November 18, 2021 2 min read
Great article by David Wolfe about weighted blankets
A bed cover to ease anxiety and help you feel better? A weighted blanket has been proven to be beneficial for sleepers.
Most of the talk about sleeping centers around what one sleeps on, not under. It turns out the two should be discussed in harmony. To fall asleep on and under the right conditions will make you a dreamy blanket sandwich.
The weight of the blanket acts as deep touch therapy. The bed cover is often filled with plastic pellets that are sewn into compartments, distributing the weight properly.
Through the deep pressure touch of a weighted blanket receptors become stimulated similar to swaddling an infant. This helps the body to relax, feel more grounded and safe. Clinical studies suggest that when these pressure points are triggered, the brain releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is known as “the calming chemical.” It also has other handy benefits, such as maintaining memory. Some people buy supplements for serotonin, so the blanket is like a pill bottle and you are the pill, at no additional cost.
An array of conditions can be helped by a weighted blanket such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, bi-polar neurological problems, PTSD, ADHD, cerebral palsy, sleep disorders, autism, menopause and practically any type of anxiety.
The alleviation of anxiety also helps with depression, trauma, paranoia, detoxification and so on. This covers a wide spectrum, which is why the weighted blanket trend is picking up up steam.
Two studies, one published in Occupational Therapy (2008) showed that weighted blankets helped with anxiety. A study published in Australasian Psychiatry (2012) confirmed this.
In 2014 findings appeared in the journal Pediatrics.63 children – ages 5 to 16 – slept with either a weighted blanket or a non-weighted, look-alike blanket for 12 to 16 weeks. After this first phase, the two groups switched blankets and used the other blanket for approximately two weeks. It showed that sleep did not improve significantly for either group. However most of the children and parents reported preferring the weighted blanket.
The weight of the blanket for adults should be around as light as 10 lbs up to about 20 lbs for a twin sized blanket. You want 10% of your ideal body weight for the weight, you can add 1-2 lbs for added pressure. For couples you can order up to a 25 lb blanket in a full, queen or king size. People who are big and tall can do a full size at up to 20 lbs. Seeking the guidance of a doctor or occupational therapist is a good idea. Those suffering from respiratory, circulatory and other conditions should not use a weighted blanket.