For a lot of us in today’s society, getting a good night’s sleep can seem like a distant, dreamy reality. Whether you are affected from stress or mental health issues, or you suffer from a chronic condition with ongoing symptoms that disturb your slumber, a weighted blanket could offer some significant benefits in aiding you on your journey into tranquillity each night.
What is a weighted blanket?
Put in simple terms, a weighted blanket… is a blanket that’s weighted! Typically, they are filled with glass beads, plastic pellets, rice or millet to provide this additional weight.
These amazing blankets provide you with the sensation of being hugged or embraced through deep touch pressure, increasing serotonin (happy hormone), oxytocin (hug hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone) levels in your body as well as reducing the stress hormone, cortisol. The result is a euphoric feeling of relaxation for your body and nervous system, enabling a delightfully peaceful night’s sleep or even a calming sensation when you’re sitting comfortably on the sofa.
What health conditions can weighted blankets help with?
Whilst weighted blankets can significantly help with insomnia as an isolated symptom or condition, they have also demonstrated benefits with a range of different health conditions.
Weighted blankets can be of great help to children and adults with sensory processing disorders such as autism and ADHD. The release of all these wonderful hormones can help a child to feel calmer, and individuals with autism also tend to have low melatonin levels, which weighted blankets can help to alleviate. This helps to encourage a more regular sleep schedule, and are even useful in situations such as car journeys, reading time or transitioning from one activity to another to reduce anxiety. Textured and patterned weighted blankets make for great sensory inputs too!
Individuals with debilitating chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia can also benefit from weighted blankets, as these individuals tend to have lower serotonin levels. With higher serotonin levels, fibromyalgia suffers may experience less fatigue and improved energy levels. Weighted blankets are also said to be great for those with Restless Leg Syndrome, as the deep pressure can be a wonderfully satisfying release from symptoms during bedtime.
For those with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, PTSD and OCD, weighted blankets have demonstrated a true benefit in reducing intrusive thoughts and encouraging a sense of relaxation and tranquillity – just what you want for a good night’s sleep!
What weight blanket do I need?
The classic rule of thumb is to order a size that’s approximately 10% of your bodyweight, and no more. So if you’re 80kg, try an 8kg blanket – and this rule works for children and older adults too. However, if you’re finding your blanket to be a little too intense, going lighter is better. However, based on relevant studies on weighted blankets, this may not have the same benefits as a blanket 10% of your bodyweight.
If you fall between standard blanket weights and are unsure whether to go down or up in weight, experts recommend going for the heavier option. However, make sure you base this opinion on your own personal requirements. If you, or the person you think would benefit from a weighted blanket, have a frailer frame, it’s suggested to select the lighter option.
What size blanket do I need?
This decision is based mainly on your own personal preferences. Consider both the size of your bed and the height – you want to feel covered and comfortable, but your bedfellow may not want to use the blanket too. As such, you could either get a blanket the same size or slightly larger than you, or a blanket that matches the size of your standard duvet or bed size.
Which weighted blankets do we recommend?
We’ve listed our favourites below:
Our all-time favourite, this super-cuddly weighted blanket from Auria Naturals come with a free washable plush cover to save you just that little bit extra versus most weighted blankets which don’t include a cover. Offered in two weight points of 4.5kg and 6.8kg. Even better, this lovely weighted blanket comes with a free 100 day risk-free trial, with all returned blankets donated to charity.
This premium weighted blanket from Senso-Rex comes in Grey and Dark Grey and is manufactured from 100% cotton. Measuring 150x200cm and offered in weight options of 4kg, 6kg, 8kg, 10kg, and 12kg, this blanket is filled with tiny glass micro-balls, and is totally hypoallergenic. Also available in a range of different patterns and sizes including a funky blue anchor print, gorgeous light grey star print and pink unicorn print!
Please note, weighted blankets are not indicated for safe use with babies or toddlers, and children must be able to easily handle, carry and move out from the weighted blanket for safety purposes.