of the weighted blanket for the children. These types of blankets are not recommended for infants. The blankets are designed to help one relax while sleeping by emulating the effects of a hug. Weighted blankets come in different sizes depending on an individual’s preference. They also exist in sizes that match the size of the typical mattresses. Although the majority of these blankets come in one piece, some may come apart with both inner and outer pieces.

How Weighted Blankets Work

When you retire to bed after a stressful day, all you need is a sound sleep without any destruction. Sometimes, the sleep you really want does not come and all you do is keep tossing and turning on your bed. A weighted blanket is all you need to calm you down. The idea behind the weighted blanket is that it will apply gentle pressure on you, keeping you still and calm until morning. The deep pressure makes you feel hugged or soothed, reducing the level of cortisol hormone responsible for stress and increases serotonin hormone which is associated with a happy feeling.

According to some studies on the use of weighted blankets, the deep pressure applied by the blanket offers one a feeling of relaxation, safety, and comfort. Because of their weight, the blankets makes it harder for one to move or keep tossing, thus harder for them to disturb themselves while sleeping. Weighted blankets can also help reduce symptoms in people suffering from restless leg syndrome, depression, and insomnia.

Choosing a Weighted Blanket

There are several factors to consider when choosing a weighted blanket. First, the blanket should be about 10% of the bodyweight of the user. For someone weighing 100 pounds, a 10-pound blanket will be the best fit. Experts warn that a heavier blanket may put pressure on one’s chest, disrupting their normal breathing pattern. Just like ordinary blankets, weighted blankets come in different forms of fabric. Choose a fabric that will not cause you irritation or one that you can easily wash. The other factor to consider is the cost of a weighted blanket. The heavier the blanket the costlier it is.

   

More in Society