Blankets provide comfort and warmth when we need it, but did you know that specific kinds of blankets can provide more direct relief? Weighted blankets, which can weigh as much as 30 pounds, can be therapeutic in many ways, leading to relief from anxiety, autism, or insomnia. Children with ASD, attention disorders, autism, depression, and sleep problems can particularly benefit from the therapies mentioned below.
These conditions affect sleep so profoundly that some in the medical community advocate considering mental conditions like attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, and others as sleep disorders. Weighted blankets can offer several profound therapies for these conditions, as well as for those suffering from more generalized anxiety and insomnia. Read on to learn how weighted blankets can help, as well as how to choose one.
Benefits of Weighted Blankets
Elevated mood, high blood pressure, brain fog, fatigue, and even a high heart rate can all be present in adults and children with anxiety disorders. The purpose of a weighted blanket is to force the body into a more relaxed state, which in turn allows their bodies to achieve a deeper sleep.
You might be thinking: why would a 30-pound blanket pushing us down into the bed create a calming effect? The answer is a well-known yoga technique called “grounding.”
Grounding means that you become aware of where you are in space and the weight of yourself on the floor. In other words, grounding means connecting with the earth through your body. It’s an essential calming practice and one that holds relevance for weighted blankets.
Weighted blankets that successfully ground you in your bed can reduce your cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) and convince your body that you are safe and secure. High stress levels instigate higher blood sugar and bad digestion. Grounded sleep can promote the opposite.
As a result, due to grounding as well as deep pressure touch, a therapy that puts weight on relaxing pressure points, weighted blankets can help with anxiety, stress, depression, weight gain, insomnia, and even chronic pain. Grounding your body can help you sync your stress levels with your natural body rhythms, regulating hormones (especially for women) and improving sleep.
A Note of Caution
Before discussing what kind of weighted blanket you need, please read this note of caution. Weighted blankets might be great for anxiety, but they aren’t good for everyone. They can be too heavy, especially for children, and they can also get very hot.
People with certain conditions should not add heat and weight to themselves while they sleep. These could include:
- Circulatory conditions
- Respiration conditions
- Temperature regulation conditions
In addition, a weighted blanket should not be too heavy. A good rule of thumb is to take 10 percent of your weight and add 2 pounds to find out how heavy your blanket should be.
Best Weighted Blankets
Here’s a short list of some of the best weighted blankets available right now. Most can be customized for bed size and weight depending on what you need.
Smart Queen Cooling blankets lead Amazon in terms of great customer feedback for weighted blankets. This blanket has a range of weight options (when available) and can fit a variety of beds. If you need an affordable way to ground your sleeping self, this blanket is an affordable, effective option for an all-natural sleep aid and stress-reliever.
This blanket from AN is great for people worried about the heat increase of sleeping under a weighted blanket. These blankets go up to 30 pounds but are 100% cotton, inlaid with natural glass beads to make them softer and more breathable. They’re machine washable and best sellers on Amazon for a good reason. You won’t break the bank getting a weighted blanket from AN, but you won’t sacrifice quality either.
I’m putting a more premium option on here for those that want to spend a little more on their comfort (you only have to buy it once, after all). This weighted blanket from RELAX EDEN expertly soothes sore muscles and encourages your mind to relax into a state of deep sleep. The blanket is hypoallergenic, 100% breathable cotton, full of quality glass beads, and comes with a washable duvet cover. This means you can use both for chilly nights and just the blanket for warmer ones.
Weighted blankets can provide deeper sleep, calming the bodies and minds of people who suffer from anxiety disorders, sleep issues, depression, anxiety, autism, and more. It does this through grounding, a process that simulates safety, telling your brain that it knows “where” it is and that everything is okay. Grounding, after all, is the exact reason that hugs are so comforting!
So long as you read the precautions first, the right weighted blanket can seriously improve your sleep and calm out-of-control anxiety. Use the above guide and suggested blankets to get an idea of what to look for.