If you are on Facebook or any part of the internet you might have recently seen a picture of a weighted blanket pop up, offering to help you with many different issues. So is it hype, or the truth?
A weighted blanket is thought to help with issues like Insomnia, Relaxation, Anxiety, and other disorders, like Restless Leg Syndrome, Sundowning Syndrome, Menopause, Panic Attacks, ADD & ADHD, Post Traumatic Stress, Autism, and Sensory Processing Disorder. It can even help relieve everyday feelings of Tension, Stress & Agitation.
Studies have been done and the medical community does discuss and support weighted blankets, as seen below:
“It's thought that the weights pressure sensors under the skin and trigger a release of serotonin, reducing anxiety”, says Dr. Jeffrey Barash, medical director of The Center for Sleep Medicine at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.
"While weighted blankets may be helpful for patients with insomnia, particularly those with anxiety, more research is needed to determine if they are truly effective," Barash says. "However, people using weighted blankets have reported a calming effect and reduced anxiety, which can help them to sleep better."
A study on the effects of a weighted blanket in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders in 2015 claims that weighted blankets possibly provide a calming effect. The study found that sleep time was increased and movement during sleep decreased in participants who used a weighted blanket. (This can be interpreted as longer, deeper sleep.) In addition, it seems that sleep study participants said that they liked sleeping with the blanket, specifics included getting into a better, easier transition to settle down to sleep and feeling a higher level of feeling well rested in the morning.
Overall, the study reported a positive effect from sleeping with a weight blanket, and they had a calmer night's sleep.
"A weighted blanket may aid in reducing insomnia through altered tactile inputs, thus may provide an innovative, non-pharmacological approach and complementary tool to improve sleep quality," the study concluded.
It means that you might not have a take a pill to get a better night’s sleep. Input from Laura LeMond, the founder of Mosaic Weighted Blankets, emphasizes that the blanket weight that you purchase should be 10% of your ideal body weight, and for most people over 5 foot 3 inches, it’s beneficial to buy an adult weighted blanket (sized at 42 X 72 inches). There are also couples weighted blankets, which come in larger sizes, so both partners can experience the benefit of a weighted blanket together. Our couples weighted blankets also offset the cost of a weighted blanket, and the weight up to 25 lbs, evenly distributing the weight on both partners. Our couples sizes come as a:
Laura also adds that more is not always better with a weighted blanket – if a weighted blanket restricts movement or feels too heavy to breathe or relax, it probably is not a win for the user. Be sure to get a blanket that is within the correct range for your frame and weight.
LeMond, who created a weighted blanket to meet her own sensory needs in college and founded her company around the concept of sleeping with weight says “It’s worth a try for sure to meet your sensory needs. We have thousands of happy customers, and I highly recommend swapping the weight of the world for the weight of a blanket.