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About Weighted Blanket Therapy

About Weighted Blanket Therapy

by Ashley

Imagine this: so much has been achieved for the day that you feel so exhausted and just want to rest. Sadly, though, you can't quite seem to get the most effective way for you to fall asleep quickly. This could be caused by a number of factors such as overthinking or anxiety. It could also be because your setting is actually uncomfortable. In actual fact, this scenario is all too common for many people.

On a brighter note, whilst it’s not recommended to go into sleep deprivation through under sleeping for whatever reason, it’s never too late to catch up on your sleep as our body can make up for lost sleep gradually over time. There are many things you can do to help your body rest effectively without depending on sleeping medications (which tend to be addictive and have side effects!) and one of which is Weighted Therapy Blankets.

Weighted Therapy Blankets as the name suggests, are blankets that are considered to be heavier than regular blankets people buy. Weighted Therapy Blankets usually range from 15-20lb for the average adult, however, can be as light as 5lb for little children and 30lb for heavier adults, and are filled with a weighted material, in the case of our Weighted Therapy Blankets, non-toxic glass beads. For many people, these special blankets provide stress relief and help to induce healthy sleep habits while some research suggests that it may provide a safe alternative for people who suffer from anxiety, depression, insomnia or autism. Now let us explore the benefits and considerations in using a Weighted Therapy Blanket.

How it Works

The ideal Weighted Therapy Blanket weight is between 10% of the user's body weight plus 3 pounds (1.36kg) and can be upwards to 20 percent of the user's body weight. This weight applied to the body and relieves the nervous system by placing pressure onto the body, mimicking the illusion that you are being cuddled or kissed. Such a sensation does not only helps to improve a person's positive outlook, but it can also help reduce anxiety and depression. The concept behind this is similar to the emotional impact that a simple hug can give: when people hug, the hormone oxytocin, a hormone that helps provide a sense of relief and comfort, is being released in their bodies. The same principle applies to infants that are swaddled tightly, they feel safe and secure.

It also incorporates the healing properties of what is known as a proprioceptive input or in other words, deep touch pressure stimulation, in which pressuring the body in certain locations allows serotonin (happiness hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone) to be released thereby enhancing your mood and help with sleeping problems. In addition, when draped naturally and evenly across your body, or part of your body, it provides just enough gentle pressure to reduce cortisol, a stress hormone in which at high levels may cause a number of problems such as anxiety, depression, weight gain, insomnia, inflammation and the like. Collectively, these effects can improve your general health without prescribing pharmaceutical sleeping aids.

Frequently reported benefits of Weighted Therapy Blankets may include:

  • Improved mood and general happiness
  • Reduced stress, anxiety and depressed mood
  • Improved sleep including reduced restlessness, reduced time
    to fall asleep and waking up mid-sleep (insomnia)
  • Reduced cortisol levels and inflammation
  • Reduced sympathetic nervous system arousal
  • Reduced chronic physical pain including

Things to Know

It is important to note that Weighted Therapy Blankets are considered a therapeutic tool, so it is recommended to consult first with your doctor or other healthcare professional before purchasing and using one for sleep or helping to improve mental or physical health issues. It is advised that people who are challenged with the following must be refrained from using such blanket:

  • Circulation and respiratory problems
  • Breathing problems like sleep apnea or asthma
  • Unregulated blood pressure
  • Chronic health conditions such as diabetes and mood disorders
  • Fragile skin, skin rashes, and open wounds
  • Muscle weakness to be able to remove the blanket off themselves

Moreover, weighted blankets are not recommended for infants. Although manufacturers have varied guidelines and recommendations, it is generally noted that weighted blankets are not intended for use by children two years old or younger. When children are unable to move freely while sleeping or lack adequate muscle strength, the blanket can be a danger even at lighter weights. Again, it is important to discuss the size and weight of a blanket that is safe and effective with your healthcare provider as with other therapeutic tools.

The Right Weighted Blanket for you

To ensure you get your value for your money, we want to make sure you select a Weighted Therapy Blanket that meets your specific requirements. Let's look at what you have to think about:

  • The first consideration is selecting the right weight of a blanket for your particular body. The rule of thumb for this as mentioned above is 10% of your body weight plus an additional 3 pounds (1.36kg).
  • It is also important to examine the design of the blanket. One consideration is ensuring that the blanket cover is removable so it can be easily washed. Another consideration is ensuring that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the blanket so you do not have to worry about the weight sliding all on one side.
  • The next thing you need to consider is the filling of the blanket itself. Often times, manufacturers of these blankets use food such as barley or rice as fillings to alleviate the use of plastics. However, we cannot disregard the fact that some people have food allergies or sensitives that may only worsen the case. We recommend that the filling be made out of non-toxic glass beads.
  • Another important consideration is not only making sure that the weighted blanket is secured to the blanket cover but also looking at how the two are secured to each other. In whatever way it is secured, you just want to make sure that the weight of the inner blanket is not going to detach the inner blanket from the outer blanket cover.
  • The last thing you’ll want to look at is the dimensions. It’s important to keep in mind that a Weighted Therapy Blanket should be smaller than and should fit snugly to the size of your bed. It’s designed to sit on top of the bed, so it doesn’t slide off to one side. For a single person, a Single size is suitable and a Queen size can be used for two people in one bed.

If you are interested to know more about weighted blankets, feel free to contact us. We would love to help you find the right blanket.

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