Weighted blankets, Big trend!
Weighted blankets have been around for a while, but more and more people are catching onto their benefits these days. Snuggle under a weighted blanket to help reduce anxiety levels, or even get a better night’s sleep. The weighted blankets are even sometimes used in Occupational Therapy for autism.
Late last year, weighted blankets were chosen as one of the best inventions of 2018 by Time magazine, named “blankets that ease anxiety”. But how exactly do they work and are you likely to benefit? We decided to investigate this big trend of 2018.
The science behind weighted blankets:
The Weighted Blanket is a heavy blanket that is about 10% of your body weight, filled with tiny glass or plastic beads.It uses proprioceptive input, or Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation(DPTS), to activate pressure points on the body.
The theory is that a heavier-than-normal blanket hugs a sleeper, and may prevent tossing and turning. As a result, the sleeper feels more secure, and sleeps more soundly and for longer periods of time. The concept isn’t new. Heavy wraps have been used as a calming mechanism for children with autism, ADHD and other sensory disorders for more than a decade. Parents have swaddled their newborns for centuries. And the idea isn’t limited to humans: Pet owners can outfit their dogs and cats with “ ThunderShirts” (weighted vests) to keep them from going bonkers during thunderstorms and fireworks.
The main benefits of weighted blankets:● Reduce Anxiety. Weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety in children and adults. Weighted blankets help ground your body during sleep by pushing it down. This process, known as “grounding”;can have a profoundly calming effect. ● Reduce Depression.By providing a touch of deep pressure, weighted blankets can promote relaxation and help break this cycle (Depression). This can trigger the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are hormones that feel well produced in the brain. These hormones help fight stress, anxiety, and depression. ● Enhance sleep quality. You get a better quality of sleep, thanks to this extra weight spread throughout the blanket, our brain has a different sensory perception than usual and feels more comfortable.● Help combat ADHD symptoms. A lot of children with ADHD use weighted blankets to calm themselves after school or during therapy sessions or to relax and fall asleep. The use of a weighted blanket in those children is based on the mechanism that has the blanket to use the pressure. The pressure of the blanket is distributed evenly throughout the body, which according to some research can provide relief of anxiety and stress to people with sleeping problems.
The factors to consider while buying a weighted blanket● Fabric Material. One of the main things to consider before buying a weighted blanket especially for old people is the material used. This is because most old people have sensory issues which may eventually break or make the experience. The best material for a weighted blanket is soft cotton as it doesn’t give the skin an itchy effect.● Weight. As a general rule of thumb, the blanket should weigh approximately 10% of the user’s weight, and an extra pound. This weight is greatly affected by the filling material inside. Some are filled with poly pellets and other with glass beads which greatly contribute to their heavy weight. Glass may sound harmful but the pellets are too small to break. The only concern you should have is whether the blanket allows for even weight distribution. For this, you can check whether the blanket have stitched pockets which helps overcome weight distribution problem● Washing Method.The last but equally important factor to look out is whether it is machine washable or otherwise. Different blankets vary with different manufacturers and the material. Always establish whether it can be washed at home or it will have to be transported to a dry cleaner. The home-washed version is the best as it doesn’t need to be transported often for dry-cleaning considering the weight.
How to be a smart buyer● If you’re unsure about shelling out at least $200 for one, ask around and see if you can borrow one for a night.● If you have sleep apnea or snore robustly, having something heavy on your chest might not be conducive to good sleep.● Check out well-known brands such as YnM Weighted Blanket.● Before you buy (especially online), check out the company’s return policy.
Irrespective of the weighted blanket brand you choose, it will likely surprise you on how quickly it works in soothing away your anxiety and calming your heart rate. There are millions of people using them to relieve stress. So it is time for you to buy a weighted blanket for your loved one!