Weighted blanket therapy has become an important pillar in helping people sleep better and dealing with several disorders. Those who have tried it can swear by its power to cause tremendous improvement right from the beginning. Here are all the crucial facts regarding the weighted blanket therapy based on commonly asked questions.
How does Weighted Blanket Therapy Work?
When you sleep under a weighted blanket, it exerts firm but gentle pressure on your body. It feels like the skillful deep touch by a therapist all over your body. This deep touch is not only calming and relaxing to your body but also stimulates the production of hormones like serotonin that stabilize your mood and help you sleep better. It is commonly referred to as deep touch pressure stimulation.
These weighted blankets can be used virtually anywhere including in the bedroom, on your couch, during a car trip and while flying. They come in a variety of sizes where smaller sizes allow for greater mobility. The mobility allows you to enjoy the therapy wherever you need it.
What are the Health Benefits of Weighted Blanket Therapy?
After several studies, the following are the disorders that weighted blanket therapy can be used to manage:
- Insomnia and other sleep disturbances where the calming effect and serotonin help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep
- Anxiety where the deep touch pressure therapy stimulates the release of feel-good hormones(endorphins)
- Depression by the release of serotonin that is a mood stabilizer and anti-depressant in nature
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) through better sleep and reduction of anxiety
- Restless Leg Syndrome where the firm but gentle pressure eliminates the tingling feeling in the legs
- Autism where an increase in serotonin helps calm the autistic child down and helps them sleep better
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder) by relaxing the central nervous system and serotonin
- Fibromyalgia where the calming and massage like effects reduce the chronic pain
- Panic disorders where calmness is achieved and can help prevent panic attacks
- Stress reduction by reducing cortisol and adrenaline
How Do You Choose the Right Weighted Blanket?
In case you are stuck at what exactly to look for while shopping for a weighted blanket, here are the crucial aspects:
Optimum weighted blanket therapy is exerted by a weight that is 10% of your body weight. Therefore, the weight that you need to look for when choosing a weighted blanket is 10% or a tenth of your current weight. It is called the 10% safety rule. An extra pound is often added to make up for the weights that are not directly on your body. For example, if you weigh 180lbs then a blanket weighing about 18lbs or 19lbs will be okay for you. For larger blankets, more of it lies on the bed and therefore the effective weight is less. Therefore, you will need to add 2 to 3lbs to cover for the wasted weights resting on the bed.
There are several sizes available from twin, queen, king to California. Depending on your height, you can choose the right weighted blanket for your needs. We recommend that you go for the queen or king size if your height is above 5”5’. You can refer to our weighted blanket size guide for an in-depth discussion on the dimensions.
What are the Types of Weighted Blankets?
Currently, there are four different types of weighted blankets available and include:
Pocket Weighted Blanket
It is the commonest type and has a series of small squares (pockets) each holding an equal number of weights. This type of blanket is more pocket-friendly than the infused type. It is for this reason that most manufacturers focus on this type. There is an option of a duvet cover for this type of blanket.
Infused Weighted Blanket
Made by infusing weights between two pieces of fabric, this type of weighted blanket has the most evenly distributed weight. It is also easy to fold. The only drawback is that it is expensive.
Wearable Weighted Blankets
Some blankets are designed in a way that allows a kid to slip them on and can walk around with them or sleep in them. They act like sleeping bags.
DIY Weighted Blanket
The final type encompasses those weighted blankets that you can make for yourself. It is the cheapest option and you will make it with a fraction of the cost of buying a ready-made one. It is not a complicated process as most people think. You can refer to our how to make your own weighted blanket (DIY) article for a step by step guide that will help you successfully make a weighted blanket.
How Do You Take Care of a Weighted Blanket?
During shopping, insist on getting a weighted blanket that is machine washable and dryable. It will allow you to clean your blanket and keep it fresh. This quality depends on the filler material that makes up the weight.
You can also buy a duvet cover which you can easily wash when it gets dirty in case the weighted blanket is not machine washable or dryable.
Is Weighted Blanket Therapy Safe for Children?
In case you have a child with ADHD, autism or difficulties falling asleep, you can get them a weighted blanket. The weighted blankets are safe for children as long as they have achieved an age where they can push it off themselves. The 10% safety rule should be strictly applied when choosing the right weight for the kid.
Where to Buy Weighted Blankets
Over the years, products for weighted blanket therapy have increasingly become widely available. Currently, you can find them in both physical and online stores. You can choose from a huge selection of weighted blankets on Amazon which offers top brands like the Quility premium weighted blanket.
Please remember to choose the right weight and size before you proceed to check out of the store. You don’t want to end up with a blanket that is too light, too heavy or too small for you. You can check out our list of the most affordable weighted blankets.
The 5-minute guide to weighted blanket therapy is made complete by the above frequently asked questions. It covers all the crucial facts you need to know when considering using weighted blankets.