While a good night’s sleep is always a plus for mental health, who would have thought that your bedding could make a difference in your mood? If you suffer from chronic anxiety or high stress, a weighted blanket might be what you’re looking for.
What Is a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are designed to be heavier than other blankets. They’re filled with pellets that distribute weight evenly across the body during sleep. This creates a sensation that feels similar to piling lots of blankets on yourself. With a weighted blanket, you get the same effect in a single bedding accessory.
Occupational therapists have long recommended weighted blankets for individuals with autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorders. But they’ve also grown popular amongst the general population. After launching their Kickstarter campaign in 2017, the company Gravity Blanket has made a weighted blanket a must-have aid for sleeping.
How Does It Work?
You might be wondering how something heavy could help with sleep or mental health. But there’s real science behind it. Weighted blankets use something called Deep Pressure Therapy, or DPT, which applies a gentle pressure to the body. DPT increases serotonin, a chemical which helps regulate your moods and encourages relaxation (DPT can also be achieved through a padded vest or even a good hug).
This is how weighted blankets actually make people feel calmer. In some cases, they even reduce activity in the nervous system. They have also been shown to improve overall sleep quality. This makes them great for those who suffer from anxiety, as well as individuals who have insomnia. Not to mention, weighted blankets are just a comforting concept. They bring to mind those times when someone tucked you into bed under layers of cozy covers.
Buying Your Own
Weighted blankets can be anywhere from 10 to 25 lbs. Companies like Gravity Blanket recommend that you purchase a blanket that’s about 10% of your body weight. While blankets aren’t cheap (online prices range from $70 to $250), you might consider it an investment in your own health and wellbeing.
Ready to be tucked in?
Note: While weighted blankets are great for adults, they’re not recommended for children. Pet-owners must also take care to keep an eye on animals, as a cat or dog caught under a weighted blanket might risk suffocation.