By: Annie Morgan
There’s a new health craze that’s causing adults to drop close to $200 on a 20lb weighted blanket that is said to do everything from help relieve anxiety to insomnia.
Weighted blankets are the new rage – and one manufacturer of these blankets made $26.5 million and sold over 128,000 blankets in the past two years, USA Today reported.
But the real question is – do they actually work?
Some experts say yes while other medical professionals say the jury is still out.
However, there seems to be a general overall consensus that while these blankets might not “cure” some health concerns – they can certainly help relieve symptoms.
What Exactly Is A Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket is similar to its name – it’s a blanket you can buy premade (or even have it custom made) that is filled with weight such as sand or plastic pellets.
The blanket itself is made from a variety of materials like cotton or soft mink fur.
As for the weight, they can weigh anywhere from 5 to 20lbs. Experts recommend getting one that is 10% of your body weight.
For example, if you weigh 200lbs, get a 20lb blanket. If you weigh 150, get a 15lb blanket, etc.
So how do they work?
The theory is, when you throw this weighted blanket over your body, the deep pressure stimulation of the weight is said to provide a sensory sensation that makes the body feel good.
Some say these blankets can help relieve everything from anxiety, depression, and even PTSD.
For years, these blankets have been used to help children with Autism and other sensory processing disorders.
The calming affect of a weighted blanket is soothing as the tactile stimulation of the weight on your skin is calming to many adults.
Think of it like the x-ray guard the dentist puts over your chest for x-rays, but bigger.
If you struggle with insomnia, before you reach for a bottle of sleeping pills, try a weighted blanket.
Both children and adults have found sleeping with a weighted blanket provides a better quality of rest.
Web MD reported:
“Raj Dasgupta, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California and a spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, says the blankets may help people with chronic pain sleep better, as well as those with anxiety or depression.
“It’s like having the best hug for a long period of time,” he says. And, he says, it may be ”a good alternative to life-long sedative hypnotic medications (sleeping pills) at night.”
And if the weighted blanket is made right, the little beads or sand inside hit all the pressure points on your body, and it is almost an instant calming sensation.
Everyone has different preferences with sleeping – but for those of us who like pressure on our bodies while we sleep – weighted blankets do the job.
I’ve been sleeping with a weighted blanket for over a year now, and when I am trying to fall asleep, having the weighted blanket knocks me out in no time.
Help Fight Anxiety And Depression
Many adults struggle with anxiety and depression on a regular basis.
The low levels of serotonin can wreak havoc on the body, leading to panic attacks and restless nights.
Since the weighted blanket mimics the feeling of someone “hugging you” or “cuddling you” – the feeling of the weight over ones body can even help fight anxiety in some people.
“In 2006, a 32-person study in Occupational Therapy in Mental Health found that 63% of participants reported lower anxiety after using a weighted blanket (compared to lying down with no blanket at all), and 78% said they felt more relaxed with the blanket than without. That study also found that weighted-blanket use was safe for healthy adults, having no effect on vital signs like pulse and blood pressure”.
The deep pressure relief from weighted blankets can even help calm down your body’s sense of “fight or flight” and provide mental calmness.
Give It A Try
If you’re having trouble sleeping, or struggle with anxiety and depression – give the weighted blanket a try!
You might find you actually don’t need to be on a bunch of prescription meds, as a weighted blanket can help raise your serotonin levels naturally.
But of course, it’s not a miracle cure.
It’s still important to avoid screen time before bed, and make sure you are eating healthy and exercising.
The weighted blanket is just another tool you can add to your arsenal to help you live a healthy life!
Have you ever tried sleeping with a weighted blanket before?
If not, would you be willing to give it a try?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know the benefits of using a weighted blanket!