Weighted blankets are becoming increasingly popular for those seeking to improve their sleep quality and reduce anxiety. Weighted blankets are designed to provide a sense of comfort and safety by applying gentle, distributed pressure across the body. This pressure technique, known as deep touch pressure (DTP), has been used to help people with autism or sensory processing disorder, but can be beneficial to anyone.
Weighted blankets are filled with small, evenly distributed weights, usually made of plastic pellets or glass beads. This weight is evenly distributed over the entire blanket, providing a gentle, consistent pressure that is comforting and calming. Research has found that DTP can decrease levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress, and increase serotonin, a hormone related to relaxation.
Weighted blankets can also help those who suffer from insomnia, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, and even ADHD. People may find that the pressure from the blanket helps to reduce restlessness and improve the quality of their sleep. Additionally, the deep touch pressure helps to increase the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle.
Weighted blankets are available in a variety of sizes, weights, and fabrics to suit different preferences. The weight of the blanket should be 10-12% of the individual’s body weight, to ensure that the pressure is distributed evenly and comfortably.
Overall, weighted blankets are an increasingly popular sleep aid, providing gentle, distributed pressure that can reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. They are available in a variety of sizes, weights, and fabrics, allowing individuals to find the right blanket for their needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is a weighted blanket?
A1: A weighted blanket is a therapeutic blanket that has small weights sewn inside the fabric. The pressure from the weighted blanket helps to provide a feeling of security, comfort, and relaxation.
Q2: Who can benefit from using a weighted blanket?
A2: Weighted blankets can benefit people who suffer from stress, anxiety, autism, insomnia, ADHD, and PTSD. It can also help those who have difficulty sleeping or calming down in general.
Q3: What is the recommended weight for a weighted blanket?
A3: The recommended weight for a weighted blanket is 10% of the user’s body weight, plus one or two pounds. For example, if the user weighs 150 pounds, the recommended weight of the blanket should be between 15 and 17 pounds.
Q4: How do weighted blankets work?
A4: Weighted blankets work by providing deep pressure stimulation, which is believed to mimic the feeling of being hugged or swaddled. This sensation can help to reduce stress, improve sleep, and relax the user.
Q5: How often should a weighted blanket be washed?
A5: A weighted blanket should be washed every 3-4 weeks. It is important to use a gentle cycle and a mild detergent in order to preserve the integrity of the weighted blanket.