Weighted blankets are exactly what their name describes them to be. They are special blankets made out of material that helps weigh the blanket as you use it. The filling can be rice, millet, glass, plastic, or even lead.
Weighted blankets have been proven to yield many health benefits when used routinely. They can help soothe disorders, diseases, and illnesses while you rest. It’s a known fact that sleep gives your body time to repair itself, and the better sleep, the better your body feels. A weighted blanket simply improves the quality of your sleep for the best results.
There is one condition though; your blanket has to be the right size. By the end of this article, you’ll have figured out why size is important and what size blanket is right for you.
What Can A Weighted Blanket Do for You?
Before you search for the perfect size and material blanket, it’s important to know exactly what you can get out of using a weighted blanket.
A weighted blanket can help people who suffer from:
- Sleep deprivation
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Panic Disorders
It can also help you in general ways. With a weighted blanket, you’ll be able to fall asleep faster and rest for longer periods of time. With a good night’s rest, you’ll feel an improvement in your mood and feel much calmer throughout your day.
If you want these benefits for yourself, then you may also be open to a blanket for your pets! Believe it or not, animals can feel anxiety and stress too. To help your pets from suffering these disorders, give them their own weighted blanket they can snuggle up in.
How Does a Weighted Blanket Help?
A great question, how exactly does this blanket help you? And what makes it different from other regular blankets?
The answer to both these questions is the weight. How so, you may ask? Well here’s the explanation.
The weight of this blanket provides deep touch pressure stimulation, a kind of therapy that promotes the release of a chemical called serotonin. These chemicals initiate your body to calm and wind down. It also creates another chemical melatonin. Melatonin plays an important part in feeling tired and regulating sleep in your schedule. Finally, a weighted blanket improves your level of oxytocin, a chemical that creates relaxation in your body.
Together, these hormones will help you calm down and relax throughout the day, ensure a good, long night’s rest, and soothe your brain overall. Stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression get a kick of tiredness and with the right amount of deep rest, fade away with the black bags under your eyes.
You might be interested in: The Relationship Between Sleep And Depression
What is a Weighted Blanket Made Out Of?
There are two parts to any weighted blanket; the outer cover and the weighted interior filling. The weight applied to the blanket will depend on the person who is using the blanket. Is the blanket for a child or is it for an adult? Blankets weigh between 4-30 pounds and it’s always better to consult a professional for what weight is right for your size.
The outer cover will be some sort of fabric for comfort. Fabrics used are bamboo, polyester, cotton, faux fur and more. The natural fabrics made from bamboo and cotton are usually better for all-year-round use since they stay cool during the hotter months. You can, of course, buy a synthetic high-tech cooling cover, but there is a chance of your skin reacting negatively to these blankets.
The weighted interior construction consists of pockets that hold weighted beads. These beads are what primarily provides weight in the blanket. The material used here depends on whether you’re purchasing a homemade or professionally made blanket.
Professionally manufactured blankets will have cotton, bamboo, or polyester material in the interior. Homemade models use a variety of material, perhaps the same as the professionally made ones with different quality. The beads inside of the blanket can be anything that applies weight. Pebbles, sand, and stones are primary examples.
Professionally made blankets will have a much different filling of course. They will use sandbags, plastic and/or glass pellets. Higher quality beads are made out of quartz glass for better weight distribution. Cheaper models will use less expensive materials such as plastic to make weighted pellets.
Sizes and Who Should Use Them?
The weight of the blanket comes in hand with the size of the blanket. Each bead will weigh the same, so the more there are, the heavier it’ll weigh. So, without further ado, here are the sizes and their complimenting weight, who they’re for, and how to use them.
Weighted blankets are customizable when purchased from quality sellers. The blanket you buy will be made for you and fit your requirements. This ensures you get the best out of your blanket.
To start off, never use a weighted blanket for a baby. They’re not anxious or stressed, but their growing bodies will be underneath the weight of such a heavy blanket. Giving them this kind of blanket can result in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Never give an infant under one year of age a weighted blanket.
There’s a little equation for each size in order to find the perfect therapeutic weight for an individual.
For a toddler, the best option is a small-sized blanket. The weight should be 10% of the child’s actual weight, with an additional pound added to it.
By the time the child is six to twelve years old, you can move to a bigger size blanket. The weight should be 10% of the child’s actual weight with two additional pounds. You can also add less or more than this if your child is interested.
Large size blankets are for teens 13 and older and adults. The weight of the blanket should be 10% of the user’s actual weight with an additional three pounds this time. You can get more or less weight added depending on your preference.
Elders will want generally less weight in their blankets since their body is more fragile than an adult in their prime.
The size is the generic part of the blanket that can be determined with age, it’s the weight that is a little more difficult to pinpoint.
Here’s a summary of the sizes:
- Infants under the age of one year should never be given a weighted blanket
- Toddlers and children within the age of two to five can have a small-sized blanket that is 10% of their body weight plus one pound.
- Children between the ages of six to twelve can use a medium-sized blanket that weighs 10% of their weight plus two pounds.
- Teens the age of thirteen and older to adults will want a large size with the weight 10% of their own plus three pounds.