Have you ever heard of a weighted blanket? Nope? Neither have I until I was staying with a friend who had one on the couch. At first, her pretty lilac blanket simply looked like a very cosy quilt, and given that it was winter, I wasn’t surprised to find it in her living room. But, after taking up her offer to wrap myself in it while we were watching a movie, I was surprised by the beneficial effects it had on me.
The moment I put it over my body, I felt the heaviness of the blanket and it gave me a strange (in a good way) sensation of relief, security and calm. Its weight and gentle pressure kind of pins you down and you feel like a baby wrapped up in a warm cocoon or like someone is hugging you. Your body feels very still under it and you don’t feel like moving, and soon I was feeling more relaxed, both physically and mentally. Honestly, it was weird and wonderful at the same time, and after talking to Patricia about the benefits of the weighted blanket and doing my own research, I thought it’s a product I need to share with my readers. This is the blanket she had (not an affiliate link!).
First of all, a quick disclaimer that this is not a sponsored post or a paid partnership. I often talk about healthy living on the blog and those of you who have done my programs know how much I recommend to get regular good night’s sleep and to manage stress for health and longevity. So, when I found out about the usefulness of the weighted blanket to do just that, I felt it would be super valuable to share about my own experience.
The concept of using a heavy, restricting blanket for calming and sleep-inducing purposes is not new and we have all experienced it as babies. The reason a weighted blanket has so many positive effects on us (I’ve listed some below) is to do with Deep Touch Pressure (DTP), which is a technical term for that soothing, gentle pressure and distributed weight against the body. This activity calms our nervous system in a way that increases endorphin production (the happy hormones) and helps to release soothing serotonin and mood-boosting dopamine into the bloodstream, while also reducing the heart rate. This powerful combination has the ability to reduce anxiety, fight insomnia, calm the nerves, and slow down the overactive mind and restless body promoting deep and restful sleep. Not bad for something as simple as a blanket!
So, here are the 5 key benefits of a weighted blanket, in my opinion:
- Reduces anxiety. Wrapping yourself in a heavy, weighted blanket, getting under one or simply putting it over your shoulders helps to reduce anxiety. This has been studied and research shows that this does, in fact, works in most cases. So, whether you’re feeling nervous or anxious before a stressful event, having a panic attack or simply feeling on edge, having a weighted blanket handy can be a great tool to calm down and relax.
- Promotes better sleep. Whether you suffer from regular insomnia or you have trouble staying asleep, studies have shown that those using a weighted blanket found it easier to fall asleep and had less restlessness through the night. The increase in serotonin I talked about earlier tells your brain it’s time for sleep and the tactility and heaviness of the blanket provides comfort and stillness that help to create a more comfortable environment. And as we know, good quality sleep means you feel rested and energetic the next day, your blood sugar levels and appetite are more stable, your mood is better and the body has the time to rest and regenerate.
- Helps to manage stress. If you have a stressful job or you often get to the end of the day feeling totally drained or wired up from stress and tension, getting under a weighted blanket can help you instantly relax and unwind. This one I can definitely vouch for because I felt it firsthand. I am not an anxious person but I did have a few stressful days and it was very easy to relax with that heavy thing on top of me.
- It makes you feel good. I mentioned those happy hormones and calming neurochemicals that get released through the deep touch pressure effect of the weighted blanket. Even 5 minutes under a blanket with a cup of tea can feel like an emotional pick-me-up similar to a nice hug.
- It’s great for calming down the kids. Whether your child is having a tantrum or is overactive and restless before bed, a quick snuggle session under a weighted blanket can help to calm the nerves and the mind. Many parents use a weighted blanket for kids with ADD/ADHD or with Asperger’s and Autism disorders, as a way to calm down after stressful situations and to fall asleep.
So there you go, just a few reasons to consider getting one. I would personally love to invest in a weighted blanket because for me good sleep is a huge priority, and I find this product extremely effective in helping to relax, unwind and calm down the mind and body. The only reason I don’t have one at the moment is that we are travelling in a van and this thing is a bit heavy and takes up space. But, as soon as we are back in our home, I’m going to get one. I loved using it on the couch while working or reading, and I had a few nights under it to test it out and found my sleep was deeper and I didn’t wake up as much.
The weighted blanket I tried at my friend’s place and the one pictured here is this one by Snuzi Life and it comes in two parts: the inner weighted blanket is crafted from 100% cotton and weighed down with high-density glass pellets that are odourless and non-toxic, while its outer cover is very soft-to-touch and features sensory dots on one side.
I like that they come separately as you can easily wash the cover whenever you need. You can purchase the blanket on Amazon here (this is not an affiliate link!) or shop around in your local shops or a preferred online store.
If you’ve had any experience using a weighted blanket yourself or for your family, I’d love to hear about your experience. Let me know in the comments below.