Do you have trouble falling asleep? About 3 million Americans are affected by insomnia, a common sleep disorder that is typically identified by the prolonged inability to fall asleep and difficulty in staying asleep. You might find yourself stuck in a cycle of being exhausted, wanting to sleep but finding yourself unable to, you spend the night wondering if you will get any rest at all, and your day starts all over again.
Of course, there are many solutions and different aspects of the process to focus on to sleep better. Recently, one particularly promising innovation of weighted blankets has been under exploration and testing by many people to report experiencing the absolute best sleep ever.
Read on to find out perhaps the only sleep product you will ever need.
For so many people, a weighted blanket with its simple design of having a weighing material distributed evenly through the blanket has proven to be nothing short of a miracle in improving sleep issues. The heavy blanket is meant to work as an at-home deep pressure therapy to make you feel like being inside a cocoon.
First invented in 1900 for individuals on the autism spectrum to help them sleep against their inability to sleep because of sensory issues, which proved to work well with children. In fact, when this hypothesized product showed concrete observable results in improving sleep, weighted blankets found their way to treating sleep-related issues in patients with PTSD.
Today, weighted blankets have found themselves in the mainstream solutions for better sleep available for anyone to try.
No matter how much you may think of it as a FAD, there is a lot of evidence supporting the science behind weighted blankets.
Pressure therapy is the basic idea behind weighted blankets. Whenever you feel stressed you may also feel that your heart rate increases. When slight pressure is applied with the help of a weighted blanket it activates your parasympathetic nervous system which helps in reducing the feeling of calmness by reducing your heart rate. You feel almost instantly calm and feel your apprehensions float away as you fall asleep with a weighted blanket.
By inducing the feeling of a hug, a weighted blanket efficiently mimics the feeling of being cradled by the uniform application of slight pressure. The reason why so many people report feeling calm with a weighted blanket is that the pressure created by the blanket helps in producing serotonin along with decreasing nervous system activity which helps you relax and fall asleep without any trouble. The same way a parent would hug an agitated child to fall asleep, weighted blankets help a lot of us to calm down and feel better with serotonin.
The reduction of cortisol, the stress hormone, has been observed with the continued use of weighted blankets. The production of serotonin with the use of the blanket means you feel relieved from constantly exhausting worries, which also reflects in the form of lesser cortisol levels. This means weighted blankets are extremely effective in reducing the stress hormones or general stress levels from our bodies allowing us to feel refreshed after each restful night.
We already know the benefits of a good 7-8 hours of sleep cycle for our physical and mental well-being. For a product that was first used only in research, weighted blankets found their way to many aspects of wellness. Here are a few more areas where weighted blankets are diligently observed to be working well.
Recent studies have made observations about weighted blankets being effective in improving sleep quality and duration in terms of many conditions.
To Reduce Anxiety
Our natural ability to fall asleep can be negatively affected by anxiety, and when your brain does not get the appropriate amount of sleep that it requires for functioning, it can make you irritable and all the more anxious. Weighted blankets help in relieving some symptoms caused by anxiety by the virtue of deep pressure stimulation. People reported feeling less anxious and having better sleep after using a weighted blanket for the first time.
To Improve sleep in Autism
When it comes to autism a lot of research is still going on which can help us understand and handle it better. Difficulty in sleeping is one of the common symptoms that has been observed in children on the autism spectrum. Even if there may not be a substantial figure to denote the improvement in sleep patterns both the children suffering from autism. Their parents loved how a weighted blanket was able to improve their sleep quality and duration.
In another study where weighted vests were used, researchers were able to observe improved attention and reduced hyperactivity movements in children with ADHD.
To help manage sleep disorders
Research also suggests that weighted blankets improve the total time spent in bed asleep which directly translates to better, deeper sleep observed in children as well as adults. This means with the regular use of weighted blankets kids and people tend to have a deeper, longer duration of sleep without waking up multiple times in the night.
To complement chronic pain treatment
Weighted blankets are usually compared to hugs because our body produces the hormone oxytocin when we are hugged, and we feel relaxed and happier. In one of the studies for chronic pain, at-home treatments researchers found that starting with lighter pressure, then increasing to deep pressure in massage therapy helps people with chronic pain feel better. They may feel less pain and report feeling relaxed while sleeping with a weighted blanket.
After having familiarized yourself with the science behind weighted blankets and how it helps us regulate and improve sleep along with other health benefits, find out how you can choose your first weighted blanket.
The basic criteria for deciding the most perfect blanket for you. When it comes to choosing any product for you, affordability is the prime factor that dictates if you will buy it or not. Weighted blankets are not your usual blankets and may sometimes lean on the expensive side. Keeping in mind all the factors such as the fabric off the blanket, the filling and if the materials used can cause you allergies, you must choose a product that is roughly 10 percent of your body weight.
Here is a list of recommendations to help you decide on your first weighted blanket:
- An excellent gift for any age this weighted blanket can be used on its own but is usually recommended to be used with a duvet cover. There are internal ties provided with the blanket that secure the duvet cover to the blanket, making it easier to remove and wash as needed.
- This weighted blanket is excellent at providing a natural way for your body to find its best restful sleep. YnM Weighted blankets are effective in providing a coming relief from sensory overload for adults as well as children to fall asleep faster. Of course, the blanket comes in various sizes, and it should be of an appropriate size for children, or they may not be able to benefit from the blanket.
- Made with glass beads sewn into individual compartments, this blanket uses certified cotton that remains comfortable and cool throughout the night.
- If you find yourself lying awake night after night only to worry about the absence of sleep and the next day’s tasks already looming over your head, YnM Weighted blanket can help you relieve that tension and anxiety naturally to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer.
- The sewing process is refined to stop the weight from shifting around or clump together on the side of the bed allowing the blanket to do its job.
In order to make the best use of a weighted blanket, you don’t really need to use it only for sleeping. The Quility weighted blankets simulate a relaxing feeling similar to that of a warm hug which you can use while watching TV, reading, or spending some quality time with your loved ones.
- The blanket comes made of 100% cotton with evenly distributed pockets containing the glass beads along with a 100% polyester soft and comfortable duvet cover.
- As a rule of thumb make sure you buy your blankets roughly 10% of your body weight especially if you’re trying it for the first time. According to your individual needs, you may increase the weight of the blanket as you go.
- Although you are advised to give the whole experience of using a weighted blanket at least a week to adjust to your body, some users reported feeling relaxed and refreshed only after the first night of its use. Introduce the blanket slowly to your bedtime routine and under supervision for your kids to enjoy the best benefits of it.
- In order to take care of your blanket or even the duvet cover you can get them dry-cleaned or wash them gently with your hands then lay out flat to dry.
- Anyone can have sleep problems ranging from poor quality sleep, mild disturbances, or waking up several times in the night. A weighted blanket can help a lot of people sleep better than ever before.
- This weighted blanket, like most weighted blankets, has been described to be smaller than a normal blanket because the blanket is designed to cover your body, not your entire bed. You are advised to order only your size and choose king-size only if you wish to share the blanket.
- The feeling of being embraced is so comforting that it tends to relax your body and mind almost instantly. A weighted blanket that helps you sleep better by mimicking the same effect as that of a hug helping you wind down before bedtime and fall into a deeply relaxing restful sleep.
- The blanket and the duvet covers are sold separately, and only the cover is recommended to be washed. This blanket can be heavy but is easy to maintain. Since it comes with a cleaning bag, you can simply toss it in your washing machine with cold water on a gentle cycle to be laid out flat to dry.
- For any stains, be quick to spot clean with a clean washcloth to scrub the stain off.
- When the word blanket is used with the weighted blanket many people assume that it will heat up like an electric blanket. On the contrary, a ZonLi weighted blanket is made of 100% cotton fabric which tends to be cooling and breathable in nature.
- If you tend to be someone who heats up when they are in bed, you can try a cooling weighted blanket made of bamboo fabric.
- While providing all the basic benefits of a weighted blanket, if you cover the blanket with a duvet cover you end up extending your blankets’ lifespan while making the cleaning process easier. All you need to do is spot clean as soon as possible and wash the blanket gently with cold water and layover on a chair to dry.
- Many users recommend beginning your weighted blanket journey with a considerably lighter version, which can be 6 to 10% of your body weight, and then increase the weight accordingly if needed.
- You may use a weighted blanket not just for sleeping but to relax, nap or even while you work since it helps you feel safe and reduces stress levels by wrapping you in an embrace.
- Being 100% Oeko-Tex Certified, this weighted blanket is completely made of cotton that is sourced from environmentally conscious sources that are safe for you too. The cotton fabric ensures that this blanket remains cool to touch and breathable through the night for even the hot sleepers.
- To make this blanket have an even distribution of weight, microscopic medical-grade glass beads are sewn into the fibers that in turn reduces the shifting of the beads and do not leak or make any noise while you sleep restfully.
- If you are a first-time weighted blanket user, then try a lighter than 10 percent of your body weight for your blanket so that you can see if you feel better with it and gradually increase the weight according to your needs.
- Available in many colors this blanket will fit right in with your bedroom decor and help you sleep your best night of sleep ever. But you are advised to buy a duvet cover to lengthen your blanket’s life and make cleaning the blanket easier.
- In case you are not happy with this product you are requested to submit a return of a completely unwashed and undamaged blanket 30 days after delivery for a full refund. If any damage is noticed during the return process, you may be given a partial return.
- Weighted blankets should always be bought according to your strength and your body weight. If you would like to try a weighted blanket for the first time do not hesitate before contacting Coolmax customer care to help you make your best decision.
- Bid forever goodbye to all your sleeping troubles with this Coolmax weighted blanket that comes with durable fiber beads. These beads are more durable than regular glass beads and more efficient in staying close to your body while you sleep rather than getting collected or clumped together on one side.
- This blanket comes conveniently assembled with two extra washable blanket covers that add to your comfort in bed by helping you switch according to the weather needs. A Cozyheat Minky plush cover is packed for when you need to warm when you sleep.
- Even if your room temperature changes, the hot sleepers can enjoy the benefits of an additional Coolmax cover that is also included for extra comfort during those warm summer nights and letting nothing disturb your sleep.
- The blankets are made of hypoallergenic materials that are waterproof and breathable. The Nano-Ceramic bead technology ensures comfort above everything else with an evenly distributed weight throughout the blanket.
- For the people who are in love with the soft Sherpa blankets, this weighted blanket proves to be much stronger than a cotton blanket as reported by its users. You will not notice any defamation for as long as you might use this blanket.
- Proving to be an excellent gift for your colleagues, friends, or lovers this blanket is suitable to be used on both sides offering you relaxing weight and a soft cuddling texture to help everyone you love to sleep better.
- Helping you keep this blanket cleaner and fresher for longer, the Sherpa fleece is fade-resistant as well as smudge-proof, which allows you some relaxation when it comes to stains or regular wear and tears.
- Made of hypoallergenic non-toxic beads, these weighted blankets are excellent at not only helping you remain calm and relaxed while you sleep but also efficiently keep you comfortably warm without making any noise.
- Offering a generous 100% satisfaction guarantee, the Sivio Store promises a lifetime warranty along with an assurance for hassle-free returns in case you are not happy with the blanket. Just reach out to them, and they will be happy to accommodate you.
- To help you sleep with the coziest hug, Mr. Sandman Super Soft Faux Fur weighted blanket is made of super soft 4 inches long faux fur that provides you with the most relaxed sleep along with the warm snuggle-like feel.
- When on one side you can feel the faux fur with its irresistibly soft touch, the reverse side feels fluffy, gentle, and warm which had been specially designed to not shed easily.
- While you feel less anxious and sleep better than ever with this weighted blanket you also fall into a soft warm embrace with this particularly soft and cozy blanket helping improve your sleep to another level.
- As you slowly get used to falling asleep quickly and waking up refreshed after a full night of undisturbed sleep these blankets are excellent to be used for decoration over your couch or a chair just to help you look good with a fluff blanket snuggling up while watching TV.
- Keeping customer satisfaction at the topmost priority. All the products used in making these blankets are non-toxic and safe for even kids to use. Mr. Sandman provides you a lifetime warranty and a 30-day refund if you are not happy with any of their products.
- If you are a fan of the feathery soft chenille fabric then ThrowStyle brings you a beautiful super soft blanket that is made to fit your ideal weighted blanket needs and help you enjoy the plush fabric as you sleep or just relax.
- This chunky-looking tightly-knit blanket is going to complement your style by being the ultimate choice for a throw blanket on your couch as a beautiful part of your home decor or even being a bed runner that helps you relax while you enjoy all your leisurely activities.
- While being the perfect companion for a movie night or good night of sleep this blanket is designed to help you feel relaxed while remaining breathable making it perfect for any season
- Safe for machine wash you can literally throw your throw blanket in a gentle wash cycle then let it dry on a flat surface for easy cleaning, or you can try to gently wash it with your hands.
- Make sure you pick this one-of-a-kind weighted black gate for the next holiday season as a special gift for a special someone. None of the products used in the manufacturing of this blanket are tested on animals so that you can use this blanket without feeling any guilt.
- For anyone who tends to heat up while they sleep and experience an erratic sleep cycle because of overheating or general stress, bamboo fabric weighted blankets are the best bet in improving sleep once and for all.
- This is an excellent product that helps you sleep better than you ever did while staying where they’re supposed to apply lightweight pressure all over your body.
- The blanket comes with a dual-side duvet cover. The plush Minky fabric side provides soft sensory feedback but when you flip it over the other side provides a completely waterproof coating that can save you from bed-wetting or occasional spills.
- The dual-sided blanket cover makes it suitable for changing weathers, allowing you to stay warm when you need to with one side and keeping you cool with the bamboo side in summers.
- For the users who might need a little extra comfort through a warm night, if you simply remove the double-sided cover, MIMANTA Cooling Bamboo weighted blanket helps you enjoy the supercooling effects
With all its wonderful properties a weighted blanket can easily become your favorite part of a nighttime routine ensuring the best sleep night after night. To ensure that your cozy weighted blanket stays fresh, and well maintained, you may need to learn how to take care of its unique properties. Here are some tips to get started.
Weighted blankets for adults can weigh anything from 15 to even 25 pounds and between 5-13 pounds for children. If you use a blanket regularly, you are advised to wash it at least 3 to 4 times a year. But when the whole idea of the blanket is to be weighted it can be slightly difficult to take care of as compared to your regular blankets.
Keep the following things in mind when caring for your blanket:
Store it properly
A weighted blanket is not something you can move around easily or even frequently which means when it comes to storing them you have to be extra careful. Make sure you store your weighted blanket in an easily accessible lower drawer or a storage offering box or even an ottoman with wheels that can help you move the blanket between rooms.
Note the blanket material
Now that we know a weighted blanket is available in a wide variety of fabrics when it comes to cleaning your blanket you will have to do it according to the fabric itself. Cotton for example requires you to use non-chlorine detergents along with cold or lukewarm water to ensure that it does not shrink after drying.
Wool is a gentle fabric that should not be subjected to a washing machine or tumble drying as it can damage the wool fibers. Instead, opt for gentle detergents along with using hands for cleaning your wool blankets. Blot the blanket with a towel and let it hang to dry.
Minky fabric is commonly used in weighted blankets which can be easily machine washed. Pre-soak all the tough stains and wash the blanket alone to avoid friction with other fabrics. Avoid using a fabric softener and choose a gentle softener, if you need to for extra softness.
Fleece blankets can also be presoaked for at least 30 minutes especially for tough stains. Then use a gentle detergent to wash the blanket in warm water. You can choose to tumble dry on low heat or allow the blanket to air dry.
Flannel may be the easiest of the fabrics to wash when compared to cotton or Minky. Use a gentle cycle on cold or warm settings in your washing machine to wash your face flannel blanket with mild detergent. You can easily let the flannel blanket dry under the sun or use the tumble dryer.
Spot cleaning works extremely well with most of your fabric upholstery and home decor items. All you need to do is grab a damp washcloth to clean the spill or stain as soon as it occurs. If you feel that plain water and scrubbing isn’t helping, then dip the washcloth in diluted soap water to remove stains quicker. If the stain is particularly cumbersome to remove then you can choose to let the stain soak for thirty minutes and then scrub the spot with a toothbrush using stronger detergents meant for removing stains from upholstery or bed linen.
Use a duvet cover
One of the sure-short methods to a clean and odorless blanket is using a duvet cover. Most blankets can be put in a soft breathable cover that is easy to remove and easier to clean in a simple washing machine wash cycle. Depending on your need for a warm, soft or breathable fabric you can choose various kinds of prints that are available for a duvet cover fitting your weighted blanket. One very important tip while choosing a duvet cover is to know that usually weighted blankets are slightly smaller than your regular blankets since their purpose is to cover the body and not the whole bed.
Keep the weight in mind
The foremost thing to do before attempting to clean your weighted blanket is to refer to its care instructions tag given by the manufacturer. Weighted blankets of less than 20 pounds can be washed by hand or in a gentle cycle of your washing machine with a gentle detergent. Blankets more than 20 pounds of weight should be dealt with a duvet cover to reduce the need for cleaning and then if needed then given to dry cleaners.
Avoid fabric softeners
The best thing to do when it comes to taking care of your weighted blanket is not to use any fabric softeners or even bleach. As already mentioned, use a gentle detergent when needed and steer clear of any extra product. What you may not know is fabrics softeners can actually build up and make your super soft blanket feel rough or scratchy. On the other hand, bleach tends to weaken the fabric over time which directly shortens your weighted blanket’s life.
Now that you are familiar with your weighted blanket and its special washing plus storage needs, here are some questions that may help you find answers to any doubts that you may still have.
Is the weighted blanket going to be hot like a heated blanket?
Any blanket that is made out of synthetic fibers can be warm and trap heat while you sleep. A weighted blanket may not be typically hot, but some fabrics may trap heat which is why, if you are a hot sleeper, you are advised to use 100% cotton blankets that are breathable in nature. You may even give bamboo fabrics a chance when you wish to try the particularly cooling effects in a blanket.
Can I travel with my blanket?
Since a weighted blanket by the virtue of its features can be heavy, you may find it particularly cumbersome to carry it around. If you are out camping, and you have a car to carry your stuff you can surely consider a weighted blanket that is lighter than your usual weight, but it can be difficult to carry a heavier blanket around.
How to use a weighted blanket correctly?
If you are using your new weighted blanket for the first time try to keep an open mind to test it first for comfort. For some people using it for just one night, it can be enough for them to decide, but you can start by covering only your legs first and then slowly bring them towards your shoulders for the following nights. For proper relaxation, cover your whole body from your feet to your shoulders and leave your head out. Do not cover your head with a weighted blanket. For consistent results make the blanket part of your routine or try tracking your progress or experience.
Does my sleeping position matter for a weighted blanket?
Yes and no. Since a weighted blanket can help people in sleeping better regardless of their sleeping position, you must notice for your own experience if you observe any difficulty. Usually, the back sleepers can benefit from the even distribution of the weight from a weighted blanket. However, in the case of side or back sleepers, a weighted blanket lighter than 10 percent of your body weight should be considered before trying anything heavier to check the comfort.
Can I share it with a partner?
Since weighted blankets are designed to help you sleep better while not covering your whole bed for decoration, they tend to be just the right size to cover your whole body. The basic function of the weighted blanket is to help you remain relaxed and reduce your restlessness by keeping you still. This means, in a way, that a weighted blanket is meant to be used by one person to sleep alone. Moreover, only the king-size weighted blanket may be available for you to share with your partner, but the experience may vary and take some time to get used to.
Is it suitable for my child?
Yes, weighted blankets that are meant to be used by kids are an excellent way to help agitated kids to relax instantly for a refreshing night of sleep. Make sure that you buy a blanket that is meant for accommodating your child’s body weight and individual needs. Weighted blankets have been observed in research to have been particularly effective for children with autism to sleep better without being affected by sensory issues. “
Everyone deserves to sleep better and after having been familiarized with the almost magical properties of a weighted blanket, there isn’t a reason why you should not try it.
Nevertheless, make sure you consult your doctor for any underlying conditions that may be disturbing your sleep duration or quality and then move on to try alternative methods such as a weighted blanket to aid better sleep.
Tell us what helps you sleep better?