What is the purpose of a weighted blanket? Heavy blankets provide pressure on the body to create a sense of calm. For this reason, weighted blankets are used for therapeutic purposes such as relieving anxiety and reducing stress.
Because of their calming effect, heavy blankets can have a myriad of benefits when going to sleep, such as increasing your sleep quality from the very first night.
Read on to learn how weighted blankets work and how they can improve your sleep.
What’s a Weighted Blanket and How Does it Work?
Weighted blankets, sometimes known as gravity blankets, are heavy blankets that can aid sleep and reduce anxiety. The weighted sensation is usually created by plastic pellets and/or micro glass beads.
The idea behind weight blankets is that they provide deep pressure therapy. The deep pressure stimulation causes an increase in serotonin levels that creates a sense of calm.
According to the charity, Understood:
“Weighted blankets work in a way that’s similar to an OT technique called deep touch pressure therapy (DTP). Pressure on the body can increase the release of serotonin in the brain. This neurotransmitter is sometimes called the “happy” chemical because it creates a sense of calm and well-being.”
Not only that, but the use of heavy blankets also lowers heart rate and reduces stress levels.
Penn Medicine goes on to explain this further by saying that:
“When you’re stressed, your heart beats too quickly. When this happens, lowering your heart rate can lead to overall feelings of calmness. Pressure calms you by activating your parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers your heart rate when you’re stressed. A lower heart rate leads to the overall feeling of calmness.”
Thanks to this calming effect, people who use weight blankets fall asleep quicker and experience higher quality sleep.
6 Benefits of a Weighted Blanket to Improve Sleep
Weighted blankets are often used as therapeutic blankets in touch therapy because they provide a rainbow of benefits that regular blankets don’t provide, such as increased levels of serotonin and lower levels of cortisol during sleep.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, here are the top reasons you should consider a heavy blanket.
1. Weighted blankets reduce the symptoms of anxiety
Weighted blankets are great for people with anxiety. Studies show that gravity blankets help lower cortisol levels; cortisol is also known as the stress hormone.
By applying gentle pressure to the body, weighted blankets not only help to reduce anxiety levels, but people also report fewer different anxiety symptoms compared with using regular blankets.
People with anxiety disorders should consider purchasing a weighted blanket to use at bedtime for improved sleep and as a comfort tool when they feel high levels of anxiety.
2. Weighted blankets have a positive impact on sleep latency
Weighted blankets have many positive effects on sleep, such as a feeling of relaxation that helps provide tranquility to people with insomnia.
Deep pressure touch provides a sense of calmness in a restless body. People living with chronic insomnia have seen an improvement in their sleepless nights using weighted blankets in their sleeping routine.
3. You experience better sleep quality with a gravity blanket
Scientific studies show that you experience improved sleep quality with a gravity blanket. The extra weight can help in achieving a calmer night for those who have sleep troubles.
The study shows fewer interruptions in sleep patterns, leading to higher levels of sleep efficiency.
If you have a sleep disorder that disrupts your sleep during the night, a gravity blanket can help you get more restful sleep.
4. You’ll sleep longer when you use a heavy blanket
Peer-reviewed studies have revealed that weighted blankets have a positive impact on how long you sleep. Benefits include increased sleep duration, a sense of security during sleep, and less nighttime wakening.
It’s not clear whether you sleep longer when your weighted blankets are made of glass beads or plastic beads. Whichever you choose, just make sure the blanket is the right weight for you as a blanket that’s too heavy may disturb you as it will feel hefty and uncomfortable.
5. Weighted blankets help sleep issues for people with ADHD and autism
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are often accompanied by sleep issues. However, a study observing weighted blanket therapy on people with the symptoms of autism showed that these blankets provided a feeling of calmness.
Sensory overload is a common symptom in people with autism, which can have a negative impact on sleep. Heavy blankets help kids with autism and children with attention deficit disorder by relaxing them and calming them down in moments of sensory overload.
6. A heavy therapy blanket helps bipolar-related insomnia
A study evaluating the effects of weighted chain blankets on insomnia and sleep issues for patients with bipolar disorder concluded that these blankets are an effective intervention for bipolar-related insomnia.
Patients with major depressive disorder, high levels of stress, and bipolar disorder showed promising outcomes, such as better sleep maintenance and less fatigue in the daytime.
How to Choose a Weighted Blanket
If you’re on the hunt for a weighted blanket, you’ll need to know how to choose the right one for you.
To start, weighted blankets for adults should be around ten percent of your body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want a 15-pound blanket. If you are a 300-pound person, a 30-pound blanket will do the trick.
Next, think about the material. If you want a snuggly blanket, you may choose something with a furry touch. If you’d prefer a cooling blanket, then try a blanket made with breathable cotton. The outer layer is also important, so consider what sensory inputs you prefer.
You can also look into eco-friendliness. Some blankets are made from all-natural materials.
And also, of course, choose a color you like best that goes better with your bedroom layout.
6 of the Best Weighted Blankets to Improve Sleep in 2021
Weighted blankets have plenty of benefits for sleep. By using one, you’re able to extend your hours of sleep per night and avoid the many effects of poor sleep.
Here are the top weighted blankets for adults and heavy blankets for kids.
1. Best for eco-friendliness: Bearaby Tree Napper
Bearaby Tree Napper is an organic weighted blanket made with Tencel, a material that’s 100% biodegradable and the most sustainable fabric on earth. It comes in six different colors and three weights.
Tencel is more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk, and cooler than linen. The soft material combined with the weight provides calming effects to those with sensory-processing disorders.
According to Bearaby’s website:
“The weight on your body stimulates the production of serotonin (the happy hormone), reduces cortisol (the stress hormone), and increases melatonin, which helps you fall (and stay) asleep.”
2. Best for sleep anxiety: Honeybird
Honeybird is one of the best heavy blankets on the market for anxiety. Those who suffer from anxiety symptoms have reported less sleep anxiety and better sleep.
As one customer, Jessica Hoherz, explains:
“This blanket really calms me down. I used to have racing thoughts on occasion and tossed and turned every night. This blanket has put an end to it! I sleep much more soundly and don’t wake up in the middle of night as many times as I used to.”
Using a heavy blanket not only relieves anxiety symptoms but can also help prevent other negative symptoms caused by sleep deprivation.
Honeybird comes in three different weights, is machine washable, and is filled with glass beads and layered cotton.
3. Best for hot sleepers: Classic Cooling Gravity Blanket
The Classic Cooling Gravity Blanket comes with a premium duvet cover made of breathable material and an inner weighted piece containing fine-grade glass beads that are hypoallergenic. The gravity blankets come in three weights and three different colors.
These are best for those who are worried about waking up in a sweat and prefer a fresh and cool night’s sleep.
In a study by Gravity Blankets, 72% of participants reported deeper, more restful sleep, and 76% reported falling asleep faster when using the Gravity Blanket.
4. Best for kids: Bearaby Nappling
Bearaby Nappling offers some of the best heavy blankets for kids in the market.
Since weighted blankets can help children with autism and children with attention deficit, choosing Bearaby Nappling can mean the difference between restless nights and a good night’s sleep.
Bearaby Nappling is not only good for children with autism but also comes in four colors and is 100% biodegradable, made of organic cotton.
5. Best for style and design: Mosaic Weighted Blankets
Mosaic Weighted Blankets help you sleep better and more deeply with their premium weighted blankets that use deep pressure touch to trigger relaxation.
Mosaic Weighted Blankets come in many different designs and patterns, along with a myriad of varied materials for different sensory feels.
6. Best for coziness: Weighted Evolution Sensory + Bamboo Fleece Blanket
The Weighted Evolution Sensory + Bamboo Fleece Blanket is a weighted blanket made of bamboo and fleece that comes in four different sizes and three colors. It is filled with glass beads and wrapped with a removable, washable cover.
Using a cozy weighted blanket such as this one is bound to have a positive impact on sleep for you, while the fleecy effect is perfect for someone who needs sensory comfort.
What is the purpose of a weighted blanket? Heavy blankets can induce relaxation, improve sleep quality, and keep you asleep for longer.
Adding a weighted blanket to your sleeping routine can do wonders for your sleep hygiene and can help avoid restless nights.
If you’re ready to purchase your weighted blanket this summer, head to Mosaic Weighted Blankets and use the code SUMMER15 for 15% off sitewide and free shipping.
Welcome to Snoozerville! I’m Dr. Alex Hartley, your guide to the world of restful sleep. With a Ph.D. in Sleep Science and years of experience as a sleep therapist, I’ve dedicated my life to understanding and improving sleep quality. My passion lies in uncovering the mysteries of sleep and sharing practical, science-backed advice to help you achieve the best rest possible. Beyond my academic pursuits, I’m an advocate for mindfulness and relaxation techniques, which I incorporate into my daily routine. At Snoozerville, I aim to transform your nights, combining the latest research with easy-to-implement tips. Whether you’re a chronic insomniac or just looking to improve your sleep hygiene, join me on this journey towards peaceful, rejuvenating sleep.