How Do Weighted Blankets Work Exactly?
When about 70 million Americans have sleeping trouble, sleeping remedies are of vital importance.
There are lots of reasons people struggle with sleeping, and what this struggle looks like. Some people can't fall asleep, others can't stay asleep. Some people sleep, but that sleep isn't restorative.
An increasingly popular sleeping remedy is weighted blankets. But a lot of people are wary of them because they don't have an answer to the question "how do weighted blankets work?"
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about weighted blankets.
What Are Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets look and feel like regular blankets. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns. The material on the outside of the blanket also resembles regular blankets.
But inside the blanket is the key difference. Regular blankets are usually single or double layers of material without anything in between them. Weighted blankets have a stuffing material that makes the blanket much heavier than normal.
The material and weight of the stuffing will vary depending on the blanket. This is because there is no perfect weight - each person will want something different.
It's recommended that people choose a blanket weight that equals about 10% of their body weight.
The stuffing material is sewn into segments across the blanket. This way the stuffing can't shift to one side of the blanket and make the weight uneven.
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
Blankets themselves are a soothing device. But when we add weight to them, it adds even more benefits.
Weighted blankets create pressure on the body - more so than regular blankets or duvets can create. This pressure has a similar effect to being held or hugged by another person. Because of that weight of being held, the brain releases a chemical called oxytocin.
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel relaxed and happy, and improves your feeling of well-being. It is also known as the love hormone. So when using a weighted blanket, people feel that same good feeling they get when they are hugged or held.
So, for people who are struggling with falling asleep due to anxiety or stress, weighted blankets are a great solution. The pressure of the blanket is calming, and the release of oxytocin that results from this helps them feel good and fall asleep.
But not everyone feels good when they hug people. Lots of people with sensory issues or specific types of anxiety do not like touching other people. This means when they are held or hugged by others, their brains do not release this feel-good chemical.
For these people, weighted blankets can be a form of therapy. They are a great way to replace the comfort of being held, without the same sensory or anxiety issues that come with it. This way, the brain does release oxytocin, and the body gets the benefits of it.
Finding the best weighted blankets depends on the person's specific needs and preferences.
Variety of Weighted Blankets
Much like regular blankets, there is a lot of variety in weighted blankets. The blanket materials and blanket styles vary about as much as regular blankets do. The biggest factors people look for are the size and weight of the blankets.
When you're buying a weighted blanket, it's best to shop according to the size you want on top of your body, not the size of your bed. So if you're sleeping on a double bed, but don't bunch the whole blanket around yourself, then you should only need a single weighted blanket.
Otherwise, you don't feel the full weight of the blanket. It also means the edges are likely to hang off the end of your bed, which means you speed up how quickly the stuffing might shift and need to be adjusted in each compartment.
To buy from our range of weighted blankets, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Weighted Blankets
For a lot of people, it's not enough to know how weighted blankets work and what their benefits are. Below are some of the common questions people still want to know before committing to a weighted blanket.
Are There Any Health Risks?
For adults and teenagers, there are no serious risks of these blankets. Young children are potentially at risk of suffocating, so weighted blankets aren't recommended for them.
How Do You Clean a Weighted Blanket?
Depending on the material and how you're using the blanket will determine how often you wash it. If you've got the weighted blanket in a duvet cover or top sheet, you'll need to wash it less often. If you're placing the blanket on top of other sheets rather than directly on your body, this will also extend the time between washing.
Since weighted blankets are specialized materials, they'll have special cleaning instructions. Make sure to read them to avoid damaging your blanket when washing.
Does It Work Immediately?
For some people, it might work immediately. But for most people, it takes about two to three weeks before they adjust and start to feel the benefits and a weighted blanket.
Some people recommend starting only covering the bottom half of yourself with the blanket. Then each night, you can move the blanket a little bit higher. This is a great way to adjust to the weight faster.
Do Weighted Blankets Make You Hot?
Depending on the breathability of the material, some weighted blankets can make people hot after a while. But this is easily dealt with by sleeping in cooler clothing, or removing the blanket after you've fallen asleep.
If this is a worry to you, look for weighted blankets made of breathable material.
Weighted Blankets to Help You Sleep
If the question of "how do weighted blankets work?" has been holding you back from buying one, now you have your answer! Weighted blankets are a great investment in your sleeping health.
Because of their pressure and weight, they ease the anxiety that is often contributing to keeping people awake. Improve your sleep quality with a weighted blanket today!
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