Wondering how to use a weighted blanket? As the name implies, weighted blankets are not the same as regular blankets. They are designed to help poor or restless sleepers get a good night’s rest or anyone looking for a way to relax. We’ll discuss how to use a weighted blanket properly, along with some other pointers about them and their purpose.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket also goes by the name of a gravity blanket. They’re heavy and therapeutic, giving you a light hug or massage while you’re asleep. This relieves the anxiety and stress you may have going into bed, giving you a better night’s sleep and fresher mornings. Weighted blankets come in between 5 to 30 pounds, though there are heavier and lighter oddities in the market.
What is Inside of a Weighted Blanket?
These blankets come with a filling that gives them their therapeutic weight. There are two types of weights you can come across: plastic pellets and glass beads. The plastic pellets are lighter and bulkier, meaning you’ll get a thicker blanket with this filling.
Glass beads are heavier and smaller, so you can get a thinner blanket with the same weight in comparison to plastic pellets. These blankets are not something you want to introduce to younger children, since they can harm them at night and keep them pinned into bed. Once your kids are toddlers and sleeping on their own, you can introduce them to a weighted blanket to see if they take to it.
How Does a Weighted Blanket Work?
The weight from the blanket essentially provides users with deep pressure therapy. This soothes your muscles and joints to relieve tension. It also improves your body’s proprioception, which is your brain’s concept of where all your body’s parts and limbs are. There is greater accuracy when controlling your body parts simultaneously.
Weighted Blanket Benefits
Weighted blankets help people with many different issues. Since they relax and hold down your body, they prevent excess movement at night and provide deep pressure therapy which helps many people with sensory disorders.
- Weighted blankets can help improve your sleep. The balanced weight calms you down and de-stresses you at night. You’ll wake up with an improved mood and experience better sleep and a healthier lifestyle.
- Deep pressure therapy induces the production of serotonin and its release, meaning it helps your body prepare itself for better and deeper sleep every night.
- The blanket applies weight all over your body, meaning your movement is restricted. This can help with ADHD, (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) RLS, (restless leg syndrome), and Tourette’s syndrome.
- Consistent usage can even help you with conquering insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders. It also reduces the chance of panic attacks as it calms your body down through deep touch therapy.
- Thanks to the gentle pressure, weighted blankets are a good option for women who have cramps during menopause.
- Sleeping consistently with a weighted blanket has also been proven to aid people with OCD, lowering the intensity of their symptoms.
- Another great thing about weighted blankets is that they can be used by people as well as animals!
Tips on How to Use a Weighted Blanket
Yes, there is a proper way to use weighted blankets. If you’re new to them, introducing them to a child or animal, please read through these tips carefully.
Tip 1: Blanket Weight
You can’t grab any weighted blanket and start using it. You have to measure your own weight to figure out which weight is right for you. Weighted blankets are most effective when they are 10% of your total body weight. So, if you’re 200 pounds, then you’re looking at a 20-pound weighted blanket. If you’re 150 pounds, then you’ll get a 15-pound weighted blanket accordingly. Don’t give weighted blankets to toddlers and infants since they’re too heavy for them.
When getting a new weighted blanket, make sure it has an exchange or return policy. Some people might be fine with 10% of their body weight, while others may need something lighter or heavier to feel comfortable.
Tip 2: Replace Other Blankets with Your Weighted Blanket
If you’re going to use a weighted blanket from now on, then you’re going to have to replace your old blanket. Your fan-favorite should now be the weighted blanket since the more you use it, the more benefits you’ll reap. It also helps you adjust to the additional weight you’ll be sleeping under.
If you have a comforter or duvet you use nightly, then it’s possible to sleep with your weighted blanket and additional covers. You can place the weighted blanket underneath or on top, it’s completely up to you!
Tip 3: Cover Your Entire Body
Some people sleep with an arm or leg out of the blanket, and while this can be peak comfort, it’s not going to fly while you’re sleeping with a weighted blanket. To evenly distribute the weight over your body, your entire body needs to be under the blanket. If not, uneven weightage can create sore muscles and aches in the morning.
Tip 4: The Key is Consistency
Consistency is the only way you’re going to get results from your blanket. Not everyone needs it as often, but if you stop using the blanket for too long a period, you’ll have to adjust to the additional weight all over again.
No matter if it’s a nap or sleeping at night, make sure to use your weighted blanket so you don’t forget what it feels like. Include it in your daily routine, and you’ll have all the benefits listed above.
Tip 5: Side Sleepers
Side sleepers are a whole different situation when it comes to weighted blankets. The ideal sleeping position is on your back, but if you can’t sleep like this, then you’ll need a different criterion. First off, you need a lighter blanket. The weight is going to be on one side of your body, which is already uneven. Make sure you have something that’s around 7% of your total weight. Another consideration is that the blanket should be narrower. If there is too much blanket hanging off your body, you’ll feel pinned down when you’re sleeping.
Who is a Weighted Blanket Not Suitable For?
Ideally, weighted blankets are made for everyone to enjoy and use. Some people have to consult a doctor or sleep professional before they invest in a weighted blanket.
- Young children are a red flag. Sometimes, they can handle a weighted blanket and sometimes they can’t. A textured blanket may be a better starting point for them. If your child is below 50 pounds, then consider them too small for a weighted blanket. 5 pounds is the smallest size you’re going to find, which is 10% of 50 pounds. If you feel your child could benefit from a weighted blanket, then consult your pediatrician first before giving them a new snuggle buddy.
- Pregnant women are another tricky demographic. If you’re suited to use a weighted blanket, then they can help relieve nightly pains and improve your quality of sleep, which will be affected intensely by the pregnancy. If you’re not, they can apply too much pressure on your developing child and harm both you and the child. It’s always best to talk to your doctor before any final decisions.
- Senior citizens are much more delicate and can suffer from numerous health conditions. Sleeping with more pressure over you at night may not be the best idea for you. However, if you feel you want relief and deep touch therapy from weighted blankets, then run it by your doctor before you buy.
- If you suffer from sleep apnea or other respiratory issues, then a weighted blanket’s pressure can make it even harder for you to breathe at night. A lighter blanket may be better for you, or your doctor may suggest no blanket at all to stay safe.
The Wrap Up
Weighted blankets are not complicated at all, and they have a lot to offer. The trick to benefiting from them is knowing how to properly use them, and the precautions you have to take for different health conditions, ages, and situations. Once you’ve gotten their basics down, you’ll have plenty of fulfilling nights ahead of you.
This information should be shared since so many different parties can benefit from a weighted blanket in their sleep routine. Even if it’s just for the feeling, everyone can at least give a weighted blanket a shot. There is a lot to gain and nothing to lose, so share this article with friends and family who could do with a few good night’s worth of rest. Leave a comment below if you feel we’ve missed any tips or if you have good, weighted blanket suggestions.