So what’s the deal with these weighted blankets? They are popping up online and at stores everywhere. Even the big name stores like Target and Walmart are selling them.
Where did this craze come from? Prior to this boost in popularity, these blankets were mainly used by the special-needs community. But what people are finally realizing is, that they are amazing for so many different reasons. Although there are many scientific studies showing the benefits of weighted blankets, I am not a scientist. I am just a mom that desires more sleep. I have an autistic child who used to wake up multiple times a night, every single night. I was willing to try anything to get some uninterrupted sleep. I had heard about the benefits of deep pressure on those with autism and was open to trying it. Best decision ever. This made a huge change in our lives. Who knew a blanket was the answer?
There are many studies that show the benefits of deep pressure. But, like I said before, I am not a scientist, so the best way I can describe how a weighted blanket works is to tell you how it feels. I would compare it to the comfort that a newborn baby feels when swaddled. Safe, comforted, secure, relaxed and soothed. It immediately provides a calming feeling. Sounds pretty great doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want that?
So, who can benefit from a weighted blanket? Pretty much anyone with sleep issues and more. Those who suffer with poor sleep due to: Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Autism, Sensory Processing issues, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, Restless Leg Syndrome and many other disorders can find the perfect night’s sleep. Although they can be extremely helpful for adults and children, they are not recommended for babies because of suffocation risks.
They are also used for more than just better sleep. They can be used for calming when you are awake. The added weight can give your body the sensory stimulation needed to be able to focus or just plain relax. A weighted blanket or vest can often help ground people with disorders like ADHD and Autism. It provides their body with an idea of where they are in space. The deep pressure is said to alert the brain to produce more serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps in the regulation of mood, sleep and some cognitive functions like memory and attention.
The more I researched these blankets, the more I realized just how many people could benefit from them. They are a bit pricey, but if you are suffering from little to no sleep, you are probably willing to pay whatever it takes to get your 8 hours. I know I was. You can buy them online or at many local stores. They range in price due to size, material and weight. You don’t want to buy just any weighted blanket. You need to make sure you get the right weight for you or your child. The general rule is 10% of your body weight plus a pound or two. If you are getting one to cover your whole bed, I would go a pound or two more because the weight will be distributed over more area, so in turn there is less deep pressure. Also, make sure you pay attention to what they use to add the weight, you want to make sure it’s a material that can be washed. Although organic materials are great, you need to make sure you can keep your blanket clean, especially if it is for a child.
You can pick up a weighted blanket at your local Walmart or Target or you can get one delivered right to your door. Here are some companies who specialize in weighted blankets: