What are the Benefits of using a Weighted Blanket?

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Andreas Meistad
Jan 9, 20234 min read
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What are the Benefits of using a Weighted Blanket?

Weighted blankets have become increasingly popular in recent years as a tool for relieving stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and providing a sense of calm and comfort. But beyond just being a cozy addition to your bedspread, research has shown that weighted blankets offer a number of potential health benefits.

One of the main benefits of weighted blankets is their ability to reduce stress and anxiety. The pressure created by the weight of the blanket has a calming effect on the nervous system, similar to the sensation of being hugged or swaddled. This can help to regulate the production of stress hormones and promote a feeling of relaxation and security.

Weighted blankets have also been shown to improve sleep. The pressure provided by the weight of the blanket can help to increase the production of the hormone melatonin, which plays a crucial role in regulating sleep. In addition, the sense of security and comfort provided by the blanket can help to reduce racing thoughts and promote a more restful night's sleep.

In addition to improving sleep and reducing stress, weighted blankets have been found to have a number of other potential health benefits. For example, they have been shown to reduce the symptoms of conditions such as insomnia, ADHD, and even PTSD. They may also be helpful for those with autism or sensory processing disorders, as the weight of the blanket can provide a sense of deep touch pressure that can be soothing and help to regulate sensory input.

Weighted blankets are not just for adults, either. They can also be helpful for children, particularly those with anxiety or sleep problems. In a study of children with ADHD, those who used weighted blankets showed significant improvement in both sleep and behavior.

What to consider?

So how do you choose the right weighted blanket? It's important to select a blanket that is the appropriate weight for your body. A general rule of thumb is to choose a blanket that is around 10% of your body weight, though you may want to go up or down slightly depending on your preference. It's also important to consider the material and fill of the blanket, as well as the size and style.

When it comes to material, most weighted blankets are made of a soft, breathable fabric such as cotton or fleece. Some are also made with materials that are specifically designed to promote cooling, such as bamboo or linen. The fill of the blanket can vary, with options including glass beads, steel shot, or poly pellets. It's important to choose a fill that is evenly distributed and not too lumpy, as this can affect the overall effectiveness of the blanket.

Size is another important factor to consider when choosing a weighted blanket. It's important to select a blanket that is the appropriate size for your bed or for your body, as a blanket that is too small or too large may not provide the desired level of pressure.

Finally, it's worth considering the style of the blanket. Weighted blankets come in a range of colors, patterns, and textures, so you can choose one that fits your personal style and aesthetic.

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The final verdict

Weighted blankets offer a range of potential health benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved sleep, and relief from the symptoms of conditions such as insomnia, ADHD, and PTSD. When choosing a weighted blanket, it's important to consider the weight, material and fill size, and style to ensure that you select the right one for your needs.

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Andreas Meistad@s profile picture
Andreas Meistad

Therapist specializing in applying CBT principles for the treatment of insomnia.

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