The human body needs a maximum of around 6 to 8 hours of sound sleep for its efficient functioning.
Think of an overused laptop that hasn’t been at rest for a week have you ever thought of what will happen to it?
Eventually, it will either break down, or some technical error might come up hindering your work and the laptop’s otherwise usual functioning and performance. Our bodies as well work on almost the same principle.
For every 24 hours of a day, we will need 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep and rest. But the worst problem these days with adults and kids too is sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep may lead to anxiety, lower concentration levels, forgetfulness, fatigue and the likes of such. To combat this very issue plus anxiety, weighted blankets have been around for quite some time, and the results are just phenomenal!
Sleep if necessary if you want to rest your body and wake up fresh. However, some people suffer from anxiety and insomnia, which deprives them of quality sleep.
While some of these people start seeking medicinal options, others have found a more convenient way of getting sleep, and it is by using weighted blankets
What is a weighted blanket?
As the name suggests, a blanket with some added weight to it is a weighted blanket. As compared to our usual blankets, a weighted blanket weighs anywhere between 4 to 30 pounds.
Now you must be thinking why exactly does an already chubby blanket need added weight?
Well, that is because added weight in the weighted blanket gives you a sense of being held and hugged, and thereby, lullabying you to a comfortable, deep sleep.
How does a weighted blanket work?
While sleeping, a weighted blanket works like a deep-tissue massage on the pressure points of your body, thereby grounding you to the bed, and stimulating a deep pressure touch that can help reduce exaggerated levels of stress and anxiety.
The grounding effect that the weighted blanket creates on your body, helps it calm down and increases the levels of serotonin as well as dopamine in your body.
The serotonin and dopamine are happy hormones and when these are triggered, the cortisol levels in your body go down.
The cortisol levels are triggered when your brain is in stress and anxiety, and increased levels of cortisol can trigger many problems, such as-
● Weight gain● Insomnia● Depression● Anxiety● Smaller concentration spans
The greatest impact that weighted blankets have demonstrated since their inception has been on kids with autism, ADHD, and adults with anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
According to a team of psychiatric therapists, recommending weighted blankets to people with depression, anxiety, and those almost on the verge of breaking, has had an apparently positive effect on them.
Most of them reported to have felt much better than before, and some swear by the weighted blankets completely now. So we see that weighted-blankets are as well great therapy supplement for the people in need.
Benefits of Weighted Blanket
Although the weighted blankets have been around since quite some time, and medical practitioners have been using and recommending them since long, the medical benefits that these have had on the users have very recently come to the fore.
And yes, they are remarkable! Some of the medical conditions that have benefited from weighted blankets include:
● Autism● Aggressive Behaviors● Alzheimer’s Disease● Anxiety● Asperger’s Syndrome● Bipolar Syndrome● Parkinson’s Disease● Down Syndrome● Cerebral Palsy● Brain Trauma Injury● Chemotherapy Anxiety● Obsessive Compulsive Disorder● Pains● Insomnia● Menopause● Restless Leg Syndrome● Restless Sleep● Seizures● Sensory Processing Disorder● Tourette’s Syndrome● William’s Syndrome
Isn’t it impressive? How we keep searching for the right therapist for our kids or parents/grandparents to help them calm down with their respective disorders, and how all of a sudden you find the solution in a simple blanket!
Well, weighted-blanket is a serious boon to those suffering from anxiety and neurological disorders.
And just because it worked for many, doesn’t mean that it will work for you or your loved ones too.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be trying the weighted blanket if the person you are buying for suffers from either of the following-
● Circulation issues● Chronic health issues● Respiratory problems● Body temperature regulation issue● Going through menopause
The density of the Weighted-Blanket
While buying a weighted blanket, keeping in mind the weight and size of it is one important aspect you shouldn’t ignore.
Ideally, your weighted blanket should weigh 10% of your body weight, and of course, you can go up or down with the mass of the blanket depending on how heavy or light you want the weight on top of you to be.
For kids, it is recommended to stick to the advised levels by the doctors or therapists and never leave a child unattended under a weighted blanket.
Also, make sure that your child can easily get out of their weighted blanket. Many companies offer custom made weighted blankets wherein you can choose the weight, the fillers, and even the fabric and colors of the outer cover.
It is also recommended to not go by the color scheme of your room or the blanket and focus more on the weight and size of it to help gain the maximum benefits of the therapy that the weighted blankets provide.
Women tend to go a bit overboard with their match-match schemes and according to Laura of Mosaic Weighted Blankets, the mass of the blanket should be on the child (if using for your child), and not be scattered around the bed.
So opt for a blanket that is smaller than your bed and evenly covers its weight on your child for maximum benefits. So think of a weighted-blanket as a potential tool for therapy, rather than an aesthetic addition to your room or child’s room.
Weighted-blankets is an investment, for real.
These are expensive and may or may not be within the affordability limits of everyone.
So if you know sewing, then you can spare one family get together DIY session and make a weighted blanket all by yourself.
This could cut off some expenses, and the joy you will derive working as a team is incomparable.
So here’s what all you may require making a weighted blanket at home-
● 1 pound of white Quality Plastic Pellets per 10 pounds of user’s weight● 2-2.5 yds of top fabric for the blanket● 2-2.5 yds of bottom fabric for the blanket● Any fabric you like● Measuring tape● Ruler● Scissors● Thread● Sewing Machine● Small-scale● Pins
1. The above materials will make a blanket that will easily fit a twin bed, and should measure approximately 40” x 76”.
2. After determining the measurement of the blanket, measure two inches inward on 2 of the longest sides and 1 of the shortest sides, and sew them on the lines. This will leave you with one side open which will be used for filling.3. Turn its fabrics inside out, iron on the sewed lines to make them neater.
4. Measure a grid out of the remaining part of the blanket, and divide it into a grid of equal squares. So if you’re making a square of 6” x 6”, then you should be having six squares in breadth and 12 squares in length.
5. Use this simple formula to divide the pellets into the right sized portions- Blanket weight (ounces)/number of squares on the blanket= number of ounces of pellets per square.
6. Now sew along the long lines so that the channels are 6-inches away from each other, and this gives you space where you will fill in the pellets.
7. Once all these methods are ready, fill each square with the right amount of pellets, and give them a little shake so as to help them settle in nicely.
8. From the lower seam, measure six inches, and sew a line breadthwise, so as to seal that line of filled squares.
9. Repeat the same until you reach the top row of squares of the blanket.
10. The leftover 2 inches at the top that you have now, seal them shut to seal the top row of the square which you filled in, and voila! You have your weighted-blanket ready!
Are Weighted Blankets Really Effective on Insomnia?
There have been demonstrative effects of weighted-blankets on patients with Autism and ADD, but does the weighted blanket actually help people with insomnia?
Well, for that the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders conducted a research to probe into the positive results of weighted-blanket on insomnia.
They studied the effects of a chain-weighted blanket developed by a Swedish company, on patients suffering from insomnia.
In the end, they concluded that the chain-weighted blanket improved the quality of sleep in insomniacs to a great measure, both objectively as well as subjectively.
Weighted blankets provide that warm, cocooning effect, inducing comfort and thereby leading to a calm sleep. The study says that based on the sensory integration, deep pressure and heavy weight on the body can work wonders on the physiological well-being.
The most important thing that one must keep in mind while buying a weighted blanket is that the weight must not be too heavy or too light on the body.
It must be evenly distributed throughout the blanket to provide constant sensory stimulation to the body, which the Swedish chain-weighted blankets provided to their subjects.
The result- lower levels of insomnia.
In another case, a user of the weighted-blanket said that on an average it used to take him around 45 minutes to go to sleep, but after he started using the weighted blanket he slept within 7 minutes!
Weighted Blankets, as their name suggests, are heavier than standard blankets, with some weighing up to 30 pounds.
Weighted blankets work by grounding the body down during sleep time. They also provide input to deep pressure touch receptors in the body, which helps one relax, and eventually have a better sleep. Weighted-blankets can as well be used by everyone, from children to old adults to improve sleep.
Benefits of Weighted Blanket
Reduce Anxiety and Improve Sleep
When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol, and the anxiety or stress might cause you to lack sleep. Studies have found that the grounding effect of weighted blankets for adults can help reduce the cortisol levels. The deep pressure touch sensation they provide is sufficient to calm down your body and mind and allow you to catch some sleep.
Choosing the Right Weighted Blanket
The best-weighted blankets are made from non-toxic commercial materials that will not affect any user. However, experts also state that the best-weighted blanket should weigh only 10% of the user’s body weight, plus an extra not exceeding two pounds.
Best Weighted Blankets in the market
Now that you have understood in depth about the weighted blankets, it’s time to shop! So here is a list of some of the best-weighted blankets you can invest your money in, and ensure expected results.
1. Gravity Blanket
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A product of the Gravity Blankets, this blanket is made of ultra-soft microfiber and comes in the weight range of 15 lbs-25 lbs.
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A company that promotes awareness of ADD and Autism through its endeavors, you can choose a combination of factors to buy your weighted blanket from SensaCalm, like colors, fabric, patterns, weight, etc.
3. Weighted Blanket by Weighted Idea for adults
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This is one of the best-weighted blankets for adults, especially for those having Autism, Anxiety or Sensory Processing Disorder Issues. You can choose from a variety of patterns, and weight ranges between five lbs and thirty lbs.
4. Luxury Red Weighted Blanket
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Made in the United States by the Weighted Blanket Company, this rich looking blanket not just looks good, but does exactly what it’s meant to do- help calm you down to sleep better.This blanket gives you the kind of comfort that you will ever yearn for as it is made to simply give you that which you are looking for The company makes blankets using combinations of minky and the right pellet fillings to give you the ultimate comfort and feel while you sleep.
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This blanket will give you the exact same pressure as you get while being lovingly hugged and has a curved neck fit to give you the perfect snug effect as well as comfort. It is perfect for someone who has a weight of 20 lbs and more.
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Manufactured by one of the big names in the weighted blanket industry, this chic looking weighted blanket is not just a quirky addition to any room, but also to any disturbed life or home.
7. Weighted Blanket by Zone
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Made of 100% cotton fabric, this weighted-blanket is one of the greatest buys at its price. Perfect for people with SPD, Anxiety, and Autism, the evenly distributed blanket weight will help the user have a calming, deep sleep and make your night enjoyable and memorable.
At the end, it all boils down to one point- taking good care of your loved ones, especially those who have special needs.
Products like weighted blankets and other weighted items that are available in the market are not there solely for making money, but most of the founders of these blanket making companies, have either suffered through a disorder themselves or have someone around who are suffering day and night.
If you too have someone around who needs special love, attention, and care, then gift them the warmth and hug of weighted-blanket today and make a difference in their life.
The human body needs a maximum of around 6 to 8 hours of sound sleep for its efficient functioning so the above blanket will help you in achieving this.
Issues such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia no longer have to deprive you of quality sleep. Weighted blankets are designed and customized to help with such conditions. Nonetheless, it is wise that you consult with your medical professional before buying them to ensure you are getting the right one.
● https://www.jscimedcentral.com/SleepMedicine/sleepmedicine-2-1022.pdf● https://qualityplasticpellets.com/2013/01/04/a-warm-night-in-the-diy-guide-to-a-weighted-blanket/● http://theweightedblanketco.com/red.html● https://www.healthline.com/health/weighted-blanket-for-anxiety● https://www.sensacalm.com/pages/about-us● https://www.mosaicweightedblankets.com/benefits/● https://www.mosaicweightedblankets.com/choosing-a-weighted-blanket/