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Top Benefits of Weighted Blankets & What to Know

Top Benefits of Weighted Blankets & What to Know


The benefits of weighted blankets are plenty and their rise in popularity definitely suggests that they have something going for them. But how do weighted blankets work, and more importantly, can they really deliver all they promise?

That’s what we’re here to answer today as we dive deep into the benefits of weighted blankets.

What Are Weighted Blankets?

As the name implies, weighted blankets are heavy blankets used to aid sleep and reduce anxiety. Originally, they were used almost exclusively as therapeutic tools to help those with mental health conditions, dementia, and with autism spectrum disorders.

However, in recent years, weighted blankets have gained a lot of popularity and are now a mass-market product. They essentially use a technique called deep pressure stimulation to make the sleepers feel more secure and comforted.

Weighted blankets tend to weigh anywhere between five and 30 pounds, depending on their size and filling. Typically, they’re filled with plastic pellets or glass beads.

Benefits of Weighted Blankets

Since weighted blankets are a type of deep-pressure therapy, they provide many of the same benefits. Let’s take a closer look at what a weighted blanket could potentially help with. Keep in mind that studies for most of these benefits, while optimistic, aren’t yet conclusive and more research needs to be done.

Reduce Anxiety and Restlessness

One of the things deep pressure therapy, and in turn weighted blankets, help with is reducing anxiety. Not only that, but these blankets can help with restlessness, which can treat certain symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

According to a study, kids with ADHD who were given a weighted blanket for two weeks said that it helped them fall asleep faster and they woke up fewer times during the night.

Increase Oxytocin

One way to look at weighted blankets is as if someone were giving you a hug. The weight and pressure work in much the same way a hug does, which is why research shows that one of the benefits of weighted blankets is the increase in oxytocin. 

Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, plays a number of roles in human behaviours and social interactions. It helps create a feeling of relaxation, which is of course, crucial when trying to go to sleep. The hormone also slows the heart rate and reduces blood pressure, which then prompts the body to relax.

Reduce Cortisol

Cortisol, or the stress hormone, is a big contributor to sleep disorders and restlessness. A therapeutic weighted blanket can help keep your body grounded during sleep. That action may help reduce nighttime levels of cortisol, which in addition to your sleep, can also affect digestion, immunity, and blood sugar.

Relieve Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome and its symptoms are most apparent at night, and the tingling sensation can cause great difficulty when trying to fall asleep. In addition to compression socks, which provide some relief, sleepers are now turning to weighted blankets. Unlike compression socks, they will give sleepers the relaxing pressure they need to fall asleep but without any constriction.

Calm the Nervous System

An overactive nervous system can lead to hyperactivity, anxiety, shortness of breath, and a rapid heart rate. All things that aren’t conducive to a good night’s sleep.

However, one of the best benefits of weighted blankets is that the distribution of weight and pressure across the body can calm the fight-or-flight response. Not only that, but it can also activate the parasympathetic nervous system in preparation for sleep.

Improve Overall Sleep Quality

As we’ve established so far, weighted blankets can help increase oxytocin while reducing cortisol. Another potential benefit is that they can aid in the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that the brain produces in response to darkness. It helps establish a better circadian rhythm, as well as a better sleep pattern.

All of these things combined indicate that weighted blankets can improve overall sleep quality. 

Who Can Benefit From Having a Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets truly are for anyone looking to improve their sleep quality and they are a mass-market product. However, there are some people who might see more benefits in weighted blankets compared to others.

Those With Anxiety and/or Depression

Both anxiety and depression can have a negative impact on sleep, which in turn, only exacerbates the symptoms. By being able to get a good night’s sleep with a weighted blanket, those with anxiety and/or depression can break the vicious cycle. Not only that, but it can help reduce insomnia symptoms for those with bipolar disorder and ADHD.

Those With Sleep Disorders

There are countless factors that can cause sleep disorders and insomnia. While they might not work for all, weighted blankets can provide enough pressure to calm the heart rate and breathing. That’s how they make it easier to fall asleep and even get a good night’s rest.

Those With Autism Spectrum Disorders

One of the biggest sleeping issues those with Autism Spectrum Disorders tend to have is an overload of sensory stimuli. The pressure from weighted blankets may help provide comfort in times when there’s too much stimulation. 

There isn’t enough research on the objective benefits of weighted blankets and how they help those with ASD. But some research suggests that children with autism prefer sleeping with them.

When to Avoid Weighted Blankets

While there are certainly more pros than cons to using weighted blankets, there are some caveats. Certain sleepers should take extra precautions when using them and might even need to speak to a medical professional.

For example, weighted blankets might be unsuitable for those with certain medical conditions. These include chronic respiratory or circulatory issues, asthma, or obstructive sleep apnea. That’s because the weight of a heavy blanket can restrict airflow.

Also, those considering getting weighted blankets for children should ensure they’re getting ones specifically designed for kids. They should also consider the weight of the child and the blanket before getting one.

What’s more, those struggling with claustrophobia or unable to lift the blankets off themselves should steer clear. Otherwise, they run the risk of entrapment or suffocation.

To Sum Up: The Benefits of Weighted Blankets

As you can see, the potential benefits of weighted blankets are plentiful, while the cons are often minimal. However, if you’re not ready to commit to a weighted blanket's full size or weight or want something more child-friendly, consider a comforter.

MyTickie comforters, while airy and soft, are heavy enough to provide a similar sensation as a weighted blanket. Also, our comforters can be used all year round and pass OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100.

So if you want something that looks and feels luxurious and beautiful, while being affordable and breathable – consider a MyTickie comforter.