Weighted blankets are surging in popularity and are popping up in many high street stores. So, what are they and can they help you get a good night’s sleep?
Weighted blankets provide a light, evenly distributed pressure on your body. It mimics the feeling of being held or hugged. Many people with anxiety, autism and insomnia have reported that they have benefitted from using them.
The feeling of being secure from a weighted blanket encourages your body to produce the feel-good hormone oxytocin which can lower stress levels, help with depression and even relieve pain. They can also help you sleep better at night by encouraging feelings of safety and security. A weighted blanket can also increase serotonin, which can provide a calming effect and is involved in the regulation of sleep.
A Study from Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders (2015) found that a weighted blanket helped those with insomnia sleep better, simply because it helped them feel more settled before bed.
Weighted blankets aren’t cheap and you need to consider your body weight before purchasing one. As a rule, a weighted blanket should be 5-10% of your body weight.
Some have plastic pellets inside; others have glass or metal beads – you might want to check them all out to see which you prefer. Remember, for safety, you should be able to remove a weighted blanket from yourself easily if you become too hot or it starts to feel too heavy.
Remember a weighted blanket can be beneficial for some but you should also ensure your sleep routines are not disturbed and you are sleeping in an suitable bedroom environment.