Anxiety and sleep are deeply connected. Stress in your life can cause sleep issues, then a lack of sleep causes more anxiety, and the cycle continues. Sometimes one solution can work, and other times it takes a combination of a few different things.
WHAT IS A WEIGHTED BLANKET?
A weighted blanket is a natural, prescription-free source of relief for anxiety and stress of all kinds, as well as trouble falling asleep. Weighted blankets are quilted blankets that have been filled with tiny pellets to weigh at least 10% of your total body weight. They use the science of Deep Pressure Stimulation to simulate the feeling of being hugged which eases anxiety, symptoms of ADHD and autism in children and adults.
Deep Pressure Stimulation relaxes the nervous system by switching from the “fight or flight” response to the “rest and digest response.” Deep Pressure Stimulation also naturally increases levels of serotonin and melatonin in the body. Both of these hormones play an important role in reducing stress and improving sleep.
Not everyone will experience every benefit of Deep Pressure Stimulation, but the potential positive effects include:
A general sense of calm
Decreased overall anxiety
Increased feelings of happiness
WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE SAYING
When I asked my friends and family members about their weighted blankets, the responses varied but were all positive: One said: When I have one of those days, whether I’m stressed or anxious, or just sad, my weighted blanket is perfect. It helps me relax and feel snug.
Another said: I was already a good sleeper, had no issues really, but it stopped me from moving around at night, so I never woke up to change positions. It also made it more comfortable to sleep on my back. The temperature is good too. Not too hot, but it’s definitely warm.
And the last said: I use my weighted blanket in the evening when I’m reading, and it’s so calming after a long busy day. My own experience has been using my blanket at night while I’m in bed reading or journaling, or listening to an audiobook. I find it very relaxing and cozy, and I usually end of falling asleep afterward.
Please note that weighted blankets should not be used on infants or very small children.
BUYING A WEIGHTED BLANKET
Weighted blankets vary in price, but a good one will start at about $150. With anything you buy, going with a better quality product will make a difference. A cheaper quality weighted blanket can be noisy as you move around because the tiny poly pellets will shift considerably. It sounds like a plastic waterfall.
Also, you want it to be washable, preferably by machine. (Can you imagine having to handwash and hang a 20 lb blanket? It would make a good workout.) For the blanket to be washable it has to be filled with washable pellets. Poly is a popular choice.
Choose a blanket that’s at least 10% of your body weight, or slightly more. I’ve noticed that weighted blankets come in several different sizes, so be aware of what you’re buying. If a throw blanket size can cost you 200-300 dollars, just know that a blanket you intend to drape over the sides of your entire king size bed won’t be cheap. If price is an issue, go with a smaller sized blanket that covers your body so you can use it while sitting, lounging, or lying down. You can also use a smaller sized blanket on your bed, it just won’t drape over the sides.