Weighted Blankets - All You Need To Know
Everyone loves the comforting feel of a cosy blanket after a difficult day or to keep you warm on a cold night, and it’s this idea that has spawned the innovative weighted blanket. In contrast to lighter weight blankets, the extra weight of these can actually be more comforting and can help ease feelings of anxiety, aid with sleep disorders and benefit those with ADHD.
What is a weighted blanket?
Originally used largely in a variety of different therapy and psychiatry practices, specifically for a type of occupational therapy called sensory integration therapy, weighted blankets have since become recognized more broadly for their health benefits and have made their way to the mainstream market.
A weighted blanket, as the name suggests, is designed to be heavier than standard blankets and it achieves this simulation of weight by having plastic beads layered throughout the material, often placed in square pockets so that the weight is evenly distributed across the body.
They can be made from a variety of materials, come in many sizes and offer different weight classes depending on the needs of the individual. In most cases, a blanket weighing 5kg to 9kg will be ideal for the average adult.
How do they work?
Weighted blankets work by mimicking a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation. This technique involves the use of controlled pressure to evoke a sense of calm and create a positive reaction to the weight being applied, simulating something akin to a hug, being swaddled or held, which calms the heart rate and steadies your breathing. It is only natural then, that when this comforting action is induced by the blanket, we feel calmer, safer and more secure. This, in turn, can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, and aid those with sleep disorders like insomnia as the pressure stimulation increases the production of serotonin and reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone.
For those with ADHD, the blanket can be particularly useful as a self-regulation tool that stimulates the sense of touch and focuses the mind on the blanket rather than a potentially intense and distracting surrounding.
Do you need a weighted blanket?
If you’re having difficulty sleeping or dealing with anxiety, a weighted blanket may be a simple, at-home solution to find a measure of relief. Medical studies have shown the positive impact it can have for many different types of people and we believe it’s a product worth supporting.
Have a look at our weighted blanket – perfect for children and young adults – and see what you think.
If you are suffering from a condition mentioned above it is recommended to a see a medical professional for advice and treatment. A weighted blanket may be able to aid with issues caused by these conditions but should be used in conjunction with advice from healthcare professionals.