Studies show that a weighted blanket can help you fall asleep faster, longer, and wake up more refreshed and relaxed. Factors such as the right pillow, the temperature of the bed, and even the type of pillow you sleep on can affect the quality of your sleep. Indeed, a recent study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine concluded that sleepers who used heavy blankets fell asleep more easily, and also reported that they slept more calmly overall and felt “refreshed than usual” when they woke up in the morning.
Although studies have shown that the calming effect of a weighted blanket can help children and adults suffering from anxiety, insomnia, autism, and ADHD, conclusive research is limited. Anecdotally, however, many users report that blankets help them fall asleep faster and sleep better at night. If you show a lack of concentration or impulse control, you may feel restless at night and wake up cranky in the morning.
If you don’t practice good sleep hygiene, a weighted blanket won’t help you sleep better either. This includes reducing caffeine intake before bed, ensuring that the sleeping environment has a pleasant temperature, and reducing the time before bed on the screen. The same applies to sleep: those who stay cool at night sleep more comfortably and better.
We did hours of research to find the best-weighted blanket you can buy. We tested several models under different conditions, such as cold, warm, hot, dry, wet, and cold again.
If you have concerns about the health effects of a weighted blanket or other sleep hygiene practices, it is a good idea to consult a doctor who knows your medical history and can offer you a solution that works for you. Wrapping yourself in a heavy blanket may seem trivial, but it could help you calm your body and mind.
Although science has not proven that weighted blankets solve all sleep problems, a small number of studies have shown their effect. Although research on the subject is limited, people with mental health problems reported a 60 percent reduction in anxiety after using a 30-pound blanket with weight. In one study, 63 percent of subjects felt less anxiety in the hours after using a weighted blanket, while 78 percent believed that the blanket was a sedative.
When sleepwalkers used a weighted blanket in a small study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, they found improved sleep quality. Some say heavy blankets can help some people sleep better, and maybe reading and meditation can help others. Either way, studies make it clear that they can get nine hours of sleep if they “can,” and if they are ready for it.
About 40 million people in the US suffer from long-term chronic sleep disorders, and 20 million Americans occasionally have trouble falling asleep. However, you do not need to have any disturbances such as stress or anxiety to be affected by sleep. Fear of the test or presentation the next day can keep you up at night, explains Roberta, a professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
The gentle pressure that a weighted blanket creates could also help produce serotonin, a calming hormone, she adds, but there is no accurate data to support this. You think that being weighed down makes you feel safe like you’re being hugged, which helps you calm down and fall asleep, says Roberta, a certified sleep expert. For preparing your body to rest, calm your heart rate and breathing, and apply the pressure of a balanced blanket. It might help you calm the body down so it gets the sleep it needs to wake up refreshed.
While weight therapy is often used as a calming strategy, it is also based on deep touch and pressure, which can help calm the nervous system’s excitement levels by stimulating the release of serotonin and dopamine. Studies have shown that stimulation of low pressure can reduce parasympathetic arousal and increase calm, but studies have not yet found evidence that it can reduce or increase autonomic arousal. Weighted blankets try to mimic the calming effect of a newborn’s nappy, which increases the feeling of security through the pressure and the body’s shell. Weighted blankets and other companies that sell blankets recommend buying a blanket that weighs 10% of your body weight to achieve a maximum calming effect.
Weighted blankets can create a calming pressure that promotes good sleep, as well as an elevated serotonin level that allows you to relax into a deeper restful sleep. Prices range from $100 to $250 for a blanket, making it one of the most expensive blankets on the market.
You can definitely go ahead and buy one if you’re awake all night and trying to get good sleep, and if that helps, definitely come back later and give us feedback on the comment section.